Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in Colorado

College freshmen are often struggling with the decision of declaring a major. One route that makes sense for many students is political science. Obtaining a political science degree in Colorado can pave the way to a number of different career choices within various disciplines, including government jobs, criminology, law, communications, politics, teaching, legislative analysis, urban planning, and economics.

One basic principle at most Colorado political science college programs is the belief in the value of an undergraduate internship. Field placements and internships can help political science students discover their niche and figure out which careers suit them best. Internships within government, on political campaigns, with lobbyist groups, and with private companies help to guide the student to realizing his or her aptitudes and full potential within the field. Some students will decide to pursue graduate studies following the completion of an internship, especially if they wish to get into college or university instructional positions or higher-level government jobs that require security clearances.

Colorado Political Science

Political Science Careers in Colorado

Under the Colorado Constitution, all applicants for jobs within Colorado state government must be residents of the state. You can be a resident of Colorado for as little as a day in order to apply for a state government job. Proof of residency must be provided. State government jobs in Colorado pay higher wages than other jobs, as proved by the postings on the State Employment website. For example, as of August 2011, the quoted state government salary for a Legal Assistant is $29.41 per hour, or $61,127 annually. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), however, lists the average Colorado salary for a legal assistant as $23.32, or $48,505 annually. A budget and policy analyst working for the State of Colorado can expect a salary of $92,788 annually; while one working for a private employer in Colorado makes about $73,180 per year.

Employers of political science graduates in Colorado run the gamut from government entities to private industry. Examples of companies that employ political science degree holders include financial consultants Booz Allen Hamilton in Denver, Rio Tinto Minerals in Denver, defense analysis company S3, Inc. in Colorado Springs, and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. in Littleton. Additionally, master and doctoral degree holders in political science may find employment with the many postsecondary institutions across the state of Colorado.

How to Become a Politician in Colorado

The Colorado Secretary of State/Elections Division has published a candidate information packet online entitled "How to Run for Office." This pamphlet is designed to encourage all Colorado residents to run for office at various levels of government. Among other things, it lists basic qualifications for major elected public offices in the state. The table below provides some pertinent information related to qualifications.

Politician Requirements in Colorado

Elected Office Age Required State Residence Required U.S. Citizenship Required Number of years of term Total number of terms allowed
U.S. Senator 30 Yes 9 years 6 Voluntary
U.S. Representative 25 Yes 7 years 2 Voluntary
Governor 30 2 years Yes 4 2
Lt. Governor 30 2 years Yes 4 2
Sec’y of State 25 2 years Yes 4 2
State Treasurer 25 2 years Yes 4 2
Att’y General 25 2 years Yes 4 2
State Board of Education 18 Yes Yes 6 2
CU Regent 18 Yes Yes 6 2
State Senator 25 1 year Yes 4 2
State Representative 25 1 year Yes 2 4
District Att’y 18 Yes Yes 4 2
RTD Board of Directors

18

Yes

Yes 4 2

General Resources

Education

Career Specialties

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