How to Get a Job in Politics
October 15, 2020
In 2018, we realized there was a shortage of qualified campaign staff.
To meet staffing needs and empower Democratic campaigns across the country, NDTC created Staff Academy.
NDTC’s Staff Academy is an intensive program designed to recruit, train, and develop the next generation of campaign leaders.
How to Get a Job in Politics?
If you’ve tried to launch or advance a career in politics, you may have had challenges.
Passionate Democrats often struggle to advance a political career due to lack of accessibility to the training and connections they need. Besides having periods of unemployment between jobs, the opportunities aren’t openly shared unless you have an “in.”
These barriers result in campaign teams failing to represent the diverse nature of the Democratic Party.
We know there’s no lack of energized folks ready to tackle the challenges of campaign work, so we prioritize applicants who identify as women, a person of color, transgender, and non-binary.
In the first two years of the program, Staff Academy graduated 138 passionate, dedicated leaders. Our graduates have been 59% people of color, 62% women, and 6% transgender and non-binary.
The Skills You Need as a Campaign Staffer
How to get a job in politics? Develop the skills you need for the job you want.
During our ten week training program, our cohort members specialize in one of three campaign strategy tracks: digital, fundraising, and communications. And, to become more effective leaders as they progress, trainees learn management and leadership skills.
Six months after graduation, we caught up with three 2020 graduates. Here, we see how their Staff Academy training serves them in their current roles on political campaigns.
Tarunika graduated from the communications track.
In working to flip these seats from red to blue come November 3rd, each of her campaign roles requires her to wear many hats. She must:
- Craft campaign messaging for various mediums
- Staff call time and raise money
- Manage volunteers and interns to help spread her candidates’ message
The communications training Tarunika received during Staff Academy helped her tailor the messaging of both campaigns’ from public statements to social media and emails.
Alaina is one of our digital graduates. She is now the digital director for Jason Marks’ District Court Judge race in Montana.
In her role, Alaina created a digital plan to broaden her candidate’s message and increase exposure. This includes:
- Launching a campaign website
- Crafting a successful digital advertising campaign running in local media
- Proposing a budget
- Writing in the candidate’s voice
Staff Academy’s digital curriculum covers the core skills needed to create a strong digital campaign plan, like Alaina has done for her candidate.
Yazan applies the skills he learned in Staff Academy’s fundraising track to his current role as a digital strategist for a high-profile U.S. Senate race.
Yazan saw firsthand how COVID-19 affected campaign work and shifted it to a more digital space.
As a digital strategist, Yazan’s day-to-day consists of:
- Running the campaign’s social channels
- Creating effective digital fundraising asks
- Promoting virtual campaign events and digital organizing efforts
- Adapting messaging to breaking news by implementing rapid response strategies
A Community of Alumni
Tarunika, Alaina, and Yazan are just three examples of our graduates who work in the field. We have graduates across the country working to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in 2020 and beyond.
Here are some other roles currently held by Staff Academy graduates:
- Deputy Training Director for a state party
- Digital Advertising Associate for a consulting firm
- Email Production Manager for a consulting firm
- Deputy Finance Director for a congressional race
- Field Director for a congressional race
- Political coordinator for a local SEIU chapter
- Communications Assistant for a congressional race
- And much more!
How to get a job in politics? Join NDTC’s Staff Academy.
What is a Democratic Precinct Chair?
December 5, 2022
1:00pm - 2:30pm (ET)
The training and tools you need, when you need them. Courses are available 24/7. Are you a candidate, campaign staffer or volunteer, at the beginning stages of your campaign or in the home stretch? We have the courses to address your specific needs and arm you with the knowledge to win.View course catalog
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