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- What Jobs Can You Get with an Undergraduate Degree in Public Service?
- What Jobs Can You Get with a Graduate Degree in Public Service?
- Public Service Degrees with the Most Direct Career Routes
- Public Service Degrees with the Most Flexible Career Options
- Additional Resources for Matching Your Public Service Degree to a Career
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What Can I Do with My Public Service Degree?
Public service degrees are a great way to embark on a challenging and meaningful career where you can give back to the community, country, and world while making a good living at the same time. Jobs in teaching, social work, psychology, criminal justice and other fields where you can make a real difference are all possible with the right degree. From helping at-risk youth as a social worker to safeguarding our personal data as a cyber security analyst to leading first response teams as an emergency services director, a public service degree gives you the professional skills and knowledge you need. Keep reading to see where a degree in public service can take you.
Last Updated: 06/01/2020
What You Can Do with a Degree in …
What Jobs Can You Get with an Undergraduate Degree in Public Service?
Want to jump right into the workforce after college? An undergraduate degree in a public service field can get you there. Students who earn an associate degree can qualify for many entry-level positions in fields like psychology and criminal justice while earning a bachelor’s degree can substantially expand one’s career options. The choice between an associate and bachelor’s will often come down to the specific job you’re interested in. For example, pursuing a career as a teacher requires a bachelor’s degree at minimum. Here’s a closer look at what types of public service careers you can pursue with an undergraduate degree.
Career Matches for Popular Associate Degrees in Public Service
The two-year associate degree can prepare you to move directly into the workforce and start building valuable experience in your chosen field. Though many of the careers available with an associate degree are entry-level work, the strong educational background gained through the degree can help with advancement. Here are just a few degree options.
Career Matches for Popular Bachelor’s Degrees in Public Service
Many jobs in public service require a bachelor’s degree. The following are just a few of the degree options that can lead to a variety of careers in the field.
What Jