Preparing political science students for today’s job market: lessons from Poland
By Adam Szymaniak, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań
“We don’t have enough welders. I know that doesn’t sound ambitious, but it’s better to be a working welder than a poor unemployed political scientist,” said Donald Tusk, Polish Prime Minister and future President of the European Council, in a 2012 radio interview. Tusk discussed the job market situation, expectations for higher education institutions, and the popularity of political science as a field of study. What changed in the following decade? Do political science programs meet the demands of today’s labor market? Which strategies are promising and which are less effective?
This article discusses the measures taken by Polish political science departments to prepare students for the labor market. So far, four strategies seem to be working: extra classes teaching soft skills, advisory boards, internships, and co-op studies. Although these solutions have been implemented in several Polish universities, this article focuses on the political science department of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.