As new technologies unfold, politics become more evident to everyone who seeks to know about politics. The inception of this technological era has further made it easier for political analysis to be brought to the limelight at the flip of a finger. It is now less difficult to become a political analyst.
Political analysts have engaged in the analysis of international and domestic politics because politics as a part of a country’s economy is integral as any other sector. It is the cornerstone for the sustainability of a country’s economy.
With the evolution of politics, people can now put in their contributions to every sector of the economy. This, therefore, calls for checks on the side of the governing minority. Political analysts who are passionate about positive change capitalize on their knowledge to address the functioning of governments and organizations.
Their inputs are essential in furthering international relations and sustaining domestic policies. However, you may ask, who is a political scientist? How to become a political analyst. What does a political analyst do?
Read further to get the answers to these questions as we discuss a political analyst in detail.
Table of Contents
Who Is A Political Analyst?
A political analyst can also be called a political scientist or policy analyst. He studies how a political system came into existence, how it developed, and the mode of operation of this political system. He makes research about governments and also analyzes the political subjects, political trends, and government policies. Other areas of his research interests include; foreign relations, domestic policies, and ideologies.
The information and statistics gathered by the policy analysts are used by the government to make informed decisions. This information is used to make decisions regarding national securities, international relations as well as economic planning. Hence his works are huge and important.
How To Become A Political Analyst: Step By Step Guide
To become a political analyst requires meeting some requirements. These are both academic and professional skills requirements. The academic requirements are met by obtaining the necessary degrees while the professional skills are obtained through hands-on training and practical experiences.
#1. Academic Requirements To Become A Political Analyst
Get A Bachelor’s Degree
To become a pro in any field, a bachelor’s degree is a very important prerequisite. Hence to become a political scientist, a bachelor’s degree is inevitable. A bachelor’s degree in political science, international relations, public administration, or any other related field is recommended.
The course curriculum in these study areas may incorporate statistics, data analysis, media and publications, political postulates and theories, and policy processes. These courses are what mould the candidate into becoming well-grounded in political issues.
Go For Postgraduate Studies
After getting a bachelor’s degree you need to take a step higher on the rung. This time you need to go for postgraduate studies. The benefits of postgraduate studies for aspiring political analysts include concentration or specialization. It will enable you to pay more attention to your personal growth.
Another good thing that a postgraduate degree does is it increases your network and equally enables you to get better job opportunities and higher pay. Apart from a master’s degree, you can equally go ahead to get a PhD. Many students look out for the best countries to study for a PhD. Although PhD is a terminal degree, it gives you an edge.
#2. Skills Required To Become A Political Analyst
In any given career path you choose, there are skills required to keep you at top gear in such a career. Therefore, becoming a political scientist is no exception. There are essential skills that you need to successfully practice despite your academic qualifications.
These skills include but are not limited to:
You Must Have Excellent Analytical And Critical Skills
Just as the name implies political ‘analyst’, a good political analyst or political scientist must be very good with analysis. During political campaigns, for instance, his duties include critically analysing candidates and then bringing to light the facts that make one candidate better than the rest.
Highly Organized And Paying Attention To Details
In politics, little things matter. As a political analyst, you need to really engage with everything and then make the best choices. You should also be an organised individual. Your files should be intact always.
Good Time Management Skills
Time management skill is one skill everybody ought to have. On a personal term, to achieve higher and greater results, you must manage your time adequately. Knowing when to do one thing or the other makes you a good time manager. Hence you need to master this skill to soar.
Excellent Communication Skills
A policy analyst is more like a journalist. You need good communication skills both in written and spoken English to succeed. Most political analysts go-ahead to get a second degree in English. This way they can make their contributions in sound logical sentences.
Other Skill Requirements of a political analyst include:
- Good knowledge of quantitative research tools
- Interpersonal relationship
- Political awareness
- Ability to understand past events and make political forecasts or predictions.
#3. Get Working Experience
To become a competent political analyst, you need real practical or hands-on training. This will equip you with the necessary realities associated with your job. You can gradually earn this experience as a student through internships or part-time jobs in related areas.
After graduation as well, while waiting for the big hit (dream job), you can pick up appointments in journalism as a reporter, broadcaster or support analyst. These are the menial jobs you can do while waiting for the main hit as a political analyst.
You can also go into volunteer work as a political analyst for a political party or political candidate. Although this may not pay you well, remember it is the working experience that you seek and not the fat brown envelope.
All these experiences will help you bridge the gap between theory and practice in academics. They will at the same time help you develop the skills required as stated above under the skills required to become a political analyst.
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What Does A Political Analyst Do?
Talking about what a political analyst does or his job description, let us call to mind the question, who is a political analyst? From the explanations above we can now answer the question, what does a political analyst do? The core duties are as follows:
1. He Studies A Political System
The political analyst takes into account how a political system was developed. He makes research on political systems, political ideologies, rules and regulations, and evaluates their effects on the economy of the nation.
2. Data Collection For Political Theories
His duty aside from the study of the political system also includes data collection. He collects data through different means from numerous sources (historical documents, archives, public surveys and opinions, past election results) and uses them to formulate political theories.
3. Interpreting Research Findings
The policy analyst also engages in political research to enable him to come up with tangible facts. Through his research works, he interprets his research findings using statistical data and makes them available for public consumption. The political analyst’s research is equally used by organisations to advocate for certain policies to improve healthcare.
4. Trends Forecast
Political analysts do not only interpret their research findings, but they also serve as a valid premise to forecast political, economic and social trends. Their continued research also keeps them updated with local and international politics. By this, they can equally predict political trends and developments both locally and internationally.
5. Raising Political Awareness
Most times, the ordinary person in society does not know about the political issues happening around him. But the political analyst creates public awareness of political issues thereby getting the common man informed.
The political analyst also monitors political outcomes both at the domestic and international scale in order to get the people involved in what is happening around them.
Where Can A Political Analyst Work?
Due to technological advancements, political analysts have various openings where they can find themselves working. This means that local industries and businesses are gradually turning into global brands. There is a proposed growth of employment of political analysts by 9% by 2030 according to the Bureau Of Labour Statistics.
As more firms hire political analysts to work for them, political analysts can be employed to work in any of the following places.
- Social Advocacy Organisations
- Government Agencies
- Scientific Research and Development Centres
- Political Organizations (Parties)
- Labour Unions
- Television Stations (Advertising, Public relations)
- Lobbying Firms
- Policy Regulatory Boards
Top Jobs For Political Analysts
There is a high employability rate for political analysts in any of the places listed above. The political analyst can equally decide to go into private practice. Nevertheless, here are the top jobs for political analysts.
- Legislative Assistant
- Assistant Analyst
- Public Relation Specialist
- Political Consultant
- Intelligence Consultant
- Policy Analyst
- Social Media Influencer
- Political Campaign Director
- Political Party Executive
How Much Can A Political Analyst Earn?
Being a political analyst is a very lucrative profession that pays very well. Although many factors determine how much a political scientist earns. The Salary Of A Political Analyst is determined by factors such as; place of work, type of work, educational qualification, experience and location.
The United States Bureau of Labour Statistics states that a Political Analyst/Scientist earns $58.90 per hour and about $122,510 annually as of May 2021.
The political analyst is an integral component of a functioning government. Their roles in policymaking are very important and they act as watchdogs to the government and organisations by checkmating their excesses. In this post, we have covered how to become a political analyst. The roles have also been discussed as well as who is a political analyst.
If you have been looking for a conviction on how to become a political analyst or where you can work, this post meets your need. The salary of a political analyst as stated above shows that it is a career worth engaging in. There is no better time to start this career than now.
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