Tag Archives: Jobs

Just HOW relevant is Political Science?

As a political science major, it would be nice to believe that the field of study is so necessary articles like this would not be an issue; however, it bears looking into.

Senator Tom Coburn, Republican from OK, proposed that the National Science Foundation (NSF) stop “wasting… federal research fund[s] on political science projects,” and while political scientists rallied against this in opposition, many acknowledge that the field’s direction is under debate.

This main debate is based upon quantitative and qualitative methodology. Jeffrey C. Isaac, a professor at Indiana University in Bloomington, is the editor of Perspectives on Politics, a journal created to “bridge the divide” after a “revolt” was led against the “growing influence of statistical methods and mathematics-based models.” The concern about the method the field utilizes is frankly where the problem lies; with political science, it is not simply the facts and figures that are relevant, but the influences behind them–an abstract measure that is simply an interpretation.

One of the concerns is that “the field is  not producing work that matters. ‘The danger is that political science is moving in the direction of saying more and more about less and less’,” says John Nye, a professor at the School of Government at Harvard. This comes to the forefront when there is such a divide on what kind of research should be used.

Despite Coburn’s proposal, it is relevant to mention that social science is a leading field being utilized by the Defense Department, which has been “recruiting scholars… to work on security issues like terrorism, Iraq, and China’s military.”

So what does this mean for someone, say, this author, who is currently studying this field? One may be holding up hope that even if this bill passes, the faith in the field stays strong. Political Science, “a social science concerned with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior” is–one would argue–ultimately important in today’s world. Analysis of how the dynamics of political systems function, and the demographics and circumstances states and nations are influenced by may shed light on why future events happen, or at least why past events occurred.

Mr. Isaac relates: “…political scientists can and should do a better job of making the public relevance of our work clearer” and I agree. Not everyone immediately understands the breadth of political science and its relevance in the career world or its functionality in society today; however, it is the lens political analysts use in structuring and answering the question “who gets what, when, and how.”

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You are not your degree.

Such are the first words of Anaezi Modu, a Fast Company blogger and innovator of ReBrand™, a “global resource for visual examples and case studies on effective brand transformations.” Ms. Modu offered the Professional Writing class important things to consider when en route toward developing a career.

“You are not your degree” translates to looking beyond the confines your major would like to put you in; she stresses people to “get out of the box” others have put you in as you forge your own personal identity, your personal brand. Branding, she explains, is the “look and feel of you,” the “sum total of experiences with a person, place, or thing” and therefore not one defining aspect of a person brands them. Your brand is you, and every aspect you put into displaying who you are and what you have to offer correlates to your return on investment.

Regarding Rebrand.com, it is the direct evolution of this philosophy – as Ms. Modu was an architecture student, with degrees from Princeton, one of the fundamental areas in design is what is the main focus? What do you want others to see and notice upon looking at the infrastructure? Applying this thought of looking outside the box, she then asks, “Who says I have to design a building?” In identifying a niche, a new way of looking at what is in front of you, she applies this idea of physical space that an architect uses, to the abstract view modeled in a website. Rebrand focuses on how people access information and who is accessing it, and offers experiences on how to then transform this information to improve usability.

Such a concept is vital in today’s world, as the use and importance of internet and the success of “new media” grows.

Interview with Ms. Modu by Chris Butler

Visit her website: http://www.rebrand.com

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Jobs in the new media market

So what’s going on? A couple weeks ago the second section of my Professional Writing class was privileged to participate in a Skype chat discussion with Reginald Ponder, who has a heavy hand in the media market of today’s world. He offered different perspectives and interpretations on the types of jobs available to someone looking to work in the media, which is important as print jobs in journalism are steadily decreasing.

Fields he mentioned include a “media career,” which he outlines as a focus on how to buy and sell media, becoming a “media guru”; a member of public relations; and the promotional aspect of marketing. These jobs are moving into the forefront of late because there is a new demand for them, especially public relations. Mr. Ponder outlined that working with public relations required good writing and people skills, and it was important that one know how to influence people.

This idea cemented current knowledge, for one has to be able to relate to others in this day and age if the product (or opinion) is to sell. With advertising and many market segments linking to areas of new media – video games, movies, television – new strategies are in effect changing the face of media.

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