What are the pros and cons of studying political science?

Updated on : December 6, 2021 by Jake Graham



What are the pros and cons of studying political science?

Pros:

  • If you attend a well-ranked research school, chances are good that the people who write the books and articles assigned to you are teaching there. It's hard to overstate how beneficial it is to talk to the authors of the texts assigned to you. It also eliminates the middle man. Polisci's writing is incredibly long and complicated, and it can be difficult to analyze what you need to know and what you don't. Talking to the authors themselves eliminates this problem completely; it will immediately become clear what they care about. For context, I was lucky enough to take classes and interact with Con
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Pros:

  • If you attend a well-ranked research school, chances are good that the people who write the books and articles assigned to you are teaching there. It's hard to overstate how beneficial it is to talk to the authors of the texts assigned to you. It also eliminates the middle man. Polisci's writing is incredibly long and complicated, and it can be difficult to analyze what you need to know and what you don't. Talking to the authors themselves eliminates this problem completely; it will immediately become clear what they care about. For context, I was lucky enough to take classes and interact with Condoleezza Rice, Francis Fukuyama, Scott Sagan, Abbas Milani, and more. They are all leaders in their fields whose writing forms the cornerstone of polisci curricula,
  • "Liberal Arts" Education: Political science is a broad subject that spans / overlaps with many other social sciences. My classes often covered economics, history, statistics, women's / gender studies, race / ethnicity studies, etc. As someone who values ​​the beginning of a liberal arts education, I felt that studying political science gave me what I was looking for in terms of a general knowledge base.
  • You understand politics more than most people. "Politics" here is interchangeable depending on what you've studied, but understanding politics better than the average person is probably more useful on a day-to-day basis than understanding quantum mechanics better than the average person.
  • You get really good at speed reading because you get assigned a ton of writing.
  • You get really good at writing because you get assigned a ton of writing.
  • Flexibility in his schedule: I had far fewer requirements than my peers in more technical races.

Cons:

  • Limited career opportunities.
  • It becomes really difficult to talk politics with people who do not belong to your group or with people who have not studied political science. You learn so much about the complexities and challenges of a political system that you feel like everyone else is idiotic and may not possibly understand (except your classmates, who you will cling to during elections and other politically tense moments). Of course, this is not true and ultimately leads to harmful and unproductive interactions. Reminds me of this: Daniel Ellsberg on the limits of knowledge
  • I feel incredibly jaded when I see political systems fail (like ours right now!). It seems that everything you know is a sham.
  • Because I read so much for my major, it really devalued reading for me. I began to associate it with work and stopped reading for pleasure for a few years.

I will add to this when I think of more.

As with any academic subject: the main lesson is a set of tools that hopefully allow you to observe and understand political life analytically. In other words, the learning process is almost as important as learning to apply the methodology to a problem or question. I think it is a common thing in science in all fields that you learn not only how to ask questions, but also when to ask them and about what.

I can't talk about the cons, because they are probably personal. I would probably recommend delving into organizational theory and development studies if you want a major that has a

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As with any academic subject: the main lesson is a set of tools that hopefully allow you to observe and understand political life analytically. In other words, the learning process is almost as important as learning to apply the methodology to a problem or question. I think it is a common thing in science in all fields that you learn not only how to ask questions, but also when to ask them and about what.

I can't talk about the cons, because they are probably personal. I would probably recommend delving into organizational theory and development studies if you want a major that has a more practical side.

The only "professional" of studying political science is that it is synonymous with watching your favorite television show; You see it because you already know or understand its subject, how it pursues, what the actors are about, and how you can get involved in the show. The disadvantages of "studying" political science are enormous in how observing it how a spy affects the human psyche, especially when in reality the study cannot be changed no matter how many ideas for change are studied.

Obamacare; Knowledge VS ignorance.

The positive part is that it is really interesting: philosophy, economics, social sciences, history. "Wrapped in one." It can help you get into law school. But it won't help you get a job.

I can only think of majoring in Sociology / Anthropology or one of those

Postmodern programs would be a bigger mistake than political science.

If you want to understand human affairs, read History and Economics.

with some psychology mixed in.

A2A

well, the pros would be that easy.

and the downsides would be that you would end up, a political scientist.

Here are some unconventional tips.

1 / Go to the best brand university you can get into or don't bother studying politics.

2 / Focus on the subjects that interest you to find the easiest way to pass your course with the highest possible grade.

Okay, that should take care of the academic side of things and make mom and dad proud. Aim for minimum production to get the qualifications you need. If you have PhD aspirations, you should get the highest, if not the best, grade for the one-year-old group.

