Be BRUTAL, is politics and international relations a useless degree?? Watch

Akeloz
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
I’m so passionate about politics, geopolitics, international relations etc. And I would LOVE to do it. But my mother side eyes it every-time I mention it or tells me how I’ll be jobless and that it’s useless. She really wants me to go into medicine but my hearts not in it.

Is it really as bad as she says it is? My worst fear is to end up not being able to find a job related to said degree or being jobless.

Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated! Especially those who have graduated with the degree! Thank you 😊
0
reply
threeportdrift
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
(Original post by Akeloz)
I’m so passionate about politics, geopolitics, international relations etc. And I would LOVE to do it. But my mother side eyes it every-time I mention it or tells me how I’ll be jobless and that it’s useless. She really wants me to go into medicine but my hearts not in it.

Is it really as bad as she says it is? My worst fear is to end up not being able to find a job related to said degree or being jobless.

Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated! Especially those who have graduated with the degree! Thank you 😊
In my experience (Masters in IR, but no desire to work in the sector, just observing colleagues) the challenge is quality.

The challenge for IR graduates is that perhaps more than any other degree, it is open to a global market. So you are competing with the very best graduates from around the world. They have invariably got superb English as well as a mother tongue and often fluency in multiple languages.

So unless you've got a good grade, from a high ranking UK uni, you are probably going to face the same job prospects as the average English, History, Politics student. The UN etc aren't going to look at you.

So make sure you've got a top institution on your CV, plus a Masters is standard, and hopefully some relevant volunteering, or work experience, overseas experience beyond travelling and maybe fluency in a second language.
1
reply
Akeloz
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#3
(Original post by threeportdrift)
In my experience (Masters in IR, but no desire to work in the sector, just observing colleagues) the challenge is quality.

The challenge for IR graduates is that perhaps more than any other degree, it is open to a global market. So you are competing with the very best graduates from around the world. They have invariably got superb English as well as a mother tongue and often fluency in multiple languages.

So unless you've got a good grade, from a high ranking UK uni, you are probably going to face the same job prospects as the average English, History, Politics student. The UN etc aren't going to look at you.

So make sure you've got a top institution on your CV, plus a Masters is standard, and hopefully some relevant volunteering, or work experience, overseas experience beyond travelling and maybe fluency in a second language.
Thank you for the advice. That's honestly frightening. I was really hoping to get into the civil service or work for an NGO but it all just seems rather impossible

My university choices are; Newcastle, Leeds, Edinburgh, Durham or Manchester. Would you consider them to be good enough?

I feel like I'd only go into medicine because of the job security and not because I'm passionate about it. I honestly don't even know what to do.

Once again, thank you so much for the advice!
0
reply
threeportdrift
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 month ago
#4
(Original post by Akeloz)
Thank you for the advice. That's honestly frightening. I was really hoping to get into the civil service or work for an NGO but it all just seems rather impossible

My university choices are; Newcastle, Leeds, Edinburgh, Durham or Manchester. Would you consider them to be good enough?

I feel like I'd only go into medicine because of the job security and not because I'm passionate about it. I honestly don't even know what to do.

Once again, thank you so much for the advice!
Civil Service and you'll be fine, UK NGO you'll be fine. And I was probably rather IR biased in that REPLY, it's more straightforward with a Politics degree, it's just the same as English, History etc. But too many people think that IR, even from a decent mid-ranked UK uni will get them into the UN etc, and it very rarely will.
0
reply
okok123
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 month ago
#5
I am going to study IR next month and intend to do a Masters after. I am currently fluent in 6 languages. If i were to gain civil service experience would i have a chance for a NGO?

(Original post by threeportdrift)
Civil Service and you'll be fine, UK NGO you'll be fine. And I was probably rather IR biased in that REPLY, it's more straightforward with a Politics degree, it's just the same as English, History etc. But too many people think that IR, even from a decent mid-ranked UK uni will get them into the UN etc, and it very rarely will.
1
reply
J0n3zviper
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 month ago
#6
Yup but so are 95%
0
reply
threeportdrift
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 month ago
#7
(Original post by okok123)
I am going to study IR next month and intend to do a Masters after. I am currently fluent in 6 languages. If i were to gain civil service experience would i have a chance for a NGO?
Look, it's not black and white about NGOs, but if you want to work for an international aid type organisation, you have to realise that so do many of the brightest and best from all over the world.

