Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in Oregon

Students of politics study the distribution and concentration of power in governments in our country and around the world. From the history of political thought to current events, political science students in Oregon will learn about the functioning of government and will be exposed to a broad variety of opinions, ideas and ideologies. Critical writing, thinking and speaking are all emphasized in a political science degree curriculum, be it at the undergraduate or graduate level. Some students enter into a political science degree program with the political science degree as the end result in their minds. Others embark upon a political science curriculum with the intention of enrolling in law school or other graduate studies after graduation.

Careers available to political science graduates may be found in the fields of law, economics, communication, business, education, policy analysis, government, nonprofit organizations and more. Courses that a political science student in Oregon will take include topics in foreign politics, American politics, comparative politics, political theory, economics, public policy, environmental policy, judicial politics, law, and the political economy. Opportunities to put what you have learned into practice can be found within internships in the field provided by your college or university.

Oregon Political Science

Political Science Careers in Oregon

According to Worksorce of the Oregon Employment Department, as of May 2011 about 18 percent of Oregon's work force worked in the government (at the federal, state or local level), amounting to almost 300,000 government employees in the state. Forty-six percent of this number worked in education, while 31 percent worked in public administration. Oregon has had more government employees than most other states in the country since 1997. Compared to other industries in Oregon, government employees tend to earn higher average salaries.

Of course, political science careers in Oregon can be found in many industries other than government. Graduate-trained political science majors can find work in academia, in research and instructional positions. Political parties, canvassing groups and labor unions in Oregon employ political science majors in administrative and organizational capacities. Nonprofit groups like CASA of Oregon in Sherwood, Catholic Charities in Portland, the United Way of the Columbia in Willamette and the Oregon Child Development Coalition in Cornelius all employ political science graduates within a range of occupations. Private business and industry also utilizes the services and skills of political science majors in positions ranging from policy analyst to project manager to director.

How to Become a Politician in Oregon

Before making the decision to run for any elected public office in Oregon, you should determine your political platform and your motivation to win. You should be able to tell someone at least three things you want to do if elected (changes you would like to make) within 30 seconds to a minute. You should be familiar with the makeup of the jurisdiction in which you plan to run – that is, race, gender, and socioeconomic status. You should also have an idea of about 50 people you can contact who will be willing to contribute to your political campaign.

Once you have answered these questions in your own mind, you must research the qualifications for the Oregon office you seek to determine that you meet the requirements to run for that office. The Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division maintains information on qualifications for all elected public offices -- from local to state to national. You should also align yourself with a recognized political party in the state, for the ease of campaigning and being included in things such as debates. Recognized political parties in the state, according to the Secretary of State's office, include the Democratic Party of Oregon, The Oregon Republican Party, the Constitution Party, the Pacific Green Party, the Libertarian Party of Oregon, the Working Families Party of Oregon, the Independent Party of Oregon, and the Oregon Progressive Party.

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