Also, avoid getting into silly and heated political debates in class, there are many

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Here are some unconventional tips.

1 / Go to the best brand university you can get into or don't bother studying politics.

2 / Focus on the subjects that interest you to find the easiest way to pass your course with the highest possible grade.

Okay, that should take care of the academic side of things and make mom and dad proud. Aim for minimum production to get the qualifications you need. If you have PhD aspirations, you should get the highest, if not the best, grade for the one-year-old group.

Also, avoid getting into silly and heated political debates in class, there are many stubborn and woefully naive individuals with degrees in political science. Do your reading, be nice to teachers for references, and turn in all work on time and to the highest level possible. You will thank yourself on graduation day.

Next.

You must decide whether you want a career in government or a career in business. Most of my graduating class went into one of the two. Careers in government are usually easier / lower paid and consist of pushing papers. The good thing is that they are safe and positive options if you want to start a family. However, if you are ambitious, you will soon find it frustrating.

Note: Careers at the UN or other supranational organization are short contracts (up to 18 months). Therefore, it will change a lot of work before settling down. This really is not ideal for people who want families.

If you want a business career, do the following:

1 / Learn to code and explicitly focus on data science / analytical languages ​​i.e Python, R or SQL. This is a rock solid skill set combined with Excel that will help you.

2 / Work experience. Walk in the door somewhere and start building skills, references, and contacts. Be very aggressive and throw sharp elbows to get this experience. Upon graduation, if you play your cards right, you will have a lot of experience. Use your free time and weekends to gain work experience. You can have fun and have a social life at night.

Your focus really should be on brand name employers or working directly for extremely established people. After putting these names on your resume, you can move on to darker, riskier options with greater upside potential.

3 / If you do points 1 + 2 correctly, then you can network for a purpose. What I mean by this is going to every race / speaking event and offering to help this person in some way. If you're smart, you've created an open source portfolio of skills / projects / contributions to show off. 100% of your peers will not compete with you on this, trust me.

4 / Be lucky. To do this, focus on meeting as many people at the University who are either working professionals or seniors and get on your radar. Ask for help, offer help, find out how to get work experience. This is the biggest ticket to being lucky and requires a solid effort over 3-4 years. It will not happen immediately.

Honestly, the cliched law-making careers (waste of time, a great way to get into debt) or the media (no full-time jobs, just contracts) or political careers (little chance of making money to survive / be happy / pretend to save to the people). world) are not good options.

I went to one of the best political science schools in the world. People who have clearly done their best and are happy are usually happily employed by a private sector employee, in a relationship and are saving to buy or have bought houses. Some are older and have been married and had children before 30. This is perhaps 200 to 300 people at two different universities in Europe.

The rest are working in largely poorly run or funded charities / NGOs and have no chance of having a truly positive and sustainable life. It is a sad situation, but I am afraid that no one will take these people seriously if they want a proper political career.

Right now we are living in a golden age of opportunity, technology, and the ability to improve our skills over and over again. Don't go the clichéd routes in the racing department, they are all worth a lot more than that and can have a much bigger impact on the world.

The question does not speak of the level of the people hired.

In any investment bank, a senior position pays a total compensation of between six and seven figures (or more). Because of that, the investment bank seeks to hire someone virtually safe to generate income for the company that is multiples of the very generous compensation to be paid. This requires a candidate to have proven experience and knowledge in one of several fields, primarily:

Corporate finance (helping companies raise money),

Public finance (helping national, state or local governments raise money),

Tradi

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The question does not speak of the level of the people hired.

In any investment bank, a senior position pays a total compensation of between six and seven figures (or more). Because of that, the investment bank seeks to hire someone virtually safe to generate income for the company that is multiples of the very generous compensation to be paid. This requires a candidate to have proven experience and knowledge in one of several fields, primarily:

Corporate finance (helping companies raise money),

Public finance (helping national, state or local governments raise money),

Negotiation (purchase and sale of securities),

Research (follow-up of companies and purchase or sale recommendations to the company's clients based on this research),

Mergers and acquisitions, and

· Sales (getting new and existing clients to use and reuse the investment bank's products and services).

Additionally, a profitable and well-managed investment bank needs people with proven experience in fields such as:

Information technology (installation and operation of computer and telecommunications systems), and

· Administration (someone has to effectively manage all the people involved in all the activities listed above).

Most, but not all, of those who qualify have a finance education. Many sales executives, for example, have educational backgrounds other than finance, but over the years they have built a list of relationships with people who are or have become clients of the investment bank.

