VUSC Graduates and Their Careers
Our students have gone on to a variety of graduate schools and law schools, such as Harvard Law School, Yale University School of Law, University of Southern California, California State Universities at Fullerton and Long Beach, Baylor University, American University School of Law, and Hastings School of Law.
Our students have also gone on to a wide variety of careers in teaching, university administration, politics, military service, public administration, missions, pastoral ministry, and labor relations. Recent graduates have positions as legislative assistants to members of the U.S. House of Representatives, The U.S. State Department, staff counsel for IBM, pastors, teachers in both public and private elementary and secondary schools, and even as an undercover agent for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
General Career Areas
Because of the broad nature of political science and its emphasis upon critical, evaluative thinking, many career opportunities are open to the graduate of a history and political science program. Following are some career areas:
Career opportunities in the legal profession are numerous. Although a number of majors can prepare one for a legal career, History/Political Science is an especially appropriate background since law is an aspect of governments and the governing process. Many of our majors have been admitted to the top law schools in the nation and have gone on to successful legal careers.
There are many career possibilities in government service in what are considered political positions. These include elective office, positions on the staffs of elected officials, and staff positions with one of the political parties. A number of our graduates have gone directly from Vanguard University to staff positions in Washington,D.C. There are many government careers under the civil service systems of the national, state and local governments. Most History/Political Science majors who enter a civil service position do so in an executive or management training position. These positions are often very rewarding due to their broad, policy making roles. Although not required for some of these positions, it is helpful to go on to graduate school to obtain a Masters degree in Public Administration either immediately after graduation or after working for several years.
A number of our graduates obtain a secondary teaching credential and go on to careers teaching history, government, or civics on the junior or high school level.
Professional Political Scientist or Historian
An undergraduate major in History/Political Science can serve as the groundwork for the pursuit of graduate studies in political science leading to a Ph.D. This equips one to teach and do research on the college and university level or full time research positions with government or private agencies. The job outlook for a professional historians and political scientists in educational and research institutions has been increasing over the past few years.
In recent years the opportunities for qualified persons with an interest in international organizations has grown.These positions are in private overseas voluntary agencies, international businesses, international governmental agencies and other international agencies. Specific examples of international organizations with employment possibilities are in the CIA, the Peace Corps, the World Bank, World Vision, Catholic Relief Services, CARE, the United Nations, NATO, UNICEF, Sierra Club and more.
Interest Groups and Associations
Since 1960 interest groups activity has exploded on both state and national levels. One thinks immediately of traditional economic interest groups such as organized labor and business associations. But the growth in public interest groups dealing with such issues as the church/state issues, environment, public health and safety, and community development has been phenomenal. Both types of groups are looking for persons to do research, organize, and lobby. A history/political science major is a natural for such positions.
Often covering community and political stories are a major part of the journalist’s task. Thus History/Political Science is an excellent background for either print or broadcast journalism. Those contemplating such a career should either double major in journalism or plan to obtain a Master’s degree in journalism after completing a subject matter major in history and political science.
A large number of History/Political Science graduates (some studies suggest nearly one third) find employment in the business sector with careers in such fields as marketing, personnel, advertising, and public or community relations. Others have obtained management training positions with public and private corporations. The broad nature of a History/Political Science major is a quality that many corporations find attractive.
The above section on general career areas is adapted with permission from the web pages of the Political Science Department of Pepperdine University.
last changed 8/20/2009