The Economic Value of a Political Science Major

By Joshua Newhall

JoshEvery year Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce releases a comprehensive analysis of the economic benefits of the 137 most typical college majors, titled “The Economic Value of College Majors.” The 2015 report shows that a major in political science can lead to a highly prospective career. While social sciences, as a major subgroup, comprises a mere 6.9% of all college degrees, this report reveals that political science and government studies are actually the 15th most prevalent major course of study, making up nearly two percent of all college degrees being earnt.

After earning their degree, political science majors fair very well when beginning their careers, earning a median income of $64,000 yearly at entry level jobs. This made political science tie with chemistry, geosciences and consumer services as the 50th most profitable major at an entry level position. This ranking makes political science one of the more profitable college majors to receive a bachelor’s degree in compared to all 137 majors featured in this study. Entry level income in this field is already strong, but the prospect of a long term career in a social science has a 44% wage growth rate, making political science one of the best social sciences for long term success. Along with this, political science was ranked as the 12th best degree to receive a graduate degree in, with yearly earnings increasing by 50% on average after graduate school. This explains why just under half of political science majors go on to graduate school, since this extra education can help lead to a flourishing career.

Median Income of Social Science Graduates

Chart Josh

Information from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce’s “The Economic Value of College Majors.”

The graph above shows the national median incomes for entry level jobs in the top fields of social sciences. This graph makes it clear that economics and political science have the largest economic returns amongst the social sciences, especially when considering how valuable graduate degrees in these fields are.

Aside from the clear economic benefits of a political science major that were presented in this year’s report from Georgetown University, there are also many pros to this field of study that are not quantifiable. A degree in a social science appeals to an individual interested in understanding how aggregate human behavior and society works. While a degree in STEM or business may provide a relatively higher wage after graduation it does not provide its workers with the same level of fulfillment that comes from the human interaction and public service that social sciences are founded on. A degree in political science in particular can provide an individual the necessary education to begin a career in numerous fields including government, public administration, law, international relations, business and many more. This means that a political science major is incredibly diverse compared to most majors, which allows its graduates to seek a career that is more meaningful and specialized to their interests.

Student utilizes Skype technology for internship with international non-profit

By Adam Murphy

Adam at work and in the middle of a Skype session with high level industry managers worldwide.

Adam at work and in the middle of a Skype session with high level industry managers worldwide.

This summer was spent working as an intern for the international development organization, Katerva. The organization serves as a platform to provide recognition and consultation to technologies and startups relating to sustainable development, specifically targeting innovation that will help raise the quality of life in the developing world. Each year Katerva presents awards for different areas of environmentally friendly innovations, often referred to as “The Nobel Prize of Sustainability”. The award provides recognition and credibility for new ideas to receive needed investment so their technology can be implemented on a larger scale. Katerva serves the mission of connecting innovations with investors for a great cause.

My task as a researcher is to spot new technologies out of top research universities and analyze the potential value for the developing world. This is not an internship of pushing paperwork or getting coffee, but instead an inside look into non-profit management, international development and business intelligence. Starting the internship in June and working through until December, work is completed remotely, by searching through research news and creating reports on potential technologies. I’ve had the opportunity to become well acquainted with the office of technology transfer at several leading universities, and exchanged dialogues with leading experts and professors from around the country. This internship with Katerva has had me conducting skype calls with researchers in the Netherlands in the morning, exchanging emails with a Professor from UC Berkeley at lunch, and reading academic journals about the new age of efficient batteries in the afternoon. Skype has allowed me to quickly connect with researchers from around the world to produce meaningful analysis for new technologies and ideas. All of this has been a great learning experience and I look forward to continuing through the year.

Katerva

Polisci Students present their research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2016

By Alaina Torromeo

Sabreena Croteau presents her findings on U.S. - Saudi Arabia relations

Sabreena Croteau commenting on U.S. – Saudi Arabia relations.

On April 7-9 three of Eastern’s Polisci students Alexandra Cross, Sabreena Croteau, and Erin Drouin presented their research at the 30th Annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of North Carolina Asheville. Eastern had 11 students accepted, a prestigious honor considering that the selection process was so competitive, with over 4,000 submissions. According to the conference “…the work of the students accepted to present at this conference demonstrated a unique contribution to their field of study.”

NCUR Alex

Alex Cross discussing issues of Russian nationalism and homophobia.

