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Careers: Government

Working in government

Federal Government

There are numerous job opportunities in the federal government. Such as jobs in the state department, civil service, the intelligence community, the military, consumer protection, and the foreign service. You could be an intelligence specialist in the CIA or an aide on the staff of a Congressional committee.

Because the federal government employs people in every conceivable occupation it is not a requirement to graduate with a political science degree. Yet a political science degree can be invaluable to you if pursuing a job in the federal government in terms of the acquisition of specific skills and in terms of the insight it may give the employee into the overall political structure and environment in which you must operate. Courses in public administration or congressional behavior allows you to perceive and understand the larger political configuration in which you would operate.

Although jobs in the federal government and Congress will be more competitive in future years, political science majors should not be discouraged from making an attempt to gain these positions. Motivation, potential for future development in a governmental field, knowledge of math and statistics, and internship experience are all helpful prerequisites to federal government jobs.

Consult classified ad employment in the Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call, for political jobs both on and off Capitol Hill.

State and Local Government

A career in state and local government can involve a civil service position in a wide variety of fields, including consumer protection, highway safety, industrial development, welfare, and planning as well as elected positions such as governor, legislator, and mayor. See for example Michigan Civil Service Employment Information and the county of Kent and the city of Grand Rapids.

If you are interested in a career in state and local government you would benefit from courses in state and local government itself, urban politics, American intergovernmental relations, and public administration.

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