If you are currently in college or are considering going back to school mid-career, you are in a unique position to increase your chances of obtaining a government job. One way to do this is to choose a degree path that is well-suited to government jobs. There are many types of government jobs available, including positions in law enforcement and security, law, medicine, social work, education, science and engineering, international relations and foreign language, business, technology, and administration.
To increase your chances of qualifying for a government job, it is important to choose a degree that is relevant to the type of position you are interested in. For example, if you want to work in law enforcement, you may consider earning a degree in criminal justice or a related field. If you are interested in working in education, you may consider earning a degree in education or a specific subject area. If you are interested in science and engineering, you may consider earning a degree in a scientific or engineering field.
Types of Government Jobs That May Require a Degree
Government positions are available at the city, county, state, and federal levels and can be divided into the following main categories.
- Administration: This category includes jobs such as administrative assistant, program manager, and policy analyst.
- Business: This category includes jobs such as financial analyst, procurement specialist, and human resources manager.
- Education: This category includes jobs such as teacher, school administrator, and education policy analyst.
- International relations and foreign language: This category includes jobs such as diplomat, translator, and interpreter.
- Law: This category includes jobs such as attorney, judge, and paralegal.
- Law enforcement and security: This category includes jobs such as police officer, border patrol agent, and FBI agent.
- Medicine: This category includes jobs such as physician, nurse, and medical researcher.
- Science and engineering: This category includes jobs such as scientist, engineer, and research analyst.
- Social work: This category includes jobs such as social worker, counselor, and case manager.
- Technology: This category includes jobs such as IT specialist, software engineer, and data analyst.
The Best Degrees for Government Jobs
Obtaining a college degree can increase your chances of getting a government job, as many positions require specific educational qualifications. Some government jobs, such as judges or attorneys, require specialized degrees in fields like law. However, there are also more generalized bachelor's and graduate degrees that can help you qualify for a variety of positions. Some options for degrees that can be helpful in obtaining a government job include political science, public administration, public policy, economics, business administration, public health, and international relations.
The following degrees detailed below can provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in roles such as policy analysis, program management, research and analysis, and administration. Ultimately, the best degree for a government job will depend on your specific career goals and the requirements of the positions you are interested in.
Business administration is a field of study that focuses on the principles and practices of business management. In government, a degree in business administration can be a valuable asset for those seeking a career in a managerial or leadership role. Coursework in a business administration program typically includes subjects such as sociology, business policy, accounting, economics, and marketing. This degree is available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Business administration graduates may be qualified for a wide range of government jobs, including positions in finance, human resources, and project management.
Economics is a field of study that focuses on the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. In government, economists are often employed to conduct research on topics such as interest rates, inflation, energy costs, and the distribution of goods and services. This can be a valuable degree for those seeking a career in government, as it provides a strong foundation in the principles of economics and their application to policy issues. Economics degrees are available at both the bachelor's and master's levels.
Environmental Science Degree
Environmental science is a field of study that focuses on the natural world and the impacts of human activity on the environment. In government, environmental scientists may be employed to conduct research, analyze data, and develop policies related to environmental issues such as climate change, pollution, and resource management. This degree can be a valuable asset for those seeking a career in government, particularly at the local, state, and federal levels.
Human Resources Degree
Human resources is a field that focuses on the management of personnel and employment-related issues. In government, human resources professionals may be responsible for recruiting, hiring, training, and managing employees. A degree in human resources can be helpful for those seeking a career in government, as it can provide the skills and knowledge needed to effectively manage personnel and employment-related issues.
International Relations Degree
International relations is a field of study that focuses on the policies and politics of countries around the world, including topics such as foreign trade, diplomacy, and intelligence. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, international relations is an important field at both the national and local levels. Most degrees in international relations are awarded at the post-graduate level. It is also worth noting that there are government jobs that do not require a university education, such as firefighter or locally elected official. Fluency in another language can also be a valuable asset, as it may qualify you for positions such as translator or interpreter.
