Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in South Dakota

Key political issues in South Dakota include green energy, ethnic diversity, women's rights and Native American rights. Students in political science degree programs in South Dakota will study all of these issues in addition to foundation courses of political science on American government, international affairs, political theory and economics. Colleges and universities throughout South Dakota have recommended, acclaimed political science departments that educate students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Although one political science department may differ greatly from another, these schools all have two things in common: diversity in thought and in the courses that they offer.

Schools in South Dakota prepare political science students for careers in a wide variety of industries after graduation. These include government, the public sector, the judicial system/law, private industry, and the mass media. Criminal justice, public administration, pre-law and international affairs are often found as co-majors or specialized course concentrations within a political science major. Graduates of political science programs in South Dakota will be able to take on positions requiring good leadership skills, organizational talents, expertise in advocacy for a variety of issues and groups, critical thinking abilities and excellent expression and communication aptitudes.

South Dakota Political Science

Political Science Careers in South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Labor says that many positions available with a political science degree will remain in high demand in the state through the year 2018. Positions for secondary school teachers in the state will increase by 4.4 percent during this period, amounting to an average 123 new jobs each year. Management analysts will see a 9.8 percent increase in the demand for their particular skills in South Dakota, or about 54 new positions per year. There will be a 17.9 percent increase in opportunities for public relations specialists in the state, amounting to about 41 new positions each year through 2018.

Other careers in political science, public affairs and public administration are possible in South Dakota in many and varied industries. Energy companies such as the Black Hills Corporation in Rapid City employs political science graduates in governmental affairs directorial and managerial positions. Nonprofit organizations like Planned Parenthood in Rapid City and Sioux Falls utilize the skills of political science graduates in public relations and public affairs positions. The various South Dakota State Government offices and agencies in Pierre employ political science majors in a myriad of occupations. Newspapers and other journalistic publications, online and offline, employ political science graduates in writing, editing and analytical/opinion positions.

How to Become a Politician in South Dakota

There are a total of 791 precincts in the counties of South Dakota, and many elected public offices within those precincts. The South Dakota Secretary of State's office publishes a list of all elected offices that are available during each election period. The office also publishes a list of qualifications for all elected public offices, along with term limits for each office. This information may be found here. Information on how to circulate a nominating petition to get yourself placed on the election ballot as a candidate is also available here.

Depending upon the legislative district in which you seek office, a certain number of signatures are necessary on a nominating petition in order to have your name placed on the ballot. For example, in the 2010 election, a Republican in District 1 needed 50 signatures, while a Democrat in the district needed 39 signatures. Someone running as an Independent in District 1 in 2010 needed 92 signatures to have his or her name placed on the ballot.

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