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Career Preparation and the Political Science Major: Evidence from Departments

  • Todd A. Collins (a1), H. Gibbs Knotts (a1) and Jen Schiff (a1)
Abstract

We know little about the amount of career preparation offered to students in political science departments. This lack of information is particularly troubling given the state of the current job market and the growth of applied degree programs on university campuses. To address this issue, this article presents the results of a December 2010 survey of 279 political science department chairs that asked questions about the level of career preparation in their respective departments. Based on our empirical findings, we believe that political science departments are not doing enough to address their students' career preparation. Our results demonstrate that most departments rely on voluntary internships and faculty advisers to address career-related issues for political science majors. Only a few departments use required internships, required resumes, specific classes related to career preparation, and social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn to support career preparation. We also found substantial differences in career preparation across department type (BA, MA, and PhD) and between public and private universities, urban and rural universities, and universities with different average SAT scores. Our findings should interest faculty and administrators who are concerned with different approaches to career preparation on college campuses.

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References
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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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