Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in Montana

Montana students who want to study systems of government, not only in the United States currently but also throughout history, as well as all over the world, should look into the major of political science. Political power has been used by individuals to form communities and societies over the years. Courses that are vital for political science students outside of the traditional foundation government and society classes include writing skills, oral communication, social studies, ethics and values, history, natural sciences, global perspectives, languages, mathematics and statistics, and the arts. Additionally, most colleges and universities in Montana require political science students to complete internships, in which they are seated in a political science apprenticeship and learn about certain careers within the field.

Princeton University has conducted a survey stating that political science is the tenth most popular major at American colleges and universities. This may be because it is such a broad major and applicable to a wide variety of careers. Milieus that welcome political science graduates include journalism and communications, government and the military, law and the judicial system, business and industry, and education and academia.

Montana Political Science

Political Science Careers in Montana

Montana is an excellent place for political science graduates to begin a career. According to the Governor's Office of Economic Development, Montana has the eighth fastest growing economy of any state in the past three years. Forbes magazine has ranked Montana as one of the friendliest states to business. Because energy from alternative sources (such as wind power) is a huge industry in Montana, political science graduates are necessary to help explain to the public the value of such ideas, not just environmentally but also economically and politically.

Some of the top 20 employers in Montana (as ranked by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry) employ political science graduates in a variety of career capacities. Some of these include Northwestern Energy in Butte; Fortune 100 gasoline company Cenex Harvest State Cooperatives in Laurel; and financial giant Wells Fargo in Billings. According to the Department of Labor, about 82,712 Montanans were employed by a government entity (federal, state or local) in 2009, with the majority of that number working for local government (46,505).

How to Become a Politician in Montana

According to the Montana Secretary of State, as of August 2011, three political parties are qualified to have members' names as candidates on election ballots in Montana. These include the Montana Democratic Party, the Montana Republican Party, and the Montana Libertarian Party. In order to qualify a political party to have a candidate on the ballot, requirements must be met. If a political party had a candidate for a state office in one of the last two general elections, and that candidate received at least five percent of the total votes cast for the winner of the governor's office, that political party automatically qualifies for the next election.

Political parties that do not meet that requirement but wish to qualify a candidate for election must have a Political Party Qualification Petition signed by voters requesting a primary election. This form, along with an Affidavit of Petition Signature Gatherer, must be submitted to your local County Election Administrator's Office. A list of all County Election Administrators Offices in the state may be found here.

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