Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in Iowa

Getting a political science degree in Iowa can be the first step to a wide variety of career pathways. In addition to the political and governmental knowledge, both domestic and foreign, that you will learn in a political science college curriculum, you will also gain valuable skills that are vital to almost any career choice. These skills include, but are not limited to, active listening, public speaking, critical thinking, reading comprehension, complex problem solving, judgment, decision making, and effective writing.

Because of Iowa's unique position as having the first presidential caucus each election season, there may be more field experience and internship opportunities for political science students in this state than in other states. In addition to political and presidential campaigns, students may work with political parties; local, state or federal government agencies; private industry and business; nonprofit organizations and public organizations to gain valuable experience that will carry over to their career of choice after graduation.

Iowa Political Science

Political Science Careers in Iowa

Lawyers, marketing managers, management analysts, and logisticians are ranked among Iowa's Hot 50 Jobs from 2008 to 2018, according to Iowa Workforce Development. These careers can all be classified as political science careers, as a political science degree can help you gain entry to them. The lawyer profession is expected to grow by 1.3 percent per year during this decade. Currently, lawyers in Iowa earn an average annual salary of $103,651 (2010 figures). Opportunities for marketing managers, who earn about $94,867 yearly, should show the same amount of growth during that decade. Jobs for management analysts are expected to grow by 1.6 percent yearly. They currently earn about $70,369 annually in Iowa. Logistician positions should increase by 2.1 percent by 2018. Logisticians presently earn an average yearly salary in the state of $61,209. You will notice that the salaries for all of these positions are considerably higher than the current state mean salary of $37,194. The growth rate for these positions is also higher than the state average yearly growth rate of 1.1 percent.

Of course, political science graduates are not limited to these four positions alone. This degree provides candidates with a wide range of career possibilities. Colleges and universities in Iowa employ graduate-educated political science alumni in instructor and professor positions. County government, such as Polk County's Department of Administrative Services, employ political science graduates as staff policy analysts for political parties. Political science graduates with information technology training may find employment in technical analyst positions with companies such as Buccaneer in West Des Moines and the Pella Corporation in Pella.

How to Become a Politician in Iowa

Iowa is a crucial state in the presidential nomination process, chiefly because the Iowa Caucuses are the first step in this process, and have been since 1972. In that year, candidate George McGovern rose to national prominence through the exposure given to him by the Iowa Caucuses. Four years later, in 1976, Jimmy Carter went from an unknown to the front-runner for the Democrats after the Iowa Caucuses, and would go on to win the presidency. The Iowa Caucuses are the perfect way for a candidate to try out his or her campaign strategy early to see what works and what does not work. They are also a great way for candidates to gain national exposure early in the presidential nominating process.

In all of the years that the Iowa Caucuses have been held, the caucuses have figured importantly in party nominations for presidential candidates. History has shown that a candidate must finish third or better in order to go on to win their political party's presidential nomination. Although the Iowa Caucuses are held every two years, the presidential election years are seen as more important by the voting public and by the national media. However, in off-year caucuses, local party activists can gain great state exposure through the Iowa Caucuses. These caucuses are a great way for the general public to meet candidates in person before an election.

General Resources


Career Specialties