Much of the hard work in an investment bank is done by lower-tier investment bankers (it is at this level that I assume the question applies):

An Analyst is typically hired immediately after college for a two-year period of long hours and earns a total compensation of five high figures or six very low figures, after which they are expected to leave (usually to attend college). graduate school or pursue some other career), and

· An Associate typically has a newly created master's degree, is paid six-figure total compensation, and is perceived as a potential mid-level investment banker within a few years, depending on his performance.

By "heavy lifting," I mean performing calculations, performing analysis in Excel or similar spreadsheet programs, and, under the direction of mid-level investment bankers, preparing presentations (which often involve endless hours of printing, photocopying, and binding ) for and potential customers.

Most investment banks want their grunts to (a) follow the instructions of superiors diligently and (b) perform calculations and arrange presentations in a certain way or use particular formats consistent with previous presentations from a particular department within the bank of investment, or from one department to another in that investment bank. To achieve (b), an investment bank will typically put its newly hired Analysts and Associates through an intensive training program lasting about two weeks to instruct newly hired grunts on how to do calculations (such as Earnings Per Share, Multiple Book Value and Compound growth rates) common to most of the filings they are likely to be preparing for that investment bank.

This is a difficult question to answer, as I don't know what "worth" means to you. If it means "future value", then we must understand how "value" is defined.

A political science degree provides good "future value" if you are interested in the topics covered in the field. The degree is often used as a stepping stone to further graduate study in the social sciences, earning a Juris Doctor (JD or law) degree, or employment in various public sector / public service roles.

As with any course of study, your qualifications and other aspects of your undergraduate career (e.g. internships, participation / l

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This is a difficult question to answer, as I don't know what "worth" means to you. If it means "future value", then we must understand how "value" is defined.

A political science degree provides good "future value" if you are interested in the topics covered in the field. The degree is often used as a stepping stone to further graduate study in the social sciences, earning a Juris Doctor (JD or law) degree, or employment in various public sector / public service roles.

As with any course of study, your grades and other aspects of your college career (eg internships, participation / leadership in student organizations) will also play a role in your future path.

Most political science degree programs offer at least one course in "research methods" or what is often called the "scope and methods" of political science. These courses generally discuss the principles of scientific and statistical research in the social sciences, as well as the design, implementation, and analysis of quantitative research methods in the discipline. The topics taught in these courses often apply directly to professional roles such as researcher, analyst, interviewer, etc., especially from course work that introduces you to the use of major analytical software products such as SAS, R, SPSS, and / or STATA.

While I have a master's degree in political science, I have worked exclusively in the private sector both during my time in school earning the degree and since it was awarded nearly 30 years ago. I liked the quantitative aspects of the discipline (see previous paragraph) and many of the courses that I took as part of my "field" in "public policy analysis" had direct application to private sector problems, including optimization, linear programming, cost benefit analysis. , queuing theory and finance, as well as my skills with SAS Software.

For example, how many public health nurses per eight-hour shift would it take to administer vaccines if x people arrived per hour and took m minutes per person to "give the injection" and you wanted to keep the average wait time per person at less? 10 minutes? The math is the same whether you change the question to "how many ATMs do I need in a bank branch ..." or how much money the government bridge authority will have to return, per year, to bondholders who buy securities. to build a new bridge at x percent interest compounded monthly? Clearly, it is the same "math" as if you were to ask what the repayment amount will be on a loan obtained by a private sector company to, for example, build a new factory.

Another thing to consider is that you should never stop learning. Being open to learning new things and having new experiences will qualify you for future opportunities. Learning doesn't end the moment you write your last undergraduate exam or submit your latest research paper.

I answered an almost similar question earlier, let me use it to give a substantive answer.

I went to university and studied Political Science. It was not my first choice, but it was the course that I was accepted in college.

I really liked some of the courses, while the others bored me a lot. Sometimes it would depend on the teacher.

My main problem came after I graduated. When I graduated, I realized that I did not know any real world skills to be able to work properly. Also, he did not know where he should work or what industry to work in.

He literally had no idea what to do next.

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I answered an almost similar question earlier, let me use it to give a substantive answer.

I went to university and studied Political Science. It was not my first choice, but it was the course that I was accepted in college.

I really liked some of the courses, while the others bored me a lot. Sometimes it would depend on the teacher.

My main problem came after I graduated. When I graduated, I realized that I did not know any real world skills to be able to work properly. Also, he did not know where he should work or what industry to work in.

He literally had no idea what to do next.