Alex’s paper (mentor Dr. Martín Mendoza-Botelho) “Straightening Out the Russian Mold: How Russian Nationalism Intersects with Homophobia,” focused on how the government of this country has entangled homophobia and nationalism. Sabreena (mentor Dr. Caitlin Carenen History) presented her Honors Thesis, “Influence and Interference: U.S. Foreign Policy towards Saudi Arabia 1956-1971.” Her work examines the beginnings of the U.S.-Saudi alliance, looking to uncover how the U.S. government felt about the relationship and how the American populace felt about it. Erin’s research (mentor Dr. Nicole Krassas) “From Tradition to Twitter: An Analysis of Traditional Media and Social Media Coverage of Sexual Assault on College Campuses” explores the use of modern media in contentious issues.

Erin Drouin presenting her findings on the use of new media in current social issues.

Erin Drouin presenting her findings on the use of new media in current social issues.

Eastern Professor Carlos Escoto, who attended the Conference with this group commented that “…the ability of Eastern students to learn from the work of other students from across the country is informative.” He remarked that there is something invigorating about the ability for students to participate in a conference of this size and to interact with other student scholars. Research and scholarly activity are seen as desirable skills by employers and graduate schools and presenting your research at a national conference is seen as a culminating activity.

Polisci student Alexandra Cross is the 2016 student recipient of the Ella T. Grasso Distinguished Service Award

By Alaina Torromeo

Pic Alex Grasso Award

Proud recipient Alex poses with her mom.

On March 30, 2016 Polisci student Alexandra Cross received the Ella T. Grasso Distinguished Service Award at an Awards Ceremony held in the Student Center Theater. Alex received the award for her hard work and dedication with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered + community (LGBT+) on campus. Alex Safe Zone Trained faculty and staff, helped run the Pride Alliance Organization, worked with the American Association of University Professors against an unfair contract suggested by the Board of Regents in Connecticut, and most importantly, helped create the new Pride Center that will open this summer.

When asked about how she felt to receive the award Alex stated, “I have never felt so appreciated on campus before. Much of the work that I have done was behind the scenes and without too much recognition.” In regards to how this award will influence her future Alex said, “It will stand as a very real reminder that the work I do, and that the work everyone does in the name of equity, is worthwhile and important.”

Congratulations Alex, keep up the good work!

Eastern College Democrats sponsor a voter registration drive

By Adam Michael Murphy
ECSU College Democrats President

voter registrationElection season is upon on! Eastern College Democrats held two voter registration drives in the past few weeks encouraging people to vote in the primary on April 26th. A total of over 90 voter registration forms were filled out and collected throughout the weeks! The registration drives received great feedback from the community and it was wonderful to see so many people want to become engaged in this election. This election is more important than ever for students and other members of Eastern’s campus to get involved and learn about the candidates, who they want to vote for in the general election. In recent elections, the primary here in CT never received this much fervor and anticipation because our primary is later in the process, but this year the primary is receiving a lot of enthusiasm.

            These events went along with the mission of the club to promote civic engagement and raise awareness of political issues on Eastern’s campus. A few other events sponsored by College Democrats this year were Dominoes for Democracy, and hearing from local elected officials about issues facing our state. College Democrats even collaborated with the Conservative and Libertarian club this past semester to hold a Bipartisan Bake sale where we simultaneously help a straw poll for students to pick a candidate they would like to support. Similar events can be expected to be seen next semester as the general election for president get closer in an attempt to raise the political awareness students have for important issues.

Student opinion – Donald Trump vs. The Republican Party

Donald Trump vs. The Republican Party. Brokered Convention: Curse or Blessing for the Republican Party?

By: Meaghan McFall Gorman**

This past week I was fortunate enough to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington D.C. with several other college students. One of the largest conferences held annually, it was especially well-attended this year due to the looming presidential elections.

At the conference Republican Presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, and Donald Trump were scheduled to speak. Cruz, Kasich, and Rubio gave the typical campaign trail speech, with calls for action, promises of significant reform, improvement, and a general sense of hope for the future. Ben Carson announced he was no longer running for nomination.

Even more news-worthy however — Donald Trump rescheduled, and then ultimately cancelled his appearance. At the conference there was some confusion as to the reason why, and while Trump released an explanation stating that he needed to be campaigning in-person at key primary states, the real reason was revealed later on.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference, a Walk Out had been organized to take place at Trump’s speech. This had actually occurred the year prior, only the victim was Jeb Bush, and the effects were scarring in that the video of that Walk Out was actually used by the media months later while he was campaigning for president.

