Government jobs are often undervalued as career choices. They don't have the same profile as private sector corporate jobs. As a matter of fact, government jobs do have very good career tracks. A public sector career can be the equivalent of a business career, if managed effectively.
Levels of government
Government jobs are based on the levels of government concerned. These are either Federal/National, state/provincial, or local/county. These levels of government operate as the authorities in their areas, with legal powers delegated to them by the national and state constitutions. Local governments have their own powers, usually created under state laws.
Each of these levels of government employs its own administration and work force for its role. 'Government jobs' are a generic term for these jobs, but the roles are often quite different, operating under separate laws.
Government jobs come in several basic forms:
- Law enforcement
Obviously, the skills, qualifications, and other requirements of government jobs are related to the professions involved. There's no difference in the qualifications in government jobs, although in some cases 'public administration' qualifications, which are public sector related qualifications, are required as well.
In most cases government careers are structured on a common employment policy for staff. The basic employment conditions are covered by legislation, usually something like a 'Public Service Act.' That legislation sets out terms of employment. The exceptions are usually contract workers. Contract staff, particularly management, is employed under the terms of contract rather than legislation, unless special legislation has been created.
Government hiring and employment
Government jobs usually have a procedure for hiring set out by the legislation. In most government departments, the actual hiring and promotion is done by job ads, although temporary and casual staff are also regularly employed, usually through temp agencies. The process of formal hiring, however, can be quite different from the private sector.
Government jobs can require:
- Health checks
- Bankruptcy checks
- Criminal background checks
- Working with children checks
- Academic qualifications checks
- Required licenses, certificates, and accreditations
- Security checks (usually at Federal levels, but not always)
Government jobs have sets of career goals. However, a lot of people come and go, both from and to the private sector. All government jobs link in to professional career paths. A private sector criminal lawyer would join the public system as a prosecutor, for example, as a career move. Government careers are considered among the best careers for those in professions involving public administration, politics, and policy careers. The administrative and other careers are also well represented.
The training and qualifications environment
A big advantage of government careers is that training arrangements are excellent. All government agencies have training schemes, which means you can literally earn while you learn. In-house training and job skills upgrades are also provided by the agencies.