50 Fundamental Resources for Public Service Students & Professionals
Studying and working in the public service field allows you to provide important, life-saving services to those around you. To perform in these roles effectively, you need specialized, practical resources to help you achieve your professional goals. This guide is designed to help you do just that. Here you can find in-depth information on the education and training needed to pursue a career in public service. From comprehensive guides covering the things most important to students and advice on starting your education, to expert insight on landing your first job and advancing your career, explore these 50 essential resources for public service students and professionals.
Academics: Training & Continuing Education
With so many degrees available devoted to starting or advancing a public service career now in existence, it’s important to take the time to find the school and program that speaks to your academic abilities, educational interests, financial needs, and future careers goals. Whether you plan to study online or in-person, there are many resources out there to help you make an informed and confident choice when it comes to your education. Finding accredited programs designed to properly prepare you for a career in the public sector doesn’t have to be a struggle and these resources can aid you in choosing a program that equips you with all the requirements to seek licensure, compete against other job applicants, and find success in your chosen field.
Even if you already hold the required degree for your career, that doesn’t mean the learning stops. There are plenty of continuing education opportunities available to public service professionals aimed at career maintenance and advancement.
Paying for Your Public Service Program
As the cost of a post-secondary education continues to increase each year, degree seekers must find ways of lessening their financial burden to avoid excessive student loan debt. Fortunately for public service students, many governmental agencies and nonprofits recognize the selflessness of those working in the field and want to help alleviate some of the stress around funding their education. From scholarships and finical aid, to student loan forgiveness, these resources can help you find a way to cover the cost of your public service education.
Licensing & Certifications
While not all do, some careers in public service require applicants to maintain licensure and/or certification to qualify. If you’re not sure whether your desired career requires licensing or certification, check with local employers to learn what your state’s standards are. Some individuals pursue certifications to help advance their knowledge and stand out from other job applicants while others do so to comply with their field’s mandates. Check out a few of the licensing and certification organizations below, but always conduct additional research on your chosen role in your state.
Special Interest Students
Aside from general organizations and commissions that support public service students and professionals at large, many special interest groups work to propel individuals from all walks of life into meaningful careers in the public sector. Whether you identify as a person of color, an LGBTQIA+ member, a person with a disability, or as part of any other minority group, resources exist to support you along the way.
Volunteering in the Public Sector
Before embarking on a career in the public sector, it is smart to test the waters first. Volunteering is a great way for doing just that. Certain organizations may even provide funding for future educational pursuits upon completing your volunteer work. You can find options ranging from a few weeks to a few years, so take time to sift through all your options until the perfect program presents itself.
Community & Safety
Using your professional skills in public service to positively impact local, national, and international communities is a selfless decision that can lead to a fulfilling career, however, you also need to ensure you take care of your own emotional, mental, and physical health in college and beyond if you hope to be effective in your work. College can be a tough time for myriad reasons, but many resources exist to help combat issues around stress, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and other problems arising.