If you’re interested in a career in politics – there’s a huge number of careers to consider and lots of pathways that’ll get you there.
There are plenty of tertiary qualifications in politics, but if you’re not keen on studying, or you’d like to make yourself a more competitive graduate, there’s another option to consider.
Relevant experience is key. With a passion for politics a lack of formal qualifications doesn’t have to be an obstacle. Make sure you stay up to date and informed about current affairs and politics, then get involved and be active on the political scene.
You can volunteer and get work experience that will count for a lot in your pursuit of a career.
- Get involved in political issues with your school or uni –research the governance, read up on the school boards projects and ask for opportunities to volunteer with them, speak to your PTA and ask them to consider you for any opportunities that come up.
- Join a debating team
- Work on the student newspaper and focus on political reports
- Find work experience with local MPs, the mayoral office or your local council
- Search for politically active groups in your community that you can get involved with (there are plenty and they address lots of different issues from social justice to education)
- Get involved in the voting process, even if you can’t vote yourself yet – recruiting voters or signing them in at the polls on election days
- If you feel really strongly about some issues, then research formal and informal activism and see how you can muster support for your cause and lobby local politicians and organisations to make a positive change
- Sign up with youth politics groups such as UN Youth Australia and Youth Action and actively participate with them
- Attend events that are relevant where you’ll get to learn and absorb more about the field.
Work on the skills you’ll need if for a position in public office, such as:
- Public speaking
- Communications – verbal and written
- Presentation skills
- Active listening
- Discussing emotive political issues in a calm and rational manner
- Technical skills including IT
Building up a portfolio of work and meeting the right people could open many doors, setting you on the right path to a career in politics before you’ve even left high school.
For more information about a career in politics, you can read our latest job spotlight.