Government & Law
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Careers in government can be pursued at the local/municipal level, within county government, or at the state and federal level (check out our Federal Employment Search Tips career guide). Public service attracts a wide range of individual skills, interests, and expertise. State and federal agencies include Education, Economic Development, Employment Services, Health, Human Resources/Management Services, Transportation (among others) and a range of services to citizens. In 2015, more than 34,000 civil servants worked for the State of Minnesota.
If you are interested in the law, law enforcement, or working in corrections, there are opportunities at the municipal, state and federal levels including police/fire/emergency services and jobs at a state’s Attorney General’s office. In addition, Corrections Departments tend to employ a high number of individuals. Positions related to compliance also attract individuals interested in the enforcement of laws. Compliance officers are hired by governmental agencies.
If you are interested in attending or exploring law school, start by reviewing the many pre-law resources available to all U of M students. Several career options exist in legal services that do not require a law degree. Examples include paralegals, legal assistants, victim/witness advocates, and contract administrators.
Public Policy and International Affairs
Public policy is the means by which a government addresses the needs of its citizens through actions defined by its constitution or set of laws. The field of public policy typically demands candidates with a graduate degree in public policy (MPP) or public affairs (MPA), although related entry-level careers exist for students with bachelor's degrees. University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs currently ranks 8th out of 50 public policy schools in the U.S.
Careers in government and the public service sector encompass a variety of job functions and attract candidates from nearly all academic majors. Government agencies need communication/marketing, human resources, customer support, finance, accounting, project management, and technology support. It’s important to examine your individual interests, skills, and how your previous experience has prepared you for the position. Another component of the job search is knowing WHY you are drawn toward public service.