Journal of Undergraduate Research


U.S. House of Representatives, professionalism, public office, education, experience


Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Political Science


We commonly attribute advanced levels of education with increased skill and capabilities. While the theory backing this assumption has been proven to be true in a variety of applications, often times the trend can unintentionally be extrapolated to other areas. As voters, we are inclined to view candidates with higher or more prestigious education as more experienced than other candidates. I will study the effects that professional and educational backgrounds have on legislators’ performance in office. If the assumption holds true that those with more education are better qualified, then these individuals should remain in office for more terms, should hold more leadership positions, and be more effective in their elected office. Understanding the importance of candidates’ professional and educational backgrounds on effectiveness in office can help us better know how to elect the best individuals into office.