Edited by John Ishiyama, William J. Miller and Eszter Simon
Chapter 13: Promoting employability and jobs skills via the political science curriculum
The most frustrating question a student in the UK can be asked when they tell people they are studying political science at any level of study is, ‘What are you going to do with that degree, then – become a Member of Parliament?’ Given that there are 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) in the UK system and that each year over 200 students graduate from my university alone with a political science or international relations degree, that career path would seem to be a very crowded one! The question, though, is symptomatic of a broader issue for political science – what jobs does a political science degree prepare you for and what skills does a political science degree give you? The question of what a political science degree prepares you for is often at the forefront of students’ minds when they are studying the subject (Holmes and Miller 2000). Consequently, the pressure is increasing on disciplines such as political science and international relations that have no clearly defined route, to prepare their students for the future. Therefore the chapter utilizes debates about employability as shorthand to encompass the variety of issues associated with this topic.
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