Skills you'll gain: Communication, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Leadership and Management, Marketing, Performance Management, Risk Management, Sales, Strategy, Strategy and Operations
Beginner · Course · 1-4 Weeks
Skills you'll gain: Finance, Leadership and Management, Project Management, Strategy and Operations, Contract Management, Risk Management, Financial Management, Human Resources
Mixed · Course · 1-4 Weeks
Skills you'll gain: Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Management, Planning, Supply Chain and Logistics, Operations Management, Problem Solving, Research and Design, Strategy and Operations
Intermediate · Course · 1-4 Weeks
The subject of government encompasses the systems that a nation, state, or other political community is administered and regulated. Governments may be democracies structured by constitutional law, as in the United States, a socialist country governed by a single Communist Party, as in China, or any other form of rule. However, in all jurisdictions, government plays a centrally important role in establishing and enforcing laws, collecting and allocating tax revenues, directing the use of public resources, and other activities that are fundamental to society.
Governance is always evolving, and recent years have seen the role and nature of government changed by the same revolutions in information technologies that have disrupted countless private sector industries. E-government promises to make governance much more efficient, replacing decades-old bureaucracies with “smart” cities and countries administered and regulated with the help of real-time data. At the same time, the advent of social media has led to upheaval in many countries, from the revolutions of the Arab Spring to struggles with the spread of disinformation in many Western democracies.
Learning about government isn’t only important if you want to work in politics or a government agency. Businesses must stay abreast of changes in governments and the laws they propagate, as they are typically subject to regulatory compliance requirements in areas like taxation and financial reporting, environmental performance, and more. Understanding politics and government is especially important for strategic planning in industries such as oil and gas or mining, where business opportunities may depend on government decisions surrounding the use of natural resources.
If you’re fascinated by the important and ever-changing world of government, working in political science can be a gateway to an interesting and rewarding career. Using a wide range of qualitative and quantitative research methods, political scientists study the development and working of political systems, structures of government, the effectiveness of different policies and regulations, and trends in public opinion. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, political scientists earned a median annual salary of $122,220 in 2019, and typically had at least a master’s degree in political science.
Absolutely. Coursera has opportunities to learn about government across a variety of perspectives, including legal topics like constitutional law, the rise of e-government and smart cities, and ensuring business regulatory compliance. Regardless of what you choose to learn about, you’ll learn about government from top-ranked schools like University of California, Irvine, University of Pennsylvania, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and National Research University Higher School of Economics, so you’ll get a great education while learning remotely.
Some of the skills or experience you might already need before learning government is a basic understanding of what is written in the United States Constitution. If you have ever worked or volunteered in your local community or worked within any department of government at any level, then you may have the experience needed to learn concepts of government.
The kinds of people best suited for roles in government are passionate about shifts in the cultural and political climate at the local, national, or global level. Those in government roles typically want to work for the good of the public to better citizens’ lives. Someone well suited for working in roles in government will also be interested in reading, interpreting, and debating the contents of the United States Constitution to understand how it affects these shifts. They'll also be interested in the composition, abilities, and rulings of the Supreme Court.
A common career path for someone who has studied government would typically include working within a governmental agency at the local, state, or national level. A common career path on the business side would include working in a corporation on governmental regulations and compliance. A third common career path for someone in government is to go into law or to move forward with more training to become a lawyer. Yet another career path for someone in government is to go into the field of law enforcement.
There are many topics related to government that you can study, including areas of corporate and commercial law that often rely on governmental policy. Other topics related to government include city, urban, or town planning, including the concept of Smart Cities, because any funding and transformation of a place’s infrastructure rely on governmental support. In addition, another related topic to government would be to study leadership and management to gain practical skills and strategies to becoming an effective government leader. Also, corporate or global finance and banking or economics are topics to study related to government because the financial sector and the economy are affected by government and vice versa.