A walk out is therefore quite serious, and while it may seem petty, it demonstrates a real resentment and genuine dislike for a candidate. Donald Trump was supposedly the golden child of the Republican Party – or at least that was the misconception.

CPAC-2016-496x346

Trump: Leaving an Empty Stage at CPAC 2016

While attending this conference, at any mention of Donald Trump, outbursts of booing and heckling would erupt from the audience. Keeping in mind the haunting whispers of a potential Brokered Convention, Donald Trumps’ divisive popularity is all the more important.

To explain, a Brokered Convention takes place when no one candidate has secured the necessary amount of delegate votes to earn the Presidential nomination, and instead one of the candidates must be chosen through a process of re-voting (think of it as a do over, where all the states are able to recast their Delegate vote in hopes that people have changed their minds and a clear winner will be revealed).

However, at these conventions Vote Trading takes place also, and as the name would imply, it is not overly Democratic. The danger here is that no clear winner is proclaimed, or that the establishment will use its power to manipulate the re-vote process through vote trading to ensure that a candidate of its choice is given the nomination.

That is where Donald Trumps’ failure to win the heart of the Republican Party comes into play. A majority of Republicans seem to not like Donald Trump, and yet, he is leading in many polls.

So what is the Republican Party to do? Tactically, they must damage him in some way, and take him down a few pegs to decrease his popularity and demonstrate how another candidate would be a better choice. The dilemma is that in order to do this, another Republican figure must take it upon themselves to damage Trump – and essentially commit political suicide.

Despite his lack of popularity with the political establishment, Donald Trump has a substantial political backing from the general American populace. Any candidate that attacked Trump seriously would lose his voting base, and be woefully behind the Democratic Party nominee whoever they may be.

That is potentially why former Presidential nominee Mitt Romney spoke out against Donald Trump this past week; as a former candidate, one who held a large voting populace, Mitt Romney has some political favor still, even though he is out of the lime light for the current primaries.

Donald Trump fought back against Romney in his usual fashion, but the damage is done, and the Republican Party has officially begun a dauntless war to stop Trump.

Overall, should the nominee selection be brought to a Brokered Convention, Donald Trump would (based on delegate votes) more than likely be the technical choice.

However, he is clearly not wanted. His utter lack of political experience and exorbitant ability to alienate and estrange people will not win him many swing voters.

That is what the Republican Party needs to achieve their ultimate goal of re-gaining the White House. They will compromise at nothing to ensure they have the greatest chance possible at the Presidency, and a little Vote Trading at a Brokered Convention does not intimidate them at all.

After all, as Frank Underwood said, “If you don’t like how the table is set, turn over the table”.

 

** Entry for the student competition Elections 2016. The views on this piece do not necessarily reflect those of the Department or the University.

Polisci student and actress Lucy Shea performs in an upcoming play based on poet Eve Merriam’s work

Pic Lucy Shea

Polisci student Lucy Shea will be part of the cast of the upcoming play “Out of Our Father’s House”, directed by Caitlin McDonough, which is part of the student director showcase POWER PLAYS!

Based on Eve Merriam’s Growing Up Female in America, this moving play is drawn from the diaries, journals and letters of women: founder of the Women’s Suffrage Movement Elizabeth Cady Stanton, astronomer Maria Mitchell, labor organizer Mary Jones, minister and doctor Anna Howard Shaw, and Eliza Southgate. They are seen as they grow up, marry, bear children and face being ostracized for wanting careers.

April 14 – 18, 2016
Thursday-Monday at 7:30pm
in the Fine Arts Instructional Center Studio Theater

Growing up female in AmericaTickets: Free for Eastern students; $5 for students other than Eastern, senior citizens, and groups of 10 or more; $10 for Eastern faculty, staff, and alumni; $15 for the general public.

Wings over politics – The Republican Presidential Candidates and the Syrian Crisis

By Meaghan McFall Gorman

The Republican Presidential Candidates and the Syrian Crisis: A Millennial Perspective

All too often the millennial generation is not considered or taken for granted. This is understandable, seeing as that a vast majority of us, despite being avid re-tweeters of social issues or political trends, do not actually vote. However, this doesn’t mean that we lack opinions, thoughts, or ideas when it comes to the future of our nation and those directly tied to us. Quite the opposite, we seem to have an abundance of opinions which span many spectrums and ideologies.

