Careers in the government sector includes local, state, and federal government jobs. While most people think of public affairs and policy, government jobs includes all fields and positions.
Law and Law Enforcement
The U.S. government employs many civilians in positions that involve written law as well as law enforcement. With a legal degree, you can work for the government in such positions as an attorney, legal assistant, paralegal or judge. Government law enforcement positions include police officers, criminal investigators, correctional officers, border patrol agents and FBI agents. Popular federal government cabinet agencies in the law field include the following: Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Justice.
Foreign Languages and International Relations
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the demand for people with foreign language and international relations skills have increased dramatically. Examples of federal agencies hiring in the foreign relations field include the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Agency for International Development and the Department of Justice. Such job titles include linguists, counter terrorism analysts, foreign affairs officers and intelligence specialists.
Medicine, Social Work and Education
The U.S. government is always seeking employees in the medical field. The areas of work include clinical, public health, research and health policy positions. Such job titles include nurses, doctors, pharmacists, medical technologists and medical records technicians. As a social worker the selection of work comes from such government agencies as the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In the field of education, you can work for the government as a teacher, librarian, vocational rehabilitation specialist, public health educator or an instructional systems specialist.
Science and Engineering
In the broad field of science, you can work for the government in such areas as agriculture, forestry, physical science, environmental studies, botany, biology and astronomy. Science-related government agencies include the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Smithsonian Institution. Engineers are very important to the missions of many government agencies. You can work as an electronic engineer for the Department of Transportation, a civil engineer for the Department of Energy, a general engineer for NASA or a mechanical engineer for the Department of the Army.
Business and Technology
Numerous types of government jobs relate to the broad field of business. These business areas include management, economics, accounting, finance, human resources and marketing. Business-related government agencies include the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Treasury, the Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Reserve System. Further, as technology advances, the U.S. government always has a demand to hire people who specialize in computer science, information technology and computer programming.
General information and career guides
- A career in government
- Recruiting STEM talent into government
- Career Insider
- Inside Jobs
- ONet Online
- USA Jobs: The federal government's official jobs site
- USA.gov: Learn about the federal government
- Federal government jobs.us
- Federal careers by field of interest
- Federal careers by college majors
- US Federal government pathway program for recent graduates
Positions can be found through the county or state government employment websites
Military/Armed Forces and Defense
Confirm your interest, prepare academically and develop the necessary skills and experience:
- Explore your field of interest through relevant classes, majors & minors at UCSD, including Public Service
- Take any classes that specific careers might require
- Strongly consider Study Abroad, the UCDC Program, or the UC Center Sacramento
- Gain experience through Internships, Jobs, or other Experiential Learning opportunities
- Consider the Academic Internship Program for service-learning and community engagement
- Join a Student Organization or Professional Association
- Develop communication and leadership skills through the Center for Student Involvement
- Gain leadership experience through Student Government or your College
- Apply for a federal government internship program
Searching for positions
- Tips for searching on USAJobs.gov
- Top 10 process tips
- USA jobs videos on federal job search
- Recent graduates program
- Pathways for students & recent graduates to federal careers
Before applying to graduate school, you want to consider whether graduate school is right for you. You want to ask yourself if you actually need a graduate degree to do your ideal job. To explore that, try looking at some job descriptions of the types of positions you want and see what they are asking for in an applicant. Once you've determine if graduate school is necessary then you want to select and apply to the program that best fits your professional goals.
- Public Service Careers.org
- Attend our Graduate School Fair to learn about programs from school representatives
- Attend an Idealist Graduate Degree Fair
- Apply for the Coro Fellows Program if interested
For additional help, come into the Career Services Center or schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor via Port Triton. Learn more about your Career Advisors and their specializations at the staff directory page.