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Political Science Help

Guest coolry

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Guest coolry



I am a college bound high school senior and am thinking of majoring in Political Science degree. I would like for someone with experience getting this degree to please answer the following:


1.) What experience or knowledge is required to do your job?


2.) What must you do each day?


3.)What type of projects, assignments or deadlines must you meet?


4.) What is the biggest challenge you have encountered?



In advance, thank you, and I appreciate your answers.

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1. Do you want to be a prof? IF not, what are you going to do with a poli sci degree?

2. Study hard

3. Read textbooks, write papers

What are your goals, what do you want to do with it, what ranked school are you at? All of this matters

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Hi! I am actually a current high school teacher and I am going back for my PhD this year. I have a BA and an MA in political science. I have quite a few students who are interested in the major and here's some advice I give them: 1. Before you get wrapped up in trying to figure out what you are exactly going to do, you need to take some intro classes in college and decide if it's really what interests you. 2. If you want to do any sort of social science (history, PoliSci, etc.,) plan on going to grad school. I wish I would've went straight through to the phd, instead of doing the MA separately 3. As far as jobs, you will most likely end up teaching in some capacity. However, there are government jobs out there. I suggest you really polish your foreign language skills, if you're interested in comparative or Internatioal relations, or becoming acquainted with research methodology. 4. Plan to research, read an write. I don't know what high school you're graduating from, but as a teacher, I don't think we emphasize that enough on the high school level. I think it's great you're considering a PoliSci major! I know I didn't answer your exact questions, but if you want to talk more, feel free to message me with any questions. What got you interested in PoliSci?

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Tess is right. The only thing that is employable is Economics, which I have. I got a job 2 weeks after graduation because everyone who heard i was an econ major said "economics? ewww thats hard, he must be smart). However, most econ majors, depending on the school and grade inflation, do not have super high grades. Listen to Tess. She knows what she is talking about.

And take math and stats classes. I met a Investment Banking Analyst who was a poli sci major but a mathematics minor and the math is what got him in the door. He was going to go to law school..Hope he turned out ok :/

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I would with agree with Tess as well…


Take some intro classes from a bunch of different disciplines and figure out what you really like. Keep an open mind while you’re doing it, too. You might take some Political Science courses, and find out it's not your cup of tea. College/life will be MUCH more enjoyable if you like what you are doing. I have friends that ended up with a degree in accounting because they didn’t know what else to do; and although they have a secure job at the end, their college academic experience was miserable (and I’m worried about their level of satisfaction they're getting out of their career). Don’t be too concerned right away if there is a job or a career at the other end—that will eventually work out. If you do not want to pursue a graduate degree at the end, that’s okay, there are still plenty of skills learned and demonstrated by an undergraduate degree in PS. My advice would be to work hard and focus on your education, learning, and figuring out your interests. Have fun too.


If you find out that your passion is in academics or political science, that’s awesome… It’s a varied field, and there are a variety routes to take.


As a high school senior, you have time to figure this sort of thing out. Talk it over with your advisor; see if you can get a summer internship, figure out some books you can read on the subject, etcetera. But at this stage, you don’t need to fully commit to a career, (you honestly don't need to be fully committed to a major either, most people end up switching them anyway. But I reckon it's a good thing to start thing about)... 


As far as your actual questions—reading, writing, and critical thinking skills are a must. And those skills only improve by doing them, so read and write often about a variety of subjects. Some of the sub-disciplines in political science require math, statistics, and things like that. For example, the primary skills and kind of thinking needed for political theory/philosophy are slightly different from formal methodology or comparative politics. That is another reason to take several introductory courses to figure out where your interests are.


My day to day is filled with reading, writing, research, and discussion. As far as specific deadlines, projects, and assignments—that depends on the course, professor, and the goals of the school's academic department. For example, I attend a small-ish  university-- the nature of which facilitates a large amount of class-discussion, and room for individual essays (ave class size is around 13). For larger universities, you may end up in a lecture hall with 200 other students, and you end up with a scan-tron exam. (Keep this sort of thing in mind during your college-search... there are benefits to both-- consider what will work best for you). 


My biggest challenge was taking a course that focused on economics. The reading was very dry, and the topic did not keep my interest. Honestly, I could care less about uncovering and analyzing subtle trends in the financial market. But that’s just me… you can tell by other posts on this forum that they are all about it. There’s enough room in Political Science for all of us. That’s kind of why I like it. There’s no one-way to look at politics; it’s a field that is constantly changing, and it is a subject that requires multiple points of view— I think that’s part of the appeal, especially for those of us pursuing an academic-route. 


Oh, and no matter what you end up doing, I’d suggest taking foreign language… Only positive things can come from that. As a side-note: my language courses in college were exponentially better and more helpful than the ones I took in high school.


Good luck in your college search!

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