The Pros and Cons of Working in the Private and Public Sectors With A Degree

There are many advantages to working in the private sector, and many benefits to choosing public service. Before you decide which sector for which you wish to become employed, it's a good idea to examine the pros and cons of working in each.

The private sector has long been considered to have some of the most volatile jobs in the United States, namely because many states are considered 'right to work'. In terms of the private sector itself, this means you can be let go at any position without a particular reason being given.

If you live in a state that is not 'right to work', you will be better able to fight back, but if not, you may find yourself unemployed for no good reason. This is not, however, considered a pro or a con, but can be relevant information if you wish to work in this sector.

There are several pros to working in each. Working in the private sector allows you more room to move around from one position to another. Though every organization has its own set of rules, they tend to be a little more flexible in this sector than in public service. Pay raises are also easier to obtain, as the decisions can be made from within the company, instead of being based on central rules and regulations followed throughout the entire state or government. Another pro for working in the private sector is the ability to move up quickly in an organization. While this is not impossible to do in the public sector, it can often prove more difficult, as there are tight restrictions placed on the entire process.

There are pros to working in the public sector as well. One is the stability these jobs often bring. While there can always be special circumstances, it is often harder to be fired from a public job than one in the private sector. This is primarily because in 'right to work' states, private employees can be let go with little to know explanation or justification. This is often not the case for public service workers. Another pro is the benefit packages offered in the public sector. These include great insurance and retirement benefits that often make working for the state or federal government worth while, especially for those with families. A third pro of working for the federal government is the ability to move from one federal position to another and still retain the same benefits, vacation, and sick days as you did in the last job. Over time, it all adds up and provides employees the opportunity to plan for holidays, while allowing them to feel more secure in the work force.

There are also cons to working in both the private in public sectors. One con of working in the private sector is the lack of benefits. While some companies certainly offer great insurance and retirement packages, they are often not comparable to those offered in the public sector. There are, in some cases, also fewer professional positions for individuals without a degree. Also, the salaries are more competitive, making it more difficult for those with a degree to enter into certain entry-level positions. This is because they are considered to be over qualified by some companies, and more likely to look for a different job sooner rather than later.

Cons to working in the public sector are mostly associated with the lower salaries. On average, the salaries offered in the public sector are not as high as those offered in the private sector. Also, there are many entry-level positions available, but it can be more difficult to work your way up the corporate ladder.

This is because most positions in the federal government are based on a specific degree or equivalent experience, something that is most often nonnegotiable. A third con is the lack of pay raises. Because these decisions are handled across the board, each individual organization is not allowed to make such changes, as is the case with the private sector.

Before you decide which sector would be best for you, be sure to review the pros and cons and determine if they will meet your needs. It is important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another, so consider each option carefully. Consult various private and public service web sites for more information on the recruitment process and job openings available.