Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in Arkansas

Students of political science in Arkansas may have the desire to follow in the footsteps of famous politicians who hail from the state, such as former President Bill Clinton; the first female elected U.S. Senator Hattie Caraway, and the nation's first black municipal judge, Mifflin Wistar Gibbs. Before embarking on a political journey, it is recommended to get your political science degree. While not a prerequisite to run for office in Arkansas, a candidate with a political science degree (undergraduate or graduate) is likely to be looked upon with more respect and to garner more votes than a non-degreed candidate for the same office.

Once you have graduated with your political science degree in Arkansas, you might consider joining the Arkansas Political Science Association (APSA). This association, which started in 1974 with about 50 members and has grown rapidly, brings together political scientists at the college and university level, as well as practitioners from private industry, government and the public realm. The APSA also publishes The Midsouth Political Science Review (MPSR) once yearly.

Arkansas Political Science

Political Science Careers in Arkansas

According to the State of Arkansas, political science, legal, business and financial occupations are expected to show encouraging growth in the state through the year 2018. About 518 annual openings are expected in business and financial occupations; 134 new openings per year in political/social science occupations; and 88 new openings annually in legal occupations. By no means are these the only occupations to which political science graduates in the state can aspire, however. A political science degree contributes valuable knowledge and skills to a whole horde of occupations beyond these.

Entities ranging from the federal government to Walmart hire political science graduates in Arkansas. Walmart's corporate headquarters in Bentonville employ political science majors in directorial positions, especially those concerning public affairs, business initiatives and/or government relations. The USDA Forest Service in Russellville employs political science majors in administrative managerial positions. The Drug Enforcement Agency office in Little Rock may employ a political science graduate as an investigator or investigative assistant. Colleges and universities employ candidates with graduate political science degrees in instructional and research positions.

How to Become a Politician in Arkansas

Former President Bill Clinton hails from Arkansas. If you have similar political aspirations, you must first learn how to run for public office in Arkansas. When politics first began in Arkansas, according to the Old State House Museum, politicians were focused less on political parties and ideologies than they were on personalities, so much that sometimes debates resulted in duels. That has changed today, and political parties are much more important to the political climate of the state. Once a largely Democratic state, recently Republicans won political offices in Arkansas, including those of U.S. Senator, Congressman, state constitutional offices and state legislature offices.

Before running for elected office in Arkansas, you should join the political party of your choice. Running as a party candidate makes it much easier to be elected than running as an independent, regardless of the office you seek. Political parties that are presently active in Arkansas include the Republican Party of Arkansas, the Arkansas Democratic Party, the Constitution Party of Arkansas, the Libertarian Party of Arkansas and the Green Party of Arkansas. If you are not currently a member of a political party, study the beliefs and tenets of these parties to decide where you fit. Most political parties will also guide you in your quest for public office, advising you of the requirements for the office you seek and helping you file the necessary forms to be listed on the election ballot.

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