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Posted: 10/3/2005 6:15:45 PM EDT
First a little background I guess. I'm 21, Junior at VCU (www.vcu.edu), and i'm obviously a Poli Sci major. I started off with going into the Air Force and did ROTC but when I went through with it I found it to be the biggest joke, and nothing more than a frat, it turned me off from it and I stopped it. So now i've got about a year and a half til I graduate and I don't have a freaking clue what to do.

Thought about being a police officer, but i'm not sure. Thought about law school for Constitutional law, but the thought of more school just doesn't seem to resinate well with me, i'm burnt out enough as it is.

I really don't want to relocate either, I love Virginia and I love where I am from, and I want to stay here if possible.

Anybody have any suggestions?
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:16:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/3/2005 6:20:51 PM EDT by Not_so_Clever]
Foggy Bottom?

Mil Intel?

CIA?

FBI?

Fatherl­and Security?

Unamed Alphabet soup?
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:17:26 PM EDT
change majors?
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:18:53 PM EDT
If you are tired of school, it would probably be a mistake to go to law school. There you would have 3 years of actual studying, not the 4 years of partying with studying now and again that one needs for a social science degree...
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:20:23 PM EDT
uhhh....politics? Get an internship with a local Congressional/Senate district office and start networking. If not interested, their is always LE, either local or federal.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:25:00 PM EDT
If you want to stay with it - sorry, but a grad degree will be in your future.

Why not get .gov to pay for it.

BTDT
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:25:57 PM EDT
What laws of physics do you study in political "science"? Any complex equations involved? A lot of math? What, if I might ask, are the laws of politics? Provable hypotheses? Reproducible experiments? Would you say that it is as challenging as, say physical sciences such as chemistry? Or the more ephemeral, logic-based sciences such as mathematics?
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:27:49 PM EDT
Yeah poli/sci isnt really good for much other than a ticket to law school. I thought about Poli/Sci for a while but I think im going to opt for Business/Econ for this very reason. I still might do Poli/Sci as a minor considering I have an intrest in LE stuff.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:29:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FooBarBaz:
What laws of physics do you study in political "science"? Any complex equations involved? A lot of math? What, if I might ask, are the laws of politics? Provable hypotheses? Reproducible experiments? Would you say that it is as challenging as, say physical sciences such as chemistry? Or the more ephemeral, logic-based sciences such as mathematics?



Shhh...you'll scare him!

- Future MSEE -
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:29:33 PM EDT
Ask for a refund?
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:29:58 PM EDT
I'm a POLS Major but will be adding History soon.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:34:03 PM EDT


Waiter

Bartender

that's about it
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:34:28 PM EDT
I hate to sound like an asshole... but I guess I kinda am an asshole so here goes.

You picked an almost worthless major. Poli-Sci, along with "liberal arts" is what a lot of libs pick when they have no idea what they want to do with their life but they want to stay in school and be worthless for awhile longer before they have to enter the real world.

Unless you want to go to grad school and become a teacher, you aren't going to be able to do much with a Poli-Sci degree. If you don't want to get into politics in some form, why the hell did you choose Poli-Sci?

There are a hell of a lot of fields you could have chosen that aren't too hard that could have actually given you opportunities after you graduate.

My ex-gf has a degree in Poli-Sci and she made the decision to go to grad school since her only other option was to continue being a waitress.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:37:27 PM EDT
Graduated with a similar humanities degree in 2004.

Don't worry too much. Your next few years have an 80% chance of suckage, based upon an informal survey I conducted.

Thoughts:

Talk to career services/placement foks @ your school. This is their full time job.
Work for congresscritter as a aide, if you've got your shit together
Intern/legal assitant. Small/independent practices have certain advantages, but you can also end up with a complete piece of shit taking advantage of you.
Sales. You've got a humanities degree, you'd better be quick on your feet and personable by now. If you can sell, you'll never go hungry.

Oh yeah - you can enlist. Sorry USAF ROTC was a joke. The punch line may come when they have to do BMT, or when they have to lead.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:38:00 PM EDT
Well, we sure could use a few lawyers who actually followed teh Constitution.

Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:38:50 PM EDT
I give you $5 if you apply your new found knowledge toward explaining WTF is happening in/to my country, politically and socially.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:41:22 PM EDT
I've been trying to figure out what to do with my Poli Sci degree since 1993. I've got a fairly good job now, but no thanks to the degree. If I could start over, I would have gone for something different. My problem at the time was that I wanted to get the easiest degree possible, and for me that was Poli Sci. I was also burnt out after 4 years, but I would take that burnout over the career burnout I have now. My advice would be to get a degree where you actually learn something that can be used in the real world. From my experiences, none of the social science degrees teach you how to do anything, except get a degree.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:42:05 PM EDT
Teaching perhaps or possibly a MSW (Masters in Social Work) to assist those who need help. How about looking at discussing this topic with your adviser? Last time I was in school they had one assigned maybe its changed. Check into career choices at the career center, get your resume ready. OBTW what have you been doing in the summer? Any internship possibilities in your area of interest?
How about looking into a career in the foreign service, taking the Civil Service exam, or applying to grad school. The more possibilities you have the greater chance you have of landing a new direction. Don't sit on your a** looking for answers in the bottom of a beer stein. Get off your duff and make something of yourself. If you've gotten this far in college without a clue about what you want start moving in any direction. Once you get moving you'll see some progress. You can always change direction but as Isaac Newton said many years ago a body at rest tends to remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force, That force is you. You have tremendous potential energy now use some kinetic force and move it toward a new goal.


Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:42:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By squeezecockerp7m8:
If you are tired of school, it would probably be a mistake to go to law school. There you would have 3 years of actual studying, not the 4 years of partying with studying now and again that one needs for a social science degree...



2 years max.

1st year they scare you to death,
2nd year they work you to death
3rd year they bore you to death

I'd be thinking about grad school myself. Get an assistanceship or a free ride else you'll be repaying your loans until you're 65.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:43:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KnobCreek:
I give you $5 if you apply your new found knowledge toward explaining WTF is happening in/to my country, politically and socially.



We're ignoring the Constitution, and the writings of the FF who illuminated the intent of the Constitution.

I accept Paypal for that $5 offer.



Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:09:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Cypher214:
I hate to sound like an asshole... but I guess I kinda am an asshole so here goes.

You picked an almost worthless major. Poli-Sci, along with "liberal arts" is what a lot of libs pick when they have no idea what they want to do with their life but they want to stay in school and be worthless for awhile longer before they have to enter the real world...



Hey, I resemble that remark.... all except the "lib" moniker.

I also, as the only one who was working his way through school, wanted to establish a fund to teach the little neo-hippie children how to sweep floors. change light bulbs, and flip burgers... that way, they'd be prepared for their jobs when they graduated.

And yeah, you're an asshole!

<­BR>



Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:12:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tango7:

Originally Posted By Cypher214:
I hate to sound like an asshole... but I guess I kinda am an asshole so here goes.

You picked an almost worthless major. Poli-Sci, along with "liberal arts" is what a lot of libs pick when they have no idea what they want to do with their life but they want to stay in school and be worthless for awhile longer before they have to enter the real world...



Hey, I resemble that remark.... all except the "lib" moniker.

I also, as the only one who was working his way through school, wanted to establish a fund to teach the little neo-hippie children how to sweep floors. change light bulbs, and flip burgers... that way, they'd be prepared for their jobs when they graduated.

And yeah, you're an asshole!





So, in other words, you're admitting that my analysis is dead on... except for the lib part...?

I rest my case.

Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:13:42 PM EDT
"You want fries with that?"
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:17:59 PM EDT
Fiend,

You are in the same dilemna I was in (Sociology).

GO to law school, or go learn a useful trade like carpentry. Use the Polisci degree to start a fire with this winter.


GR
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:19:19 PM EDT
You can be a department assistant manager at Wal-Mart.

Or go to law school like the rest of us.

R.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:21:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/3/2005 7:21:33 PM EDT by -Absolut-]
You guys crack me up. The advice here is so off-base it's laughable.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:21:18 PM EDT
I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be hard to switch over to Criminal Justice if your really interested in doing LE stuff. I'm in AFROTC also, and thought of doing Pol. Sci. too hoping it would make me look good for an intel job, but i always told myself to pick a degree I liked and would be useful just in case rotc doesnt work out..

Good Luck, stay positive!
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:25:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/3/2005 7:25:36 PM EDT by Winston_Wolf]
... "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy." - Sir Ernest Benn
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:29:20 PM EDT
Most people who have a non specialty degree don't end up working in their 'field'. For the record, a large chunk of those who do get jobs in their major field only do it a little while, then move into an alternate area. (Ex, engineer moving to the business side)

A political science degree is not a bad place jump from to a teaching certificate. Don't let the press fool you, starting teachers get paid fairly well. Their issue is that their pay grows slowly, and caps early.

You could always get a job scrubbing down the VCU area, as it's in desparate need of a good washin'.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:31:37 PM EDT
For fuck sakes learn to spell resinate.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:41:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
You guys crack me up. The advice here is so off-base it's laughable.



Please elaborate!
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:45:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FooBarBaz:
What laws of physics do you study in political "science"? Any complex equations involved? A lot of math? What, if I might ask, are the laws of politics? Provable hypotheses? Reproducible experiments? Would you say that it is as challenging as, say physical sciences such as chemistry? Or the more ephemeral, logic-based sciences such as mathematics?



Politics is how you decide who gets what and how much.

Political science is the study of these processes.

