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Politics: Sector Overview

Politics, Social Research, Think Tanks & Lobbying


Sector Overview

What jobs are available and how to get them

Whats on this page?

This page contains information about the kinds of jobs available in this sector, and where to work

  • Overview
  • Politicians - Working for or as someone who makes political decisions
  • Researchers - People who help gather information that informs policy
  • Policy Officer - People who advise organisations of policy and inform government of their group's needs
  • Employers - What kind of organisations hire in this sector

Related Sector Guides

Skills and values relevant to this sector could also help with jobs in these sectors

See also


This guide is for people who would like to work in politics

This could involve advocating the needs of a particular group or organisation, or working for a political party

  • Work in politics involves lobbying, gathering information on policy, and administration aimed at supporting political activity
  • The main employers in this area are charities, non-governmental organisations, parties, trade unions and companies
  • Government cuts have had a major effect on budgets for research


Politicians form, decide on, and implement policy

In our political system, politicians can be found in parliament, regional governments, local government, Europe and in the political parties

As well as employing elected representatives, politicians employ a wide range of support staff, this includes

  • Support roles such as HR and finance
  • Communications and campaigns
  • Fundraising
  • Administrative work supporting politicians and constituencies


Researchers collect information, poll the public, and inform policy. They can be employed by political parties, in think tanks, or for social research bodies

Policy Officers

Also known as public affairs consultants, lobbyists, etc. These people are a link between policy makers and groups who have to adhere to policy. They inform their organisations about policy, and present their organisation's case to governments

Public affairs consultants work for charities, private companies, trade unions, and campaigning groups


Aside from political parties, the following organisations require people to work in this area

Public Bodies, Charities,  and Companies

A wide variety of different universities, trusts, groups and businesses require staff who have an understanding of policy

Think Tanks and Pressure Groups

Think Tanks are groups that fund research into policies and pushes for their policies to be acted upon

These groups usually have networks of supporters which can include politicians and figures in the media

They may present ideas of a small set of issues, or from a particular perspective they believe is right


Academic research groups do research on political subjects

They generally do this by getting funding from an external body (for instance, the state)

Think Tanks

Think tanks are groups that research and develop policy

They usually fund their own research and use it to inform politicians or media


Unions require advocates, researchers and support staff who are interested in advocating for workers' rights