Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in Michigan

A political science degree in Michigan can be beneficial to any student who wishes to become a keen observer of human nature, of his or her own government and of the world's political systems. Analysis, criticism, interrogation, and identification of political power are all skills learned by political science majors. The study of how political power is distributed and maintained is a large part of this major as well.

In addition to taking the regular classes in American politics, comparative politics, world politics and political theory, some Michigan college and university political science departments allow students to participate in independent or directed study. Other schools may offer field placements to help the student learn more about American government, or semesters or summers abroad, to help the student learn more about foreign affairs and international relations. Becoming active in the political party of your choice is also an option for some political science students in college, as most campuses house college versions of the major political parties. Other students may be interested in joining nonpartisan student political science organizations, for networking opportunities and the exchange of ideas that such membership offers.

Political Science Careers in Michigan

Michigan Political Science

Many political science careers are listed among Michigan's Hot 50 Jobs, classified by the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives as the fastest growing, highest paying jobs in the state through 2016. These include management analysts, who earned $87,900 in 2010 and for whom job opportunities are expected to increase by 10.1 percent through 2016; market research analysts, who earned $74,672 in 2010 and for whom job opportunities are expected to grow by 11.8 percent during that period; logisticians, who earned $70,428 in 2010 and for whom opportunities should rise by 13.8 percent through 2016; and legal assistants and paralegals, who earned $48,832 in 2010 and for whom opportunities should increase by 19.6 percent.

Political science graduates are not limited to only these career choices, however. Graduate degree holders may seek employment in the many political science departments in Michigan's colleges and universities. Major corporations such as the headquarters of General Motors in Detroit also hire political science graduates in positions including analyst and executive communications. Legislative caucuses for each political party, located in Lansing, employ political science graduates, as do nonprofit organizations like the United Way in Detroit.

How to Become a Politician in Michigan

Although the Michigan Secretary of State's office publishes information for residents who wish to become candidates for public office, the Michigan Bar Association also publishes a comprehensive and easily understood guide. Entitled Running for Elective Office in Michigan: Sources to Get You Started, this article directs the reader to various publications and websites that can be of great assistance to an aspiring Michigan politician. These include the Michigan Department of State website, programs held by groups such as the Institute of Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University's Michigan Political Leadership Program (MPLP), as well as party websites such as the Michigan Republican Party and the Michigan Democratic Party. The publication's author also recommends contacting your local City or County Clerk for help in getting started in running for elected public office in Michigan.

Specific questions you may have about becoming a candidate for public office in Michigan should be directed to the Michigan Bureau of Elections, Richard H. Austin Building, 1st Floor, 430 W. Allegan, Lansing, MI 48918 or by calling ( 517) 3 73-2540.

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