Which Degree Is Best for Government Jobs?

An enthusiastic of all forms of communication and interpersonal relationships, Emma Davis is helping the online CV builder and cover letter tool ResumeGiants to become a reference for job seekers in the US market.

Government jobs are much sought after because they offer stability, benefits like insurance and retirement, and generally good pay. But, you may be wondering, how does one acquire a government job? Will I need a degree to get such a job?

If you’re entering college or going back to school mid-career, you are in a unique position to increase your chances of obtaining a government job. You can choose a degree path well-suited to government jobs. We’ll discuss types of government jobs and the best degrees to pursue.

Getting a degree isn’t the only step. You’ll also need to learn how to make a good resume in order to show off your education and experience in the best way possible.

Types of Government Jobs

Government positions are available through the local (city and county), state, and federal governments. According to Indeed, they can be divided into the following categories:

  • Law enforcement and security
  • Law (attorneys, judges, and paralegals)
  • Medicine
  • Social work
  • Education
  • Science and engineering
  • International relations and foreign language
  • Business
  • Technology
  • Administration

The Best Degrees for Government Jobs

Some types of government jobs listed above require highly specialized degrees. If you want to be a judge or attorney, for example, you’ll need a law degree. But there are also more generalized bachelors and graduate degrees that can help you qualify for many different positions. We’ll discuss each degree below.

Political Science

Political science is the common-sense choice for a career in government. Political science students study public policy, the mechanics and origins of political systems, government bodies, political theory, and political ideology. Graduate and undergraduate programs are available.

Public Administration

Public administration may be the most in-demand degree when working with the state and federal government. This program will teach you “how to effect lasting change in politics and policies in all levels of government.” Courses of study include public policy, community analysis, financial administration, and public budgeting. Both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public administration are available.

Public Policy

Like public administration, public policy degree holders are in demand at all levels of government. They are trained to analyze policies, evaluate programs, and interpret data.


The government and the economy are closely linked. Economists are needed to do research on topics like interest rates, inflation, energy costs, and the distribution of goods and services. You can pursue an economics degree at the level of bachelor’s or master’s.

Business Administration

Forbes says “politics is big business in America” – making business administration a needed skill in government. This degree will “help you to learn how to arrange, direct and manage the objectives of an agency or department.” Courses of study include sociology, business policy, accounting, economics, and marketing. You can earn a business degree through an undergraduate or graduate program.

Public Health

Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing fields in the economy at large; it is also “one of the fastest-growing areas for employment in the government sector.” Public health focuses on preventing illness in order “to reduce health care costs for society.”

Government jobs are lauded for stability, benefits, and good pay. What degree should you pursue in order to land a government job?  


International Relations

Globalization has created an increasingly interconnected world. International relations, therefore, is critical at the national level and important even in the most isolated community. International relations students learn about “policies and politics outside the U.S.,” including foreign trade, diplomacy, and intelligence. Most degrees in international relations are awarded at the post-graduate level.

There are also government jobs that you can pursue without a university education. For example, you may be able to pursue a career as a firefighter or as a locally elected official. Fluency in another language can earn you a position as a translator or interpreter.

How to Find Government Job Openings

There are many places to search for government jobs. You can look at a local newspaper classified ad or use a job search service like Indeed. There are also job search websites specific to the government job niche. These websites narrow your search by showing you only government jobs. Additionally, you may check the websites of your city, county, or state governments for job posting announcements.

Networking and word-of-mouth are other ways to find government job openings. Have you talked to a colleague about the benefits and responsibilities of his or her government job? Ask your friend to let you know when openings are available. You can also network at community, political, and charitable events, which may be attended by government officials – your future employers.

In Conclusion

Government jobs offer a range of benefits, including insurance, retirement, stability, and a good salary. The market for government jobs can be competitive, but having the right degree can help you succeed. For law or engineering positions, you may need a highly specialized degree. But a bachelor’s or master’s degree in political science, public administration, public policy, economics, business administration, public health, or international relations can open many opportunities.

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