Political Science Degree
Political science is a field of study that focuses on the analysis of politics and government. It is a popular choice for individuals seeking a career in government, as it provides a strong foundation in the principles of political science and their application to policy issues. Coursework in a political science program typically includes topics such as public policy, the mechanics and origins of political systems, government bodies, political theory, and political ideology. Political science graduates may also be well-suited for roles in advocacy or public affairs, where they can use their knowledge and skills to influence policy decisions and shape public opinion.
Public Administration Degree
Public administration is a highly sought-after degree for those interested in working with state and federal government. This program teaches students how to effectively implement lasting change in politics and policies at all levels of government. Coursework includes topics such as public policy, community analysis, financial administration, and public budgeting. Both bachelor's and master's degrees in public administration are available.
Degree in Public Health
Healthcare is a growing field in the economy, and it is also a rapidly expanding area of employment in the government sector. Public health focuses on preventing illness and promoting the overall health of communities, in order to reduce healthcare costs for society. This field can be a rewarding career choice for those interested in working in government and making a positive impact on the health of their communities.
Degree in Public Relations
Public relations is a field that focuses on communication and media relations. In government, public relations professionals may be responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies, managing the public image of an agency or department, and interacting with the media. A degree in public relations can be helpful for those seeking a career in government, as it can provide the skills and knowledge needed to effectively communicate with the public and media.
Degree in Public Policy
Public policy degree holders are in high demand at all levels of government. They are trained to analyze policies, evaluate programs, and interpret data. Like public administration, a degree in public policy can be a valuable asset for those seeking a career in government.
Urban Planning Degree
Urban planning is a field that focuses on the development and management of urban areas. In government, urban planners may be responsible for developing and implementing plans for land use, transportation, and infrastructure in cities and towns. A degree in urban planning can be helpful for those seeking a career in government, as it can provide the skills and knowledge needed to effectively plan and manage the development of urban areas.
Finding a Government Job That Requires Your Degree
If you have already obtained a degree and are looking to pursue a career in the government sector, there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of finding a job. Read more at our page "How to Get a Government Job"
One option is to search for job openings on the websites of local, state, and federal government agencies. These websites often have job search tools that allow you to filter by location, job title, or agency. You can also check the websites of professional associations or organizations related to your field of interest, as they may have job listings or resources for finding government jobs.
Networking and word-of-mouth can also be effective ways to find government job openings. Consider reaching out to professionals in your field or industry who work for government agencies and asking about job opportunities or how to apply. You can also attend career fairs, job workshops, or other events hosted by government agencies or organizations, which may provide opportunities to learn about job openings and meet potential employers.
Another option is to work with a recruitment agency or career counselor, who can help you identify job openings and provide guidance on the application process. It is also a good idea to tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific requirements of the job you are applying for, highlighting any relevant education, skills, or experience you have.
We hope we've answer your question: "Which Degree Is Best for Government Jobs?"
Government jobs are highly sought-after due to the numerous benefits they offer, such as stability, good pay, insurance, and retirement plans. To increase your chances of obtaining a government job, it is important to have the right education and qualifications.
Certain government positions may require a highly specialized degree, such as a law degree for a judge or attorney, or an engineering degree for certain science and technology roles. However, for more generalized government positions, a bachelor's or master's degree in fields such as political science, public administration, public policy, economics, business administration, public health, or international relations can be valuable.
If you are considering pursuing a career in the government sector, it is important to carefully research the job requirements and consider what degree will best prepare you for success in that role. With the right education and qualifications, you can increase your chances of finding a fulfilling and rewarding career in the government sector.
Here are some resources that provide information on college degrees and their relevance to government jobs:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is a federal agency that provides data on employment and wages in various industries, including the government sector. The site includes information on the educational requirements for different occupations, as well as information on the job outlook and median salaries for those positions.
Go Government is a website sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management that provides resources for students and job seekers interested in government careers. The site includes information on the types of degrees that are useful for government jobs, as well as tips on how to find and apply for these positions.
Career Profiles is a website that provides information on different college degrees and their potential career paths, including government jobs. The site includes a search tool that allows you to filter by degree type, major, and career field, as well as information on job outlook and salary potential.
National Association of Colleges and Employers is a professional organization that provides resources for college students and employers, including information on the job market and employment trends. The site includes a search tool that allows you to filter by major and career field, as well as information on the skills and qualifications that are in demand in the government sector.