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Career Opportunities

Studying Politics doesn’t mean you will become a politician (although you could!)

Studying Politics will give you analytical and communication skills that are widely sought after and attractive to employers in various fields. Our graduates find exciting, challenging and highly-rewarding careers in a broad range of areas across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Employers of Politics graduates

Recent employers of Politics graduates include:

  • United Nations and associated agencies
  • New Zealand Government
    • Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)
    • Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
    • Ministry for the Environment
    • Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation (MBIE)
    • Ministry of Education
    • Ministry of Justice
    • Ministry of Social Development
    • Immigration New Zealand
    • Parliamentary Service
  • NGOs and the not-for-profit sector
  • Public policy consultancy firms
  • Environmental consultancy firms
  • Professional services firms
  • Research institutes
  • Law firms
  • Health organisations
  • Media outlets
  • Local government
  • Startup businesses
  • Universities
  • Education
  • Global logistics companies

Graduate profiles

Image of Gemma Cornelissen_thumbnail

Gemma Cornelissen, MFAT

“Studying Politics at Otago was a simple choice. The skills you learn - research, analysis, writing - are very relevant to a wide range of possible careers anywhere in the world. Give it a try.”
Read more

Meet other recent graduates here.

Course planning

The Department of Politics encourages students to consider their future career plans when selecting their papers each year. But this doesn't mean that you need to know exactly what you want to do when you graduate! 

Students can carefully design their course to focus on a particular area of Politics, or carefully design it to keep their studies as broad as possible.

Students are also encouraged to take advantage of Otago's flexible degree structures and complement their Politics studies with papers in other subjects.

Course advice contacts

If you would like to speak to a Politics course advisor, email politics@otago.ac.nz to make an appointment.

If you would like to discuss the new Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) degree specifically, email humanities.advising@otago.ac.nz to make an appointment.

Postgraduate studies

The job market is incredibly competitive, not only in New Zealand but right around the world.

While a degree from Otago is held in high regard internationally, a postgraduate degree adds an extra dimension to your studies. Postgraduate studies allow you to carry out independent research which has two distinct advantages:

  1. The research, analysis and communication skills gained from completing your own research project are excellent transferable skills that will help you broaden your career prospects.
  2. On the other hand, undertaking independent research into a topic of interest enables you to gain expertise in a specific area that you are most passionate about. 

Learn more about the benefits of postgraduate study here.

Career Development Centre

It is never too early to start thinking about your future career and Otago's Career Development Centre is the place to start. 

The CDC team help students with:

  • career planning
  • gaining experience
  • job search strategies
  • job applications
  • graduate recruitment