A psephologist analyses trends and does a comprehensive study of elections and predicts its outcome. Ever wondered that this could be a specialized field of study?
Let us have a better understanding of this so that we can share this with the students.
What is Psephology?
Psephology is a branch of Political Science dealing with the study and scientific analysis of elections and trends related to it.
It uses historical precinct voting data, public opinion polls, campaign finance information and similar statistical data. A whole lot of number crunching is involved at the back end for us to be able to see these statistics and draw conclusions.
Psephologists are in huge demand in India, where elections are held in some state or the other regularly.
Also, their demand among various media groups has skyrocketed recently. They are usually contracted by one media group or the other to write relevant columns and articles pertaining to political science or sociology.
Psephologists can also be hired by Political Parties or can also work as freelancers
What to study?
Psephology can be pursued by those who have a background in one of the two: Statistics and Political Science. There are hardly any universities that teach the program specifically. It is usually taught as a part of the Graduate and the Postgraduate course in Political Science.
Those who have degrees in Economics, Management and Sociology can also think of taking this up. Pursuing a postgraduate program is important to getting started in a career as a psephologist.
Students with a doctorate degree are considered to be even more eligible for the role of a psephologist. Students must have a statistician’s eye for details that focus on election patterns and voting patterns. The following pathways may be helpful:
Path 1: BA (Political Science); MA (Political Science); PhD. (Politics).
Path 2: BSc (Political Science); MSc (Political Science); PhD. (Political Research)
Path 3: BA (Sociology); MA (Sociology); PhD.(Political Parties)
Where to study?
To embark on a career as a psephologist, students can pursue studies from the following colleges in India and abroad respectively:
• St Stephen’s College, New Delhi
• Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi
• St Xavier’s College, Mumbai
• Christ University, Bangalore
• Hindu College, New Delhi
• Harvard University, USA
• Sciences Po, France
• University of Oxford, UK
• London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
• University of Cambridge, UK
Although the job prospects in political sciences are not too many, there are several agencies that particularly look for psephologists. We have listed down a few below:
# Media Houses
# Print Media
# Research Agencies
# Academic Institutions
# Political Parties
With an ever-increasing number of news channels and magazines devoting huge realms to elections, psephologists are more in demand these days especially, during the election period. Nowadays with elections being organized in every state regularly, psephologists are in demand the whole year. Otherwise, they are also officially tied up with media houses to write columns and articles pertaining to election results, their consequences etc. Research agencies and institutions also employ psephologists.
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