10 Political Researcher Skills (With Job Outlook And Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

You may consider working as a political researcher if you are interested in politics or policy framework. Political researchers may work in a variety of governmental and non-governmental settings and their practice may involve advising political campaigners, contributing to think tanks and working in the domain of legislation. Certain skills are important for political researchers, and learning about them can help you prepare for this job role. In this article, we examine what a political researcher is, what their duties are, a list of 10 political researcher skills and provide tips on how to start a career as a political researcher.

10 Important Political Researcher Skills

These are some important political researcher skills that you may consider developing, to excel in this field:

1. Knowledge and interest in politics

Political researchers typically have a thorough understanding of how political systems work. This may entail developing a basic understanding of how government bodies work and the responsibilities of various government departments. It is also beneficial if you have an understanding of political history, as it can help you understand how policies and processes evolve over time. As a political researcher, you may be required to conduct hours of in-depth research, so having a strong interest in the subject is helpful.

Related: What Does A Political Scientist Do? (With Skills And Job Options)

2. Research skills

While academic engagement in political science and history may provide you with a strong knowledge base, your work as a political researcher may require you to investigate new or unfamiliar topics. Good knowledge of research techniques can make finding and processing information easier. For example, you may collect data from public opinion polls to inform policy and provide an accurate accounting of an opposing party's policy positions. You may be required to devote a significant amount of time to research, so it is helpful if you enjoy this type of work.

3. Analytical skills

Managing large amounts of data is typically part of the job description for a political researcher. Being able to think critically while analysing data is a valuable skill in this role. Analytical skills entail examining data from various sources, filtering data to isolate data relevant to a study and then drawing conclusions from isolated data. You may be required to perform quantitative or qualitative analysis in this role, depending on ‌the data you work with and the results you want to achieve.

4. Computer literacy

Because you can find most of the information you need for political research on the Internet, knowing how to use a search engine and being familiar with reliable online news resources is beneficial. You may also be required to use spreadsheets and data analysis software to compile charts and reports. You may also use a word processor and personal information management software if your job requires you to write speeches and manage schedules for other individuals.

Related: Computer Skills: Definition And Example

5. Networking skills

While you may spend a significant amount of time researching online or reading books, there may be times when you may benefit from conducting in-person surveys, holding focus groups or interviewing members of the public and politicians. Your interpersonal and networking skills can assist you in navigating these interactions and maximising their value to your research. You can gain people's trust by allowing them to speak freely with you. You may also consider maintaining contact with professionals who can help you with future research projects.

6. Organisational skills

Researchers in the field of political science may be responsible for handling large amounts of data simultaneously, which may or may not relate to their particular area of study. Organisational skills can assist you in storing information logically and methodically so that you can easily access it whenever you need it. When you archive information for long-term storage, having good organisational skills can also help other professionals who access the information repository.

7. Time management skills

As a political researcher, you may be required to manage schedules and perform administrative tasks besides doing research work. It is common for professionals in this domain to work on different research projects simultaneously. In such situations, your ability to effectively manage time can assist you in completing your duties while meeting important project deadlines.

8. Trust and integrity

Research into politics often entails handling sensitive and confidential information. It is critical that you not only recognise the value of information but also that you handle sensitive and confidential data in a way that demonstrates your reliability. Your ability to keep confidentiality can demonstrate personal integrity, and it may persuade a client or employer to entrust you with sensitive information in the future.

9. Communication skills

Communication is an essential skill to develop if you want to excel in the role of a political researcher. Researchers may speak with people over the phone or face-to-face as part of their routine work. Your ability to communicate effectively can assist you in establishing a rapport with the person from whom you are seeking information, allowing you to ask insightful questions. Excellent communication skills are also required for articulating the findings of your research in the form of a research paper, a briefing or a speech.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

10. Tenacity and determination

Some research projects may require you to devote a significant amount of time and effort to a single topic. For example, an employer or client may ask you to develop expertise in healthcare issues, which would necessitate reading books and articles and speaking with medical professionals. Your ability to concentrate and stay focused on a single topic without becoming bored or distracted can aid you in achieving meaningful results.

What does a political researcher do?

The common job responsibilities of a political researcher may include:

  • keeping track of current events and policy issues

  • using the Internet, libraries and other information sources to perform research on subjects

  • analysing and interpreting information

  • writing reports and briefings

  • composing media releases and newsletters

  • providing responses to information requests from politicians and the public

  • maintaining archives and files for future research

  • performing various administrative duties, such as organising meetings, creating agendas and distributing notes

Job outlook and salary for political researchers

Professional researchers in the field of politics may experience a considerable increase in employment opportunities, as political systems and policy frameworks become more complex across the world. This is a career field that has the potential to provide evergreen job prospects and attractive salaries. Candidates looking to start a career in this domain may also benefit from developing a competitive mentality. Individuals with advanced academic credentials or specialised knowledge in a subject may have an advantage over competitors in the job market. The average base salary of a political analyst is ₹50,420 per month.

Tips for pursuing a career in political research

These are some tips for pursuing a career in political research:

  • Pursue formal education. A bachelor's degree is a prerequisite for most political researcher positions. Consider pursuing an undergraduate and possibly a postgraduate degree in subjects like political science, sociology or economics to distinguish yourself from other candidates.

  • Gain useful work experience. Gaining some political work experience is another way to make yourself more appealing to a potential employer. Volunteering to work with a local political candidate or pursuing internships at a political organisation are two popular ways to do this.

  • Make contacts. Contacting people in local politics may be beneficial if you want to pursue a career as a political researcher. You may not only find an experienced individual to mentor you and provide guidance but also to inform you of job openings and provide references.

  • Develop your skills. If you already possess relevant skills, think about how you can improve upon them. You can do this in a variety of ways, including taking communication or research classes, or looking for a volunteer or paid work in domains like public relations or administration.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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