By Kim Burr, Assistant Director, Business Consultant
The federal government is the nation’s largest employer, with open positions to match countless interests and skills. If you are unsure about what you can do with your major or degree, consider a career in the federal government! As a government employee, you will work to solve the most pressing challenges and issues while making a positive impact on our country and our world.
Here are ten more reasons to consider a career in the federal government from calltoserve.org.
“1) MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The work of government employees impacts the lives of every American and the lives of people around the world. Federal employees can play a vital role in addressing pressing issues, from homelessness to homeland security. Students interested in working in government can engage in high-impact work, such as helping disrupt the laundering of billions of dollars derived from illicit U.S. drug deals.
2) GREAT BENEFITS / COMPETITIVE PAY
Average government salaries are competitive with the private and nonprofit sectors. Recent graduates can expect a starting salary from $32,415 to $42,631 a year. Pay can also increase fairly quickly for top candidates with experience and a strong education. Federal benefits, including health insurance, retirement and vacation, are extremely competitive with, if not superior to, other sectors.
3) THE GOVERNMENT IS HIRING
By 2015, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) projects that more than 550,000 federal employees, one third of the entire full-time permanent workforce, will leave the government. In 2013, 76,735 new employees were hired government-wide.
4) LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Federal opportunities are not only found in the D.C area. 84 percent of federal government jobs are outside of Washington D.C. If students are interested in international job opportunities, more than 50,000 federal employees work abroad.
5) JOBS FOR EVERY MAJOR
Working in the federal government is not just for political science majors. In fact, 28.4 percent of federal employees work in STEM fields. There are federal jobs for every interest and skill, from art history to zoology.
6) OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADVANCEMENT AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Federal employees have many opportunities for career advancement in government. An internal Merit Promotion Program helps ensure that new employees succeeding in their job have easy access to information about job openings within government. The government also offers excellent training and development opportunities and has human resources personnel to help connect current employees with these opportunities.
7) INTERESTING AND CHALLENGING WORK
Today’s government workers are leading and innovating on issues such as developing vaccines for deadly diseases, fighting sexual and racial discrimination, and keeping our massive systems of transportation safe.
8) WORK/LIFE BALANCE
Flexible work schedules, including telework, are a major plus for those with busy schedules or long commutes. Competitive benefits also include generous vacation time combined with federal holidays and sick leave. All of these packaged together make government an attractive employer for students looking to successfully balance their work and personal lives.
9) JOB SECURITY
Government work is steady and secure, an attractive selling point, especially during difficult economic times.
10) THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN HELP PAY FOR SCHOOL LOANS
Some federal agencies can help pay back up to $10,000 per year in student loans, up to a total of $60,000.”