Political Scientists Need Math


Has your child campaigned for a later bedtime? Have they successfully won the right for more screentime and a longer break after school before they are forced to do their homework?

Well, your child may be interested in politics, and if they steer into the direction of political science, then they definitely need math.

A career in political science is a fascinating one. Political scientists understand the core of government issues and political processes and study them in a scientific way. They use data to study events and can use statistics to predict a variety of scenarios. As a journalist, quotes from political scientists were indispensable to me in interviews, as they always understood the reasoning behind major decisions. Many political scientists have carved a lucrative media niche for themselves. There are also political scientists who advise politicians and some who lobby on their behalf.

So where does math come in? Well, political scientists use math as their crystal ball. The statistics to back up any predictions, like will interest rates reduce, is one that needs thorough research and political scientists will investigate the consequences of both scenarios. Furthermore, political scientists have a deep understanding of the numbers required to win elections and can use them to predict outcomes.

If a politician is having trouble allocating their resources, which could be employees, campaigns or even money, then political scientists use something called regression analysis among other mathematical formulas to calculate the optimal scenario.

Furthermore, political scientists have to have a firm understanding of the population that their politicians represent. They use many different types of math to get a grasp of a community’s needs. These include computer science, database management, statistics and economics.

Some of the math required for a political science degree is college algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus I and II and statistics.

All of those numbers may be worth it if your child wants to be on the path to greatness. After all, Barack Obama graduated Columbia University with a political science major in 1983.

Sources: We Use Math, Starting Wright


Marina Gomer is a journalist and mother of two.  She lives with her family in Sydney, Australia.