Directional voter theory. Mostly statistics, lots of stat (a major breakthru would be to find that consistently, 5% of people who own X will vote Republican for no other reason, because you can add 5s and 10s together and get NASCAR Dads and Soccer Moms). Throw in some political economics. How do tariffs effect the standard of living? Trend analysis. Can you predict a political party's views on social programs just by knowing where they stand on European integration Marks and Hooge (two of my profs) found out you can. Can you model the information processing of the American political system the same way macroeconomists model the economy? It turns out you can do that as well.

Political science is becoming much more driven by mathematics in the way economics shifted once Paul Samuelson wrote Foundations of Economic Analysis. There is no poli sci equal to econometrics yet though.

-----------------------------

You could be a teacher. Or go to grad school and teach. Or go to grad school and work for a political campaign. You could be the next Karl Rove. You could work for a think tank but you'd have to move to a state capital or to DC.

I would get some internships. Either congressional or try to get one with the CIA, FBI, NSA, State Dept, etc. A friend just graduated and is working as an intern for the Heritage Foundation. They're irate over the Meirs nomination BTW.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:47:25 PM EDT
DU?



Just a joke, as I am an Engineer.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:47:56 PM EDT
For all Liberal Arts Majors, you will need to know how to say this
"Would you like fries with that?"
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:58:04 PM EDT
I have a good long time friend who got his PolySci degree from Boston University (1976+-). Sometime in his last year he realised he was faceing a grim outlook job wise.He did not want the mental and financial burden of law school. He did a hurried search of any masters degrees he already had a head start on as far as classes he had allready taken. He managed to get his masters in economics with one year and some summer school.
He has been living the good life as a comercial banker for many years. Needless to say he is a smart shit and likely would have done well whatever he did .
When asked why he chose Poly Sci he said it interested him but there was nothing practical to do with it without going to school for something to go along with it or an advanched degree so you could teach it to some other fool.
Poly Sci always looks good on a resume as long as you have something else to go with it.
Oh yeah,after spending close to 6 years in a college in Boston Ma. he is a total liberal idiot who hates guns. His first job was in Houston for about 6 or 8 years and even Texas couldn't fix his way of thinking!
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 8:03:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KBaker:
"You want fries with that?"



+1


Link Posted: 10/3/2005 8:08:34 PM EDT
Fiend-

The most important question:

What do you want to do afterwards? Dream a little, and tell us. Do you really want to go into law enforcement?

Your answer to that question is the most important factor in anyone else's answer.

Above all, I would say:

- talk to a career advisor
- get a minor in something else as well as PolSci, or switch majors if you realy want.
- GET AN INTERNSHIP IN A JOB YOU"RE INTERESTED IN!!!!!
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 2:08:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By crazyquik:
You could be a teacher. Or go to grad school and teach. Or go to grad school and work for a political campaign. You could be the next Karl Rove. You could work for a think tank but you'd have to move to a state capital or to DC.

I would get some internships. Either congressional or try to get one with the CIA, FBI, NSA, State Dept, etc. A friend just graduated and is working as an intern for the Heritage Foundation. They're irate over the Meirs nomination BTW.




Thanks for all the responses guys, I posted this then crapped out for the evening. Well really posted it said "ok time to watch some tv check on the thread for a bit" and I was out in 5 minutes.

Anyways, there's a million things in my mind with what I want to do but I don't really know where to go. I'm thinking about Double Majoring in Homeland Security for shits and giggles because the core courses for Poli Sci are electives for Homeland Security, and the core courses for Homeland Security are elective for Poli Sci. Be the first kid on my block to graduate with a degree in Homeland Security(BTW we're the only school in the nation with such a program

The thinktank sounds real cool, plus I already live 15 minutes from Richmond so i'm basically in the capital of the state, though I don't think I could ever live in DC(NO GUNS!) It's something i've thought about for a while. The internships are coming up soon here they have oppurtunities at:

CIA in Washington DC -- (3.0 GPA minimum) -- November 1
FBI Honors Program in Washington DC (3.0 GPA) -- November 1
FBI NCAVC at Quantico (3.0 GPA) -- November 15
NSA -- October 15
State Department -- November 1

My only problem is currently I have no GPA I just transferred from VCU and when you transfer to schools, your GPA starts over.

The only thing that has stayed the same in my life over the past 6 some years is my passion for politics and what I believe in. And tired of seeing what's going on. The naive person in me wants to be able to change and fix this country.

Today im gonna call the Poli Sci dept and see what they can do in the way of an advisor
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 2:12:14 AM EDT
Law school, politics, grad school for something more useful, or .mil
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 2:29:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fiend:
The only thing that has stayed the same in my life over the past 6 some years is my passion for politics and what I believe in. And tired of seeing what's going on. The naive person in me wants to be able to change and fix this country.

