What a degree in political science can do for you

Yesterday we were privileged to have Prof. David Campbell of Notre Dame University here on campus to present a convocation on religion and American politics. He also guest-lectured in both of my GOV 110 courses and met with some upper-level Government students. He had some special advice for those students which I thought worth repeating. He said that a degree in political science is useful for the following two reasons:

First: it teaches you how to write. This is a skill that is easily transferable to any other field or profession. He emphasized that those who rise to the top in their professions are very often those who can write clearly and effectively.

Second: it teaches you how to think like a social scientist. This is important because everyone makes educated guesses about why things happen in the world. He said that critical thinking skills (like those taught in social science courses) are essential for being able to determine whether or not these causal explanations are valid or not, as well as to be able to develop your own causal explanations about how the world works. This set of skills can be applied just about anywhere and in just about any profession.

I would personally add that political science courses also often help develop numerical literacy skills (in the empirical-based classes), as well as being able to determine why we should be interested in any of it in the first place (philosophy-based classes).

One response to “What a degree in political science can do for you

  1. You can get these soft skills in a lot of other degree fields, too. And most of those degree fields, like political science, rarely translate into being able to get a job after university. ;-)

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