Political science is a degree that concerns itself with the government, historical events, and modern conflicts. It is a scientific study of politics at all levels. Political science is not like the usual science subjects such as physics, chemistry, or biology. Political science is more theoretical and less technical.
In this article, we will be going over the difficulty of political science, its usefulness, and other frequently asked questions.
Is Political Science Hard?
Political science is moderately hard. Political science is not as difficult as STEM majors but it is somewhat challenging as it requires you to provide in-depth analysis backed with relevant evidence, go through books with complex jargon, and conduct lengthy discussions on intricate topics.
Political science is a branch of social science and covers a wide range of topics, from international relations to political theory. These topics are not discussed in regular conversations and are quite obscure for someone starting in political science. Moreover, the subject matter in political science is quite complex and challenging.
There is extensive writing involved in political science. The content you produce must be authentic, logical, and well-reasoned. You must also back your writing with relevant evidence. The style of writing required in political science is quite different from what most people are used to and hence, takes some time to get a hang of.
When studying political science, making hypotheses and reaching conclusions is not a straightforward task. You must analyze various perspectives and ideologies thoroughly. In the end, you still might not be satisfied with your conclusion due to the ambiguity of the material.
A science student is taught that it is important to define and understand terms clearly before moving on. However, in political science, a single term can imply various meanings when used in different contexts.
For example, the term ‘equality’ can be different when used as ‘equality under the law’ or ‘equality of opportunity. People can have different views on these notions. How you define these terms depends on your political views.
Moreover, political science is very demanding. Not only must you be on top of your work but must also allocate time for independent research. This will help you build your knowledge and argue your points better.
You must also be an excellent writer and communicator if you want to pursue political science. The constant pressure to improve yourself and enhance your soft skills can make studying political science stressful. These factors combined make political science a relatively hard field.
Political Science is hard if lengthy discussions, extensive writing, and understanding of complex texts bore you. It can be a cakewalk if these things interest you. Although the work may be burdensome, it is not very difficult if you keep at it.
Is Political Science a Useless Degree?
Political science is not a useless degree. However, it is not a very useful degree either. This is because political science will equip you with important skills such as critical thinking, researching, and communication but will not prepare you for any specific job.
After completing a major in political science, you will have outstanding skills in critical thinking, research, organization, open communication, data analysis, problem-solving, and many more.
Political Science is a generalist degree, and it does not qualify you for any specific job. With a political science degree, you can take several career routes: public administration and government, law, public relations, policy analysis, market research, journalism, and politics.
A bachelor’s in political science is just the first step toward your career. The job opportunities that you will get immediately after your bachelor’s might not be as many, or as well paid as a STEM major. An advanced degree in political science combined with gaining the necessary expertise will help you achieve higher-paying jobs.
There is no doubt that political science can provide you with enough flexibility in terms of career opportunities. However, a major in political science will not train you for any particular job. Instead, it will help you learn soft skills which will give you the edge in your cover letters, interviews, and networking.
Does Political Science Require A Lot Of Writing?
Political science does require a lot of writing. Social science majors such as political science put great emphasis on reading, writing, analysis, research, and critical thinking.
There are multiple forms of writing involved in a political science major, it could be a summary of a topic, an analysis, or a synthesis. The writing could be an in-class brainstorming session, an essay of three to four pages, or a research paper that could go up to twelve pages.
An analysis is different from a summary; you do not answer ‘what’ but describe the ‘how’ of the argument. These are usually essay length and are often assigned as take-home assignments. When writing a synthesis, you combine ideas and facts from different sources and come up with your own thesis. It requires a lot of research and writing.
Writing plays an important role in political science because it helps you become a better communicator and thinker. You will learn how to think clearly and get your message across in a coherent manner.
Does Political Science Require Math?
Political science is a versatile degree and it does require basic math. However, math in political science is limited to arithmetic, statistics, and analysis.
When observing political data, basic math skills are required. You need math for understanding key statistics such as numbers related to polls and electorates, tax liability, and whilst studying economics.
A political scientist in the practical world develops mathematical models to predict political outcomes. A quite simple example of math in political science can be found in voting.
Political science does require math. At the undergraduate level, math is quite basic and should not be a cause of concern.
To sum everything up, political science combines history, politics, and scientific reasoning into one packet. After studying political science, you will be able to analyze political situations and propose fresh solutions to the world’s issues. Political science is related to many other fields such as law and philosophy.
Political science will equip you with several valuable skills that are transferrable to several fields and various walks of life. If you find political science interesting then the difficulty of the subject, especially in terms of the math and writing requirements, should not be of great concern.