Preparing Political Science Students for Today’s Labor Market: Lessons from Poland

Preparing Political Science Students for Today’s Labor Market: Lessons from Poland

By Adam Szymaniak, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań

“We haven’t got enough welders. I know it doesn’t sound ambitious but it’s better to be a working welder than an unemployed poor political scientist,” stated Donald Tusk, Polish Prime Minister and subsequent President of the European Council, in a 2012 radio interview. Tusk referred to the situation in the labor market, expectations regarding higher education institutions, and the popularity of political science as a field of study. What changed in the following decade? Do political science curricula meet the requirements of today’s labor market? Which strategies show promise and which are less effective?

This article discusses measures undertaken by Polish political science departments to prepare students for the labor market. So far, four strategies seem to be effective: additional classes teaching soft-skill competencies, advisory councils, internships, and dual studies. Although these solutions have been implemented at several Polish universities, this article focuses on the political science department at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.

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