Degrees for Government Jobs


You’re ready to make your career move and you realize you need to go back to school to make it happen. Whether you plan to attend college traditionally in on-campus classes, or you intend to earn a degree online, you’re probably hyper-focused on your career goals along with the ins and outs of your academic choices. In a high tech world where industries can boom and bust on the turn of a dime, many people look for more longevity in their careers.

Government jobs are not immune to layoffs and cutbacks, however, the benefits of such jobs can mean you’ll have plenty of time to retrain and switch positions. Additionally, as healthcare costs continue to rise at private employers, most government jobs offer good healthcare plans. And retirement benefits in government jobs are becoming particularly attractive as private employers move away from traditional retirement plans toward employee contribution models like 401K.

Basically, government jobs may be more attractive than they’ve ever been. So which degrees will help you land that nice, secure, forty-hour workweek government job you’re looking for? We’ve got a list of some of the best choices.

Social Work – bachelor’s degree

Whether you’re interested in federal or state government work, a bachelor’s degree in social work is a great place to start. Social workers are needed in many aspects of government including elder care, children’s needs, healthcare, immigrants, displaced persons, and veterans. This work can be clinical, clerical, or a mix of both.

Most liberal arts schools offer social work degrees, and many online colleges and universities offer social work programs as well. Generally, you’ll do an internship or field placement to finish your degree, so keep that in mind as you research schools.

Education – bachelor’s degree

Yes, teachers in public schools are government employees. You’ll work for state or local governments in either primary or secondary education. While teachers are notorious for being underpaid, they do tend to have good benefits like retirement plans and better-than-average vacation time. They also tend to be in demand almost everywhere.

Parents of young children often find teaching an appealing profession as their work life shapes itself better around traditional childcare hours and school vacations. There are also various specialties within education like physical education, music, or special education. There are also specialty areas of study for secondary school teachers like English, history, physics, biology, or mathematics.

Business Administration – bachelor’s degree

While a business degree may sound like a straight shot to work in the private sector, in fact, there are many business degree holders working in government today. Government agencies run on the same tenets of bureaucracy that many businesses do, with a need for management, budgeting, accounting, marketing, human resources, and many other departments found in corporations.

You may find that you eventually need a master’s degree (MBA) to move very far on the career track, but that would probably be true with a business degree in the private sector as well.