Six fluent languages and you could walk into all sorts of niche roles, provided you were prepared to work in the most difficult of the respective countries!
0
reply
A Rolling Stone
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 month ago
#8
(Original post by Akeloz)
I’m so passionate about politics, geopolitics, international relations etc. And I would LOVE to do it. But my mother side eyes it every-time I mention it or tells me how I’ll be jobless and that it’s useless. She really wants me to go into medicine but my hearts not in it.

Is it really as bad as she says it is? My worst fear is to end up not being able to find a job related to said degree or being jobless.

Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated! Especially those who have graduated with the degree! Thank you 😊
look into my uni, St Andrews which has the top undergrad International Relations school in the UK (joint top with LSE on research output etc.)

hate to sound like a paid rep which i'm not but IR at St Andrews' has a particularly good rep in the States, so we have thousands of Americans coming to St Andrews, mainly to study IR, but loads of other international students too. at LSE most internationals will be Chinese, BUT at St Andrews you get people who all speak three, four even five languages so employers know its a good pool for graduates..

the key though is in Scotland you study 3 subjects in your first year and up to 3 subjects in your second year (grades don't count first two years), so you get plenty of time to decide what you want to study before your final two years
1
reply
Akeloz
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#9
(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
look into my uni, St Andrews which has the top undergrad International Relations school in the UK (joint top with LSE on research output etc.)

hate to sound like a paid rep which i'm not but IR at St Andrews' has a particularly good rep in the States, so we have thousands of Americans coming to St Andrews, mainly to study IR, but loads of other international students too. at LSE most internationals will be Chinese, BUT at St Andrews you get people who all speak three, four even five languages so employers know its a good pool for graduates..

the key though is in Scotland you study 3 subjects in your first year and up to 3 subjects in your second year (grades don't count first two years), so you get plenty of time to decide what you want to study before your final two years
Ty! I’ll definitely check them out.
0
reply
MasonSC
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#10
Report 3 weeks ago
#10
(Original post by Akeloz)
Ty! I’ll definitely check them out.
I completed a MLitt in Strategic Studies at St Andrews and I cannot stress to you just how good the IR (and Strategic Studies) department is. You will be taught by some of the leading researchers in the field and will receive quality teaching. When you are planning on studying a masters (and maybe a PhD), where you got your undergraduate degree is actually rather meaningless because your highest qualifications are what matters. For an undergraduate degree just apply for the best university that you can get into and then apply yourself to the study of IR.

The quality of the work you produce at undergraduate is so much more important than just achieving a 2:1 and lower from a highly regarded uni. When it comes to interviews for postgraduate courses where you went to uni is largely irrelevant because your actual knowledge of the subject and your ability to produce academic work is what they care about. Attending a prestigious institution for your masters can impress some people, but - just like before - the way you apply yourself on this course is so much more important than where you studied.

Similarly, when it comes to PhD and job applications people actually really do not care about where you went to uni. For example, when applying for a PhD they are more interested in your ability to carry out research, your knowledge of the field and your research proposal. Prospective employers are a lot more interested in your knowledge of the field and ability to do your job than where you studied. They care so much about this over where you studied that a lot of employers are now using unconscious bias interviews/selection schemes. In these circumstances, where you went to uni really means nothing.

To conclude, if someone is more concerned about where you went to uni rather than what you did at uni and what you learnt, I do not think that person has any idea what they are taking about; when it comes future job/academic applications and future life prospects, the quality of the work you did at uni is so much more important than attending a prestigious university. Attending a prestigious uni, however, can aid you in your ability to learn. The only general exception that I would make, is that the uni you attend needs a “good” reputation - I.e. not a university that is ranked bottom of all the league tables.
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Would you turn to a teacher if you were being bullied?

Yes (31)
25%
No (93)
75%

Watched Threads

View All