Area: Local Government

Sub-Area:

  • City Management
  • Financial Administration
  • Budget Analysis
  • General Services
  • Community Affairs
  • Social Services
  • Urban Planning

Employers:

  • Counties
  • Municipalities
  • Townships
  • School districts
  • Special districts

Strategies & Information:

  • Learn local government job application procedures.
  • Develop a network of contacts.
  • Check statistics on growing communities for best opportunities.
  • Gain relevant experience through an internship or volunteer position.
  • Conduct applicable research that could be useful to your community.
  • Get involved in community organizations and events.

Area: State Government

Sub-Area:

  • Administrative Services
  • Legislature
  • Judicial

Employers:

  • Various departments of state government
  • Legislative agencies including:
    • Legislative Reference Services, Bill Drafting Services, Legislative Councils and Budgeting and Auditing staffs
  • State Supreme Courts
  • Personal staff of legislators
  • Intermediate Appellate Courts
  • Trial Courts of General Jurisdiction
  • Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction

Strategies & Information:

  • Research the organization of your state government.
  • Develop specialized skills and interests for particular populations or issues, e.g. disability, education, homelessness, etc.
  • Develop strong research and writing skills.
  • Make political contacts through local legislators of both houses.
  • Volunteer to work on political campaigns.
  • Make contacts through referrals and informational interviews.
  • Plan to earn a law degree to qualify for some opportunities.

Area: Federal Government

Sub-Area:

  • Professional
  • Administrative
  • Technical

Employers:

  • Various federal departments and agencies

Strategies & Information:

  • Obtain an internship in a federal agency or department. Often this is the best way to get a foot in the door for a permanent position.
  • Learn federal job application procedures and how to write a federal resume including your KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilitites).
  • Research various agencies and departments to discover which ones may be the best fit for your major and experience.
  • Conduct informational interviews with government employees.

Area: Federal Government: Legislative Branch

Sub-Area:

  • Legislative Agencies
  • Legislature
    • Administrative Staff
      • Washington-based
      • Home District
      • Committee

Employers:

  • Various agencies including:
    • General Accounting Office, Library of Congress, Government Printing Office, Congressional Budget Office
  • Offices of senators and representatives

Strategies & Information:

  • Understand structure of Congress and various opportunities available.
  • Develop excellent research, writing, communication and organizational skills.
  • Build a strong personal network.
  • Explore districts other than your own.

Area: Federal Government: Judicial Branch

Sub-Area:

Employers:

  • Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts
  • Supporting organizations

Strategies & Information:

  • Some positions require law degree and bar certification.
  • Understand the structure and functions of the federal judiciary system.

Area: Federal Government: Executive Branch

Sub-Area:

  • Office of the President
  • Management and Budget
  • Administration
  • Council of Economic Advisors
  • U.S. Trade Representatives
  • Executive Departments

Employers:

  • Office of the President
  • Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor

Strategies & Information:


Area: Federal Government: Independent Agencies

Sub-Area:

Employers:

  • Independent Agencies include the following (not an exhaustive list):
    • Coordination and Public Safety
    • Emergency Response Policy
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    • Federal Emergency Management Agency
    • General Services Administration
    • National Archives & Records Administration
    • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
    • Office of Personnel Management
    • Securities & Exchange Commission
    • Tennessee Valley Authority
    • U.S. Information Agency
    • U.S. International Development Cooperation

Strategies & Information:

  • There are a large number of niche areas and specialized agencies within the federal government. Do extensivie research in order to find the area that best matches your skills and interests.
  • Take courses or minor in applicable interest area(s).
  • Research applicable public service exams and hiring procedures.
  • Complete an internship in a related area.
  • Maintain a high grade point average to qualify for government employment.
  • Consider earning a graduate degree to prepare for the largest number of opportunities.

Area: Nonprofit

Sub-Area:

  • Administration
  • Development
  • Program Management
  • Policy Analysis
  • Research
  • Grant Writing

Employers:

  • Local and national nonprofit agencies and foundations
  • Charitable organizations
  • Trade or professional organizations
  • Research organizations and think tanks
  • Educational institutions

Strategies & Information:

  • Participate in internships and/or volunteer activities for related experience.
  • Develop strong communication and leadership skills.
  • Become a member of relevant organizations and seek leadership roles.
  • Develop strong research skills and learn how to write grants.
  • Research the organizations' values to find a good fit with yours. It is critical that you are knowledgeable about and care about the work you're going to do.

Area: Political Support/Lobbying

Sub-Area:

Employers:

  • Political Action Committees (PAC)
  • Various industrial, educational, and public interest groups
  • Political parties
  • Lobbying organizations
  • Large business firms

Strategies & Information:

  • Get involved with a political party/group and develop a personal network. The ability to develop networks, coalitions and alliances with other associations is highly valued.
  • Gain experience with government agencies or departments to help build relationships.
  • Develop excellent public relations, interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Learn how to persuade and negotiate. Participate on a debate team.
  • Volunteer in organizations with similar interests and goals.

Area: Business

Sub-Area:

  • Human Resources
  • Budget Analysis
  • Management
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Management Consulting
  • Occuapational Safety Coordination
  • Public Relations

Employers:

  • Business firms
  • Contracting and consulting firms
  • Association management firms

Strategies & Information:

  • Develop strong analytical, communication and technical skills.
  • Obtain related work experience in a business setting through internships and summer or part-time jobs.
  • Earn a minor in business.
  • Hone computer skills and learn software packages such as databases, spreadsheets and presentations.
  • Get involved in student organizations and seek leadership roles.

Area: Health/Medical

Sub-Area:

  • Healthcare Administration
  • Policy Development and Analysis
  • Health Delivery Systems

Employers:

  • Hospitals
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Health Maintenance Organizations
  • Insurance companies
  • Nursing homes
  • Social service and community agencies

Strategies & Information:

  • Most positions will require graduate degree in public health or hospital administration.
  • Complete an internship in a healthcare environment to gain knowledge of the industry.
  • Learn to work well with different types of people.

Area: International Affairs

Sub-Area:

  • Governance
  • Policy Making and Analysis
  • Public Sector Reform
  • Poverty-Reduction Strategy
  • Ethics and Anti-corruption
  • Human Rights
  • Public Law
  • Organization and Management Development
  • Resource Development
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Media/Communication Policy and Practice
  • Education

Employers:

  • Intergovernmental agencies, e.g., World Bank, United Nations
  • National governments
  • Non-profit agencies
  • Policy and research organizations
  • Private businesses
  • Contracting and consulting firms

Strategies & Information:

  • Obtain internships or volunteer in order to gain valuable experience in areas of interest.
  • Participate in overseas mission trips or spend a Semester at Sea.
  • Become familiar with national or international application procedures.
  • Research the history and culture of countries or geographic areas of interest.
  • Take steps towards obtaining work or study visas for various locations.
  • Become proficient in at least one foreign language.
  • Spend time studying or working abroad, especially working to make and maintain contacts in foreign countries.
  • Earn a double major or minor in order to gain additional skills or knowledge needed for various positions (i.e., Africana studies, Asian studies, business, psychology, sociology, etc.).
  • For higher level positions an advanced degree is necessary. Research different programs and the concentrations they offer in order to find the best fit for your interests.

General Information and Strategies