I had no idea what to do next. I got really mad. My degree didn't prepare me for the job, I thought. It didn't prepare me for the real world.

I was panicking. I can't code like programming students do, I can't do engineering things like engineering students, I can't draw like architecture students.

MY KINDNESS, I HAD NO SKILL!

It was some time before he got over it. Finally, I figured out what to do next.

I'm a believer that life has a way of nudging you in the right direction as long as you keep going.

I decided to pursue a graduate degree and now I am happy with what I do. I believe that I can make a significant contribution to society and it really makes me feel alive.

Looking back, I couldn't be more wrong.

If I were to evaluate my thoughts after graduation, I can completely say that I was very wrong.

My degree did not give me the skills I needed to survive in the real world. Rather, it shaped my understanding of the world and made me a vessel that can acquire the ultimate skills I need to be successful.

I became more open to different perspectives, more adept at analyzing the implications of things and looking at a given topic from different angles.

I became critical. That was my best lesson: a critical mind, something everyone should have, but only a few people focus on getting it.

My degree taught me to be a critical thinker.

And that's what I've been building on throughout my 20 years.

So no, I don't regret anything Jon Snow.


If you were able to resonate with my story, you may want to check out my PROFILE for additional insights from my ProjectGoForward website, or just read my most viewed and voted responses on growth and other topics. I hope they help you with whatever you are going through and chasing in life.

Health!

I read many of the other answers to your question and I think they are all valid and accurate. Let me add just a little bit.

You asked for a "brutally honest opinion on the major." From your request, I assume that you, like me at your (what I assume is young) age, have not really figured out what you think you might want to do with the rest of your life. If I am correct, rest assured that everything will work out in the end. Live every day, don't worry so much and enjoy where you are and who you are with now. "Now" is something you will never get back.

So, to be brutally honest, in

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I read many of the other answers to your question and I think they are all valid and accurate. Let me add just a little bit.

You asked for a "brutally honest opinion on the major." From your request, I assume that you, like me at your (what I assume is young) age, have not really figured out what you think you might want to do with the rest of your life. If I am correct, rest assured that everything will work out in the end. Live every day, don't worry so much and enjoy where you are and who you are with now. "Now" is something you will never get back.

So, to be brutally honest, I enjoyed the specialty. I never had a "passion" for it, although I thought then that I was supposed to have it, but it held my interest well enough. But first, some background.

I went to an average urban liberal arts catholic college on the east coast. I was ten minutes from my house growing up. I was an average student. I didn't work as hard as I could have. I liked some of my teachers (one in particular served as a long-term mentor and friend until his untimely death from cancer). I did not like others. Some challenged me; Others let me skate (and I skated where I could). I was focused (that is, worried) where I was going in life and what was next, and how I was going to get a job. I think all of those things can be true regardless of specialty.

I was the first in my family to go to college. If it hadn't been, a family member would have advised me to specialize in Accounting, Computer Science, or some other specialization that would provide me with specialized training that would likely lead to gainful employment. I'm glad that didn't happen. I'm glad I never made the mistakes (and there were many) I did, nor did I enjoy the many successes along the way: working in social work, going to law school at night, becoming a stockbroker, owning a business. (food distribution: multiple companies), financial services executive, law firm partner, and I'm sure I've forgotten a few.

Political Science allowed me to explore a topic in depth and forced me to learn to do research and write (or at least it got me started, law school honed those skills). That specialty, as I am sure any classical liberal arts career would, taught me to think, to listen, to reason, to argue (in a civilized and dispassionate way, certainly not without thought or reason, something I think we all have seen too much lately) and to support a position (I know, that's law school too, but I think it starts in the liberal arts). It taught me to consider the opinions of the other parties. It taught me to commit, in a good way to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome, not my values ​​or principles. It certainly didn't lead directly to a job. Let's be clear about that. It will not. Accept that now.

Now consider that I had the luxury of an annual tuition of less than $ 10,000. It could allow me to enjoy that specialization and all the benefits that come with it. I may not make the same decision today. Hell, he might not have gone to college today. So if money is less of an issue for you, by all means you must be greater in what you want. But if so, you might want to check out Accounting.

What I can tell you is that perseverance, the pursuit of excellence in everything you do (do not do things by halves), think and define what you want from life (not just a career) and take the necessary actions (do , do, do!) to get you where you want to be is advice you wish you had received as a young college student.

Forgive me if I was a bit presumptuous in my spiel. Maybe you didn't want or need my advice. And I'm not sure it helps. But I wish I had it when I was in your shoes.

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