Today im gonna call the Poli Sci dept and see what they can do in the way of an advisor



Alright, I've got alot of respect for that, kudos to you.

I used to be like that, then I realized what an insignificat piss ant I was on the face of the earth, and that changing the life of a single person would just make 2 piss ants.





Seriously, tho, from what I understand the next career step acedemically would be to become a lawyer. But we don't need any more of those, so how about I hook you up at the local fast food joint?

Damn...I guess I just can't be serious in this thread...
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 2:32:49 AM EDT
About half the guys I went to OCS and TBS with had those or history degree's. Without grad school or military added toyour resume, you cannot do much with the degree.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 2:52:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist:
For all Liberal Arts Majors, you will need to know how to say this
"Would you like fries with that?"



And all you geeky science critters can learn to say: "Thank you for defending my country while I pussed out and sucked cock as my lifetime achievement...."

Brok3n, AFROTC is a joke, complete frat full of chairborne rangers...I did it for a year (before deciding to go army) and I still have memories of the "Airborne Ranger" cadences and things like that. The older cadidiots would try to act hardcore but everyone knew that they were just going to be balancing an income statement for the rest of their lives...going to work wearing a blue suit...
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 3:58:16 AM EDT
Why don't you give the NRA a call, see if they need any help at either the national headquarters or the local state association level? Get involved with the grassroots efforts on the state and local level. Course this means you will have make a special effort to keep your nose clean and stay out of trouble from here on out.

As for the degree - long as you have a college degree, that's they way to get your foot in the door when looking for a job. You prove to a potential employer that you have the ability to learn.

Keep one more thing in mind - if your burned out now on the BS and internal politics involved with the University political science department, might want to start developing another plan for a career. Because if you get a job with state or local government it's only going to get worse.

You would not believe the games that people play when employed in govt jobs. Once they pass probation, it's pretty much a free for all circus if they are covered by civil service.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 4:00:54 AM EDT
Your golden opportunity awaits!!!

Become a Democrat political operative DOUBLE AGENT and sabotage` their methods. That is most easily accomplished by stepping out of the way when they run with their weekly talking point.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 4:07:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
You guys crack me up. The advice here is so off-base it's laughable.



Well, what say you?

GR
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 4:49:17 AM EDT
No offense, but shouldn't you have asked this question when you were deciding on a major?

Actually, I think you should have asked the reverse question: "I want to do XXX for a living. What degrees might help me?"

But not everyone knows what they want to do when they first start college, so it's not that big of a deal for you yet, but now you need to decide these issues ASAP. If you're a junior, you've probably been taking mostly core stuff so far anyway, so if you decide to switch majors at this point, it shouldn't be too painful.

My wife has a degree in English from Duke University. She worked really hard and spent a lot of money to get it. She's mostly been working in call centers since she graduated. She originally wanted to teach, but that didn't work out. And there's not much else she can do with an English degree.

Make sure your degree is in a field that will be USEFUL to you in your chosen career path, and make sure it's somewhat flexible in case you decide to do something a little different from what you were originally aiming for.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 4:52:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FooBarBaz:
What laws of physics do you study in political "science"? Any complex equations involved? A lot of math? What, if I might ask, are the laws of politics? Provable hypotheses? Reproducible experiments? Would you say that it is as challenging as, say physical sciences such as chemistry? Or the more ephemeral, logic-based sciences such as mathematics?



Many poli-sci programs require in depth gathering and analysis of statistics, meaning that it is indeed mathematically challenging.

But as for your overall point, give the kid a break. He didn't name the program!
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 4:53:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/4/2005 4:59:08 AM EDT by John_Wayne777]

Originally Posted By BuckeyeRifleman:
Yeah poli/sci isnt really good for much other than a ticket to law school. I thought about Poli/Sci for a while but I think im going to opt for Business/Econ for this very reason. I still might do Poli/Sci as a minor considering I have an intrest in LE stuff.



Not true.

Poli-sci can be a pre-requisite to many different fields of study, and can lead to various jobs in the real world.

There aren't many people these days who end up working in the field their degree is in. I work in IT but studied history, another guy in our department has a masters in developmental psychology, another has a bachelor's in chemistry, etc.

Public Administration is also a decent degree to have, as it qualifies you for management in many organizations, public and private.

Link Posted: 10/4/2005 4:55:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
You guys crack me up. The advice here is so off-base it's laughable.



Indeed!
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 6:57:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/4/2005 9:19:14 AM EDT by xinflt]
Teach, consult, or go into politics.

Edit:

<-------- Poli Sci BS degree holder
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 6:57:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
No offense, but shouldn't you have asked this question when you were deciding on a major?

Actually, I think you should have asked the reverse question: "I want to do XXX for a living. What degrees might help me?"



Not all of us have such a clear vision. Hell, I'm still trying to figure out what I wanna do and I've already got my degrees.
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