Politicians represent people's concerns and interests in Parliament / the Assembly / Congress.Job Category:
What you will do:
You’ll attend sessions in Parliament/Assembly/Congress to:
- vote on new laws and policies
- raise constituents’ concerns with ministers
- debate issues and ask questions
- talk to businesses and schools about local, national and international issues
- speak to the media
- attend meetings and conferences
- hold advice sessions in your constituency
- legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
- an understanding of society and culture
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
As well as:
There are no specific subjects required to become a politician, as the path to a political career is not strictly determined by your educational background. However, pursuing certain subjects and developing relevant skills during your high school years can provide a strong foundation for a future in politics. Here are some subjects and skills that can be beneficial:
- English: Strong communication skills are essential for politicians. You need to be able to write and speak effectively to convey your ideas and connect with constituents.
- History and Government & Politics: These subjects provide a solid understanding of political systems, government structures, and historical events that have shaped politics. They can also help you develop critical thinking skills.
- Mathematics: While not a requirement, a good grasp of mathematics can be helpful for understanding budgeting, economic policies, and data analysis, which are often part of political decision-making.
- Economics: Knowledge of economics can be valuable for understanding economic policies and their impact on communities and constituents.
- Social Sciences: Subjects like Sociology and Psychology can provide insights into human behavior and social dynamics, which are relevant to understanding and addressing the needs of your constituents.
- Philosophy or Ethics: Studying philosophy or ethics can help you develop a strong moral and ethical framework, which is important for making principled decisions as a politician.
- Modern Foreign Languages: Learning a foreign language can be valuable, especially if you plan to work on international relations or connect with non-English-speaking communities in your constituency.
You can get into this job by being elected by voters in the constituency you wish to represent.
Most people show their commitment through campaigning and volunteering for their party.
You could also:
- serve as a local councillor
- be active in a trade union
- get involved in student politics
- work as a researcher or caseworker for an existing politician
Contact your local councillors or your student office to ask about opportunities to volunteer with them.
To become an politician, you have to be elected to that position. You can stand for election as a member of a political party or as an independent candidate.
In the UK for example, each political party has its own selection procedure. Usually, you’ll need to get the support of your party’s nominating officer before you can become a candidate.
During an election, you’ll be expected to campaign in public and online, attend meetings, make speeches and talk to the local media. You’ll find it helpful to have some experience in one or more of these areas.
You’ll need a good understanding of local and national issues, and keep up to date with current affairs.
Working Hours and Environment:
A typical week consists of 44-46 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings away from home.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and you may spend nights away from home.
Career Path & Progression:
This varies from country to country, but in the UK, for example, General elections are held every 5 years, so it can take some time to be elected.
With experience, you might get the opportunity to:
- take on extra responsibilities like chairing committees
- move into more senior positions like party whip or party leader
- move from junior minister to minister to cabinet minister if your party is in power
- be a spokesperson on certain issues or have responsibilities in a shadow cabinet if your party is in opposition