Local, state, and national governments offer a wide range of vocational opportunities. In addition to the positions in Washington, D.C., the national government has many agencies in the nation's largest cities. Local and state governments have grown significantly and have agencies dealing with such activities as: agriculture, welfare, housing, highways, conservation, rural and urban development, pollution control, and so forth. There also are many private and nonprofit organizations and agencies that work closely with various governments.
In recent years, Luther graduates interested in government or government-related vocations have followed one or more of the following paths. Some have become involved in partisan politics; this can result in appointed or elected political positions (graduates of Luther College currently serve in the Wisconsin and Iowa legislatures and in the United States House of Representatives). Although the national government has limited its hiring in the recent years, it still is possible to obtain entry level positions in the civil service sectors at every level of government. Students interested in the United States diplomatic service can take the annual Foreign Service Examination. Many students enter postgraduate programs that provide training for specific areas of government service. These include paralegal programs, law school, and M.A. programs in such fields as urban planning, public administration, and public policy.
Students interested in government work frequently major in political science or economics, but there always is a need for individuals with specialized training in every area of the curriculum. Students interested in working in the public sector should consider doing an internship as a part of their college experience. That might involve participation in the college's Washington Semester program or designing an internship in consultation with a member of the faculty.