Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in Maine

Keen analysis of political issues past and present, as well as intellectual knowledge of complex political affairs foreign and domestic are all lessons learned in a political science college curriculum in Maine. Most Maine political science college departments encourage not only learning of the facts but also freethinking, in order to develop a free exchange of ideas among students and professors. Perhaps no other college major promotes thinking for oneself as much as the political science major.

Colleges and universities in Maine and online may offer undergraduate political science majors in politics, international relations, legal studies, or a combination of these. Electives that are important to a political science program and help to support the basic framework of the program include languages (both modern and classical), economics, anthropology and history. Political theories must be studied and learned, good analytical skills must be honed, and political science students must be able to express themselves well verbally and in writing. Personal interaction and feedback from fellow classmates and political science faculty are crucial to developing a graduate who is prepared to enter into a range of career options.

Maine Political Science

Political Science Careers in Maine

The Maine Department of Labor projects a growth of 2.1 percent annually in the Public Administration industry between the years 2008 and 2018. In 2008, 675,744 Maine residents were employed in this industry, and by 2018, it is projected that number will increase to 690,130. This includes an increase of 822 in government jobs and 14,386 in other public administration/political science jobs.

Career choices for political science graduates in Maine depend upon what type of degree one possesses. A graduate degree holder is eligible for instructor positions at Maine universities, while a bachelor degree holder may find work in local or state government offices and agencies. Opportunities exist in communications for politically minded job seekers as well. Companies like the Voice of America in Levant employ journalists and stringers with political science qualifications.

National government jobs are also available in Maine for those with political science training. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Kittery employs these types of candidates, as does the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in Augusta. Nonprofit organizations have also been known to employ political science graduates in positions ranging from directorships to consultants. These types of organizations include the March of Dimes Foundation in Falmouth, The Trust for Public Land in Portland, and Hardy Girls Healthy Women in Waterville.

How to Become a Politician in Maine

Although persons of any gender are qualified to run for office in Maine, historically women have chosen to run far fewer times than men. One group called Emerge Maine has developed with the distinct purpose of training women in Maine to run for public office. According to Emerge Maine, only 29 percent of Maine's state house representatives are currently female.

In 1996, Maine residents passed the Maine Clean Election Law, which provides full public funding for those running for state office. This measure is designed to make it easier for anyone to run for office in the state. If you are a candidate in Maine and wish to take advantage of this law in your campaign for elected office, you must:

  • Collect $5 in qualifying contributions from a certain number of voters in your home district (if running for the House, you must have the support of 50 voters; State Senate, 150 voters; and Governor, 3250 voters)
  • Sign an agreement that you will not try to raise private money, nor will you spend it, in your campaign for election
  • Limit your campaign spending only to money obtained from the Maine Clean Election Fund

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