Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in Hawaii

Colleges and universities in Hawaii offer political science degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Schools within the state educate students in important political science courses like policy analysis, political theory and international relations, as well as in specialized studies including Asian politics, future studies, comparative politics and other subjects of particular interest to Hawaiians.

Most college and university political science departments in Hawaii encourage undergraduate students to develop critical and independent thinking skills, to think politically, to analyze power, to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, to be able to state one's thoughts logically and persuasively, and, of course, to be knowledgeable in the basic principles of political science. Graduate political science students continue their education and learn to think in a political manner, to master a sub-field of political science such as gender politics or international relations, and to produce their own research to contribute to the field of political science.

Hawaii Political Science

Political Science Careers in Hawaii

The Hawaii Department of Human Resources Development publishes information on minimum qualifications for all jobs within Hawaii state government. This can be helpful to recent political science graduates who are eager to begin a career in state government. Because the standard of living is higher in Hawaii than in the continental U.S., it follows suit that wages for some positions would be higher there as well. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes the following salaries for professionals with political science backgrounds, comparing workers in Hawaii with the average worker in the U.S. As you can see, most salaries in Hawaii are slightly higher or close to the national average:

Job Title Average Hawaii Salary Average U.S. Salary
Legislator $51,490 $38,470
Public Relations $81,470 $104,390
Management Analysts $77,670 $87,260
Budget Analysts $66,630 $70,660
Urban and Regional Planners $65,600 $66,020
Political Scientists $83,500 $77,890
Lawyers $104,480 $129,440
Legal Assistants/Paralegals $51,540 $49,640

The Hawaii Workforce Infonet predicts that between the years of 2008 and 2018, government employment will increase by 3 percent. Other positions that require political science backgrounds, however, are expected to show greater increases in employment opportunities. These include positions in the professional and business services industry, which are projected to increase by 8.1 percent; and education and health services, an industry that is expected to grow by 14.3 percent.

How to Become a Politician in Hawaii

According to a 2011 Gallup poll, 52 percent of Hawaii's residents either call themselves Democrats or lean that way, while 28 percent called themselves Republican or leaned towards that ideology. This makes Hawaii currently the most Democratic state in the union. However, other political parties are active in Hawaii as well. These include the Constitution Party of Hawaii, the Free Energy Party, the Hawai'i Independence Party, and the Libertarian Party of Hawaii.

For the 2012 elections, the Office of Elections of the State of Hawaii says that a candidate may run as nonpartisan or be a member of the Republican, Democratic, or Libertarian Party in order to be placed on the ballot. Qualifications to run for elected office in Hawaii include attaining the age of 18, having U.S. citizenship, being a resident of and a registered voter in Hawaii, and having any felony convictions finally discharged. If one is running for a city, district or county office, one must be a resident of that city, district or county. Nomination papers must be filed by the first Tuesday in June of an election year in order for a candidate to be listed on an official Hawaii election ballot.

General Resources


Career Specialties