Pathways: From a Political Science education to the world of work

The labour market recognizes the value of a liberal arts degree, which means that there are many career paths to choose from. Employers value the skills that students develop through a liberal arts education, like communication, critical thinking, adaptability and more.

November 28, 2022

By: Jeffrey Low

With so many potential career paths, how do students start narrowing their options and taking action to enter the world of work?

A new course, Pathways: Approaching Life with a Political Science Degree (POLSCI 4AL3), proposes a new approach to make the transition from the classroom and the workplace easier for students.

The course — which is facilitated by the Department of Political Science and supported by the Faculty of Social Science, Careers & Experiential Education, Alumni Engagement and Student Success Centre — is interdisciplinary and experience based. In addition to the academic components, it incorporates key elements of career exploration, planning and development.

“Pathways helps students apply the skills and knowledge gained in their Political Science courses to the world of work,” says Lana Wylie, course instructor and associate professor in the Department of Political Science. “In addition to assignments typically found in Political Science courses, such as essays, students participate in a hiring committee simulation, networking events, and are matched with an alumni mentor.”

Anna Magnotta, manager, employment and experiential learning at the Student Success Centre, notes that helping students identify the core competencies they’re gaining during their academic studies can lead to more opportunities for career development. “Skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and leadership consistently rank among the most in-demand by employers, and they serve as a foundation for exploring career opportunities,” she adds.

Additionally, incorporating resources offered by the Student Success Centre in the course content reminds students that they have access to support outside the classroom and during the transition to work. Support areas include experiential learning, career counselling and job search, and more. For example, the Student Success Centre’s career counsellors can help students create an action plan, support their career exploration journey and develop career goals.

Pathways: Approaching Life with a Political Science Degree is supported by funding from the Partnered in Teaching and Learning Strategy grants program.