ERIC Number: ED209153
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Sep-4
Reference Count: 0
Graduate Training and Potential Employment for Political Scientists: The MIT Perspective.
This paper presents ideas on ways to help graduate students in political science to become more marketable for nonacademic positions. It also includes background information on the changing employment market for Ph.D.'s. These ideas were discussed at a 1980 meeting of teachers, graduate students, and recent Ph.D.'s at MIT. The purpose of the meeting was to help MIT political science faculty members determine how to adapt the graduate program in light of changing employment conditions. Factors identified as particularly significant with regard to employment of political science Ph.D.'s include the increase in private sector opportunities that are not directly tied to government expenditure, the decrease in entry-level academic positions, and the reduction in research opportunities caused by cut-backs in government funding for social science research. Several suggestions were offered to help faculty revise the political science graduate curriculum in line with these trends, including generating a cultural environment which encourages students to opt for nonacademic careers; stressing problem-solving skills in addition to academic research skills; helping students learn how to work within tight limits on money, time, and client interest; stressing the importance of oral and written communication skills; including more economics in the political science curriculum; focusing on quantitative research skills; and arranging internships in nonacademic work environments during graduate school. The conclusion is that college and university political science departments should provide training for their students which combines an understanding of the types of demands most often made in nonacademic careers with traditional research skills. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (New York, NY, September 4, 1981).