How to get a political risk job (step-by-step guide)
Updated 26 January 2023
Political risk professionals are key figures in business because they analyse political situations in certain geographical areas and highlight risks and opportunities for their employers. By studying social and economic factors, cultural attitudes and how they might impact the commercial operations of a business, these professionals help their employers make smart business decisions. Learning more about how to become a political risk analyst can help you determine if pursuing a career in this field suits your career goals and interests.
In this article, we describe the role of a political risk analyst, explore how to get a political risk job, discover political risk graduate roles, identify the skills needed to be a political risk analyst and review the average salary for those in this role.
How to get a political risk job
Here's a list of steps that you can take if you're interested in learning more about how to get a political risk job:
1. Earn A-levels
The first step to becoming a political risk analyst is to earn A-levels, as they are typically necessary for accessing higher education. You can consider pursuing A-levels in politics, sociology, economics and philosophy, as these are all relevant for the bachelor's degree programme in political science or a related field needed to work in the role. Universities typically expect grades of AAB (or equivalent) to gain entry into the bachelor's programme.
2. Obtain a bachelor's degree
Having a bachelor's degree in a subject such as social and political science can help build your knowledge and skills relating to political risk analysis. A bachelor's degree programme takes around three years to complete. Consider pursuing courses relating to social science and political science. You can also take courses relating to globalisation and its effect on the economy. Political risk analysts have a strong understanding of politics and sociology and how they affect business decisions. Try to aim for at least a 2:1 grade, or upper second-class honours, in your degree to help maximise your employability post-graduation.
Related: What is a bachelor's degree?
3. Gain experience
Before you can work for a large financial institution or governmental body, you likely require relevant experience in the field. This can be in the form of an internship, volunteer work or even paid experience in an entry-level position. As political risk analyst roles have very high demand, relevant work experience is very important to help you get noticed among candidates for a role. Consider researching organisations that you might like to work for and see if they offer any placement opportunities. You can also gain experience by doing independent research, analysis and report writing.
4. Get an associate role
Political risk analysts typically require at least two or three years of experience before they can lead projects and have direct contact with clients. This is why graduates normally spend a few years in associate roles where their duties typically involve analysis, research and report writing. This provides the necessary experiences and foundational knowledge that's needed to advance to a more senior position where you are responsible for making important strategic decisions.
5. Become a political risk analyst
Opportunities for qualified political risk analysts exist in various places, such as within political risk advisory firms, intelligence divisions of private companies, banks, think tanks and research institutions. You can search for available roles on job websites, or you can identify companies in the field and approach them directly about employment opportunities. Some political risk analysts also work as freelancers. You can consider this employment option if you have trouble finding a position immediately after graduation.
What is a political risk analyst?
A political risk analyst is someone who analyses the social, economic and political realities of a region or industry sector to help determine the viability of investments or projects. They typically undertake a significant amount of research and then make suggestions regarding whether they think a location is suitable for a particular project, and suggest alternatives if necessary. Political risk analysts typically have a keen interest in politics, international relations and current affairs.
Political risk graduate jobs
Obtaining a political risk graduate job can be very beneficial for aspiring political risk analysts, as the programme provides a direct progression into the industry with competitive starting salaries and a structured development plan. Upon completion of your graduate scheme, you can lead projects, have direct contact with clients and make high-consequence business decisions. Graduate jobs are also extremely competitive, and employers may expect you to have certain grades or additional qualifications to be considered for a role.
Political risk analyst skills
Since political risk analysis occurs across a variety of sectors and for a variety of purposes, the skills necessary for the role can vary. Here's a list of skills that are generally possessed by political risk analysts for you to consider developing:
Report writing skills: Political risk analysts spend much of their time performing analyses and writing reports on their findings. These reports are typically concise and accurate and convey potentially complex information as simply and directly as possible.
Research skills: The role of a political risk analyst often involves gathering and organising large amounts of both quantitative and qualitative data for analysis. This is necessary for these professionals to properly study a geographical location or industry sector and determine meaningful conclusions for their employer.
Interpersonal skills: This role involves dealing with a range of stakeholders within the organisation you work for and potentially speaking to the public to gather opinions and other forms of qualitative information. As a result, strong interpersonal skills are a necessity to perform in this role effectively.
Critical thinking skills: The political risk analyst also draws accurate conclusions from data and evidence to inform strategic decision-making. Critical thinking abilities are important in this role because these professionals review and analyse data thoroughly before making conclusions.
Mathematical skills: Performing accurate and in-depth analysis of statistical and financial data, along with calculating risks, involves the use of strong mathematical skills. It's essential for political risk analysts to have a high degree of numerical competence and extensive knowledge of analytical methods to complete their tasks and responsibilities.
Diplomacy: Diplomacy is an important trait held by risk analysts, as their job requires them to challenge people and question situations in their pursuit of truth and accuracy. Being skilled at diplomacy means you are good at speaking to people, establishing positive relationships and communicating tactfully.
Computer skills: Political risk analysts use various computer systems in the performance of their duties, such as when they gather and analyse large amounts of data. They also typically work on computers when conducting their research, organising data and creating reports.
Cultural awareness: Having a strong sense of cultural awareness can be very important for political risk analysts, as it can help them better understand different areas and people. Cultural awareness can also assist in building and maintaining relationships with people from cultures that are unfamiliar to you.
Commercial awareness: Commercial awareness is an important skill, as this role typically requires an understanding of the commercial environment in which a business operates and how internal and external factors can affect the business. This also involves understanding customers or competitors and how they affect the business you represent.
Knowledge of current affairs: Being up to date with current affairs is especially beneficial for political risk analysts, as it means that they have a strong understanding of news and current events, which can help in making informed decisions regardless of the context or location. Having a good general knowledge of current affairs enables analysts to think intuitively, make educated guesses and understand why and how events occur.
Political awareness: Having political awareness is very important for political analysts, as most of the work they do deals with political elements. If you enjoy learning about politics or find it interesting, then a role as a political risk analyst may be especially suitable for you.
Political risk analyst salary
The national average salary for a political risk analyst is £40,885 per year. The earnings of political risk analysts can vary depending on a number of different factors. Salaries can vary because of location, employers, qualifications and role.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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