As the current President of Eastern’s Conservative Libertarian Club, I see this political involvement every time our club hosts one of our “Wings over Politics” events. We pick topics ahead of time which are not only recent political events, but are significant in the sense that they go beyond their immediate results, and have long term effects that cannot quite yet be accurately hypothesized. The purpose of these events is to discuss them so that fellow students can not only better understand them, but gain confidence in their own ability to understand and spread awareness.

During the most recent ‘Wings over Politics’ event the topics included the Republican Presidential candidates, the Syrian Crisis, and inevitably the Paris Attacks which occurred on November 14th. While the mood was somber, it did not stop the group of nearly two dozen students, of mixed ideologies, years, and disciplines, from voicing their opinions and thoughts not only on the topics themselves, but on how they interplayed.

Everything in this world is connected, as our generation certainly knows through use of social media, and what older generations fail to recognize is how this ability to connect transcends electronic devices, and manifests itself in our capacity to relate subjects and interpret their effects on one another.

A Parisian article was reviewed at the beginning of our event, to provoke thought in the group, and it presented the interesting concept that the Paris Attacks could be a deciding factor in the US Presidential elections. The group as a whole made keen observations on how the ability of a Presidential candidate, regardless of political orientation, to appear strong and resolute, and able to defend the nation, would make an impression on voters. The Paris Attacks are therefore not to be underestimated in their ability to promote fear of not only of further attacks, but of the unknown in general.

That is where the Syrian Crisis comes into play. The number of refugees fleeing Syria is astronomical, and the number of nations agreeing to take them in after the attacks is minimal. Why? Because people are afraid of the unknown, they fear that which they cannot decisively combat. The genuine likelihood of an Islamic terrorist disguising themselves as a refugee, attempting to enter the US, getting past border security, establishing themselves, and then committing an act of terrorism, are extremely unlikely. However, as the general rule unfortunately goes, it only takes one to ruin it for the many.

Understandably, there were mixed feelings and opinions about border control, and while these differing opinions were not wrong, they demonstrated the varied levels of reactionary impulse in people, which is in itself a representation of the mixed reactions that the United States and Western world as a whole will experience.

There were some students unfamiliar with the origins of the Syrian Refugee Crisis, and to supplement explanations given by attending students, an explanatory video was played, which included the Assad regime, Hezbollah, the Kurdish ethnic resistance, the Syrian revolutionary group, and the subsequent rise of the ISIS militant Islam group. Also included were the relative involvements of not only the Obama administration, but also the Arab emirate states and Russia under the direction of Putin.

Students in the group were somewhat amazed by the complexity of the issue, but rather than feel overwhelmed by the conflicts’ intricacies, students were able to appreciate the multifaceted nature of the issue. The Syrian Refugee Crisis is not going to end any time soon, the numbers of refugees seeking asylum in Europe and the United States is only increasing as the months continue, despite many countries reducing their acceptance rates or naval presence in areas where refugees are drowning en route to a better life.

This sparked much debate in the group, because the issue was seen along lines of morality; to let people suffer and die as they attempt to find a better life, or close borders and tighten security measures in order to protect our own people? These questions are now quite prominent in the Presidential campaigns on both sides of the aisle, and now the issue has sufficiently been divided by party lines. However, it was posed by students that this issue is not one of red and blue, nor right and wrong, but rather an issue of not being able to fix the root of a problem: Syria. That is not to say that the country of Syria is the problem, but rather that the inherent conflict in Syria, fomented by the Assad regime and the struggling revolutionary forces (resultant of the Arab Spring movement), is what is causing this mass exodus and all problems thereafter.

Is there a simple answer? Of course not, but it is not up to us to find the right answer, for that is an abstract and unrealistically idealist outcome for this base and depressing situation. To be human is to err, but to be human is also to do what is within ones’ own power to make a conscious effort and difference in whatever way you can. Whether that is believing in a single Presidential candidate and voting for the policies they represent, or holding true that inalienable human rights should overrule any fear of an unknown, a responsible citizenry needs to take a personal stand. As the newest generation to enter the political arena, myself and fellow millennials are not afraid to voice our opinions. While many of us seem altruistic to a fault, we understand the seriousness of recent world events and are prepared to consider their long term effects since we are the generation that will have to face those repercussions, for better or for worse.