Building a Career in Politics

Building a Career in Politics

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

If you watch the news, you will likely see politicians giving speeches or making announcements about programs or initiatives in the community. Have you ever thought of becoming a politician?  Building a career in politics can begin early in life.

People get into politics for many different reasons, but often they want to help people. Politicians sometimes establish programs to help student pay for their courses or to help build housing for seniors. They also make laws for people to follow so that society will run as smoothly as possible. Meeting with people is a large part of the job for many people in politics.

Many different roles are possible in politics. Some people become city councillors or mayors of towns or cities. Their job is to deal with local issues like snow clearing or repairing roads. Others get into provincial politics, working with education and other programs that affect the province. Another option is to get into federal politics, making laws and working with programs that affect the whole country. Setting standards for housing is one of the jobs of the federal government.

Learning about issues like these is one way of preparing for a career in politics. People in this field need to know about many different subjects, whether these topics are the cost of food, international relations, or daycare for young children. Any of these issues or more can be part of a politician’s work.

Even if your career is years away, you can already start to read about current issues and how they are likely to affect the future. For example, homelessness has become a problem in many Canadian cities and other communities.  Climate change, unemployment, or other issues can all be part of a politician’s work. Reading about these topics early can help in your career later in life.

Many schools have opportunities for students to get involved in a form of politics. You might have a chance to run for student council or other positions that can help you to learn what is involved in running for political office and a bit of what the actual work involves. You can also join a working group connected to a political party and volunteer for an election campaign, whether that is for school trustee, Member of Parliament, or anything in between. Learning to talk with people individually or to give speeches to groups can be very valuable for a career in politics.

Having experience even in school groups can help you decide about pursuing politics as a career. If you choose to continue, a good idea is to study political science at a university. Normally, this involves a four-year degree which teaches students what they need to know for becoming politicians or for a variety of other jobs, such as city planner, police officer, or head of a non-governmental organization such as the United Way or Oxfam.

Since a career in politics can involve almost anything that affects people, the courses in a political science degree are not only about learning specific tasks like making budgets or writing reports. They are also about learning to think, to communicate, and to understand the background to various issues. In high school, you can already start to prepare by taking courses in English, mathematics, and history.

Building a career in politics can take a long time, but it is worth the effort for people who are interested in this type of work. If you like the idea of a political career, you can already start gaining important skills.



The Best Schools. “How to Launch a Career in Politics.” https://thebestschools.org/careers/career-guide/politics/.

Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee. “Winnipeg High School students launch political Working Group.” https://cjpac.ca/winnipeg-high-school-students-launch-political-working-group/.

Government of Canada. “I Want To Become a Candidate.” https://www.canada.ca/en/public-service-commission/services/political-activities/i-want-to-become-a-candidate.html.

The Samara Centre for Democracy. “Part 1: So You Want to Work in Politics.” https://www.samaracanada.com/samarablog/blog-post/samara-main-blog/2014/03/06/part-1-so-you-want-to-work-in-politics.

The University of Winnipeg. “Career Opportunities for Political Science Students.” https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/political-science/career-opp.html.

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