Can an Online Program Support People Already Working in Politics?

You may already be actively involved in state or federal election campaigns. Perhaps you are a fundraising consultant or an events manager for a candidate. Maybe you are an elected local official seeking re-election or hoping to move up the political ladder. As you are already involved in politics, you may not have considered furthering your education. Despite this, the political field is rapidly evolving and becoming increasingly transparent and challenging for everyone involved in the campaign or management process.

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Do you want to move into a different area of the political arena, but lack the experience or credentials to do so? Maybe you have been involved in politics for years and no longer feel like you are up to date with the latest field or technological developments? Each of these situations may be reason enough to consider enrolling in an online master’s program. Yet what degree should you choose? And how do you know that what you learn will support your current work lifestyle and future career goals? Consider looking into an online program in political management.

Political management is NOT political science

Your undergraduate degree might be in political science, or you are at least familiar with its basic principles. Political science provides you with the theories you need to be a successful political advisor, advocate or manager. As a result, you may not feel that you need to continue your education, especially if you are already employed in the political sector. However, a graduate political management degree is not political science. They are grounded in similar foundational issues, yet the main difference is that political management shows you how to actively engage in advocacy, lobbying, elections, policy implementation and campaigns, not only how to theorize about these situations.

A political management degree provides you with the specific tools and strategies you need to keep campaigns and democracy running smoothly as a whole. Yet with an online master’s program in political management, you may gain the practical skills and knowledge you need to become better at your job or move into the career of your dreams. Essentially, political management is an active degree that keeps up with your busy pace and educational needs.

Online programs are flexible for busy lifestyles

Maybe you are working full time on a candidate’s campaign or planning events for your organization every weekend. With your 40 or more hour workweek, you may strongly believe you wouldn’t have the time to set aside for on-campus classes, or quit your job and pursue your master’s degree full time. This is why an online program in political management could be the answer to your simultaneously busy schedule and desire to further your professional development.

Politics is an extremely time-consuming field. You may put in so many overtime hours during major election cycles that you barely have time to go to the gym or take a vacation on a long weekend. Yet if you are serious about obtaining an advanced degree and becoming better at your job, you can easily set aside time to take classes in political management. Before or after work, you can spend a couple hours a day on your coursework from the comfort of your own home.

One of the best features of an online master’s degree in political management is that many students are also actively engaged in the political field. You are not learning within an online vacuum where no one else understands your work-life balance or has insider information into the field. Instead, you will learn from both the faculty who are well connected within the political field and your peers who are actively involved in politics. This way, you won’t simply be learning about political theories or strategies, you will be gaining tangible information that you can apply in your daily work life in a supportive environment.

You can apply your knowledge immediately

Traditional on-campus learning environments are ideal for students who require total immersion into their area of study. Yet, if you are like so many others pursuing online degrees, you are likely already heavily involved in your field of choice. Thus, your work provides you with this highly sought after immersion. A potential downside to full-time, on-campus learning is that you must wait to apply what you learn until you land a job after graduation.

In an online program, you can gain specific insights into your field one night and then immediately apply them the next day at work. This lack of delayed gratification allows you to gain more confidence in your career, whether you are currently in political management, lobbying efforts or sitting on a city council. You will be able to begin developing professionally right away, not only after you accept a new position after finishing your coursework.

This immediate application of knowledge is beneficial, even if you are hoping to transition to another area of politics. A high-quality political management program will cover a broad range of topics, so that you can maximize your marketability in multiple ways. An ideal program will also be non-partisan to be inclusive for every type of aspiring political professional. Essentially, an online political management program will allow you to pursue an advanced degree while you continue to work and supplement your existing knowledge base along the way.

Enrolling in an online program while working full time is not an easy task. Yet, if you are serious about furthering your professional development, an online master’s degree in political management may not only the most well suited for your lifestyle, but for your future career aspirations, as well. Whether you want to transition into a new position or want to gain modern political skill sets, political management might be the right option for you.

A master’s degree in political management can equip you with the skills and strategies you need to be ready to manage a modern political campaign. For more details about how an online program can support you while you are already working in the political sector, visit the George Washington University online.

Sources

http://www.bestmastersdegrees.com/best-masters-degrees-faq/should-i-attempt-a-masters-degree-program-while-working-full-time

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/11/17/here-are-the-40-toughest-government-management-jobs/?utm_term=.21b5af24a43f

http://www.talentculture.com/managing-online-classes-while-working-full-time/

http://www.idealist.org/info/GradEducation/Resources/Preparing/WorkStudy

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2010/03/25/8-big-mistakes-online-students-make

http://politicalmanagementmasters.online.gwu.edu/resources/infographics/what-can-i-do-with-a-masters-degree/

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