Career prospects in the public sector

To determine weather or not to pursue career prospects in the public sector or private industry, one should first determine the definition of each sector and the opportunities available.

Public sector

The public sector is that segment of a nation that is run by provincial or local governments. In many countries the public sector includes general and essential services such as the defence forces, national security, police force, fire brigades, city and town planning, corrections services, revenue services, and numerous community programs.

Careers prospects in the public sector can be placed into the following categories:

Health and social care

Health and social care careers are divided into two categories namely government sponsored health careers and social work.

The government health services present a vast amount of career opportunities, some very challenging, but every prospect in this sector is for people who are zealous about contributing to the well-being of their community. No matter what your particular field of interest, your skill level or qualifications, you will be able to find employment in at least one of the almost 340 unique careers opportunities offered. Both the private industry and public sector have hundreds of opportunities. Some of the fields in the government sector that you may want to consider include:

  • Health and medical care professionals ? Provide treatment and assistance with rehabilitation of individuals when sick and also provide after care.
  • Dental ? Provide treatment for problems related to mouth, teeth and gums
  • Health care science - Provide treatment for chronic medical conditions and diseases using scientific data, medication and skills. They conduct research and experiments.
  • Nurses and care givers - Provide patients with care when ill and during the healing process, and thus are promoting general health and well-being in hospitals, at homes and clinics.
  • Doctors ? Identify and take care of injuries, several types of medical conditions, ailments and general health of individuals.
  • Pharmaceutical ? dispense medication to persons on prescription and provide advice on the correct medications.
  • Wider health care group - Responsible for the planning and development as well as and general maintenance of buildings. Food preparation, laundry services, hygienic maintenance of healthcare facilities, reception etc. fall in this group.
  • Emergency staff ? provide assistance in trauma rooms, at accident scenes etc.

Social Work

Social work revolves around people. The employees interact with individuals in the capacity of counsellors, supporters, analysts or listening to people's problems and thus enabling the individuals to be productive in their communities and addressing their pressing needs.


Teaching can be divided into the following categories:


It's a loving, demanding vocation were you form a vital part in the growth and development of children?s abilities, talents, minds, and general development.

Career opportunities consist of:

  • Nursery school assistant or educator
  • Pre-school and playgroup assistant
  • Au pair ? taking care of babies and children of all ages
  • Play worker organising playgroups, clubs, sports activities etc.

Teaching primary and secondary school kids

  • Teacher
  • Assistant principal
  • Deputy principal
  • Advanced skilled educator.

Tertiary education

This normally includes a combination of private and government sector related jobs. Lecturers with different levels of education teach young adults, employees and interested parties about specific fields.

Emergency Services

Emergency services are divided into three self explanatory categories.

  • Ambulance services ? Includes paramedics, technicians, assistants and 'front-line' staff who provide care to people in crisis situations outside of the hospital or emergency room.
  • Fire fighting
  • Police
  • Rescue units for mountain accidents and auto incidents.

Armed services

Armed services are also divided into categories. These categories consist of many different career prospects:

  • Air Force ? The main objective of any country's air force is to protect and defend the safety and security of the country's air space. Other tasks include search and rescue operations, and disaster assistance.
  • Navy ? The Navy is usually one of the largest training sources of a country, and career opportunities are not limited to the sea. They function on land, air, and sea and thus create diverse, but very interesting career opportunities.
  • Army ? The main objective is to serve and protect the country. There are however many different career opportunities and divisions in the army to choose from e.g.
    • Combat
    • Engineering
    • IT
    • Logistics
    • Health
    • Human resources
    • Administration
    • Finances
    • Specialist services

Civil services

The sector is a far cry from the dusty office were office stationary consists of rubber stamps and you have a scheduled tea and lunch break, go on pension when you turn 55 and have a dead-end career. The sector includes:

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Unemployment
  • Pensions
  • Health and food safety
  • Transport
  • City planning
  • Parks

The public sector offers a variety of other career possibilities like jobs in libraries, museums, historical sites to name but a few. Career prospects are mostly limited only by education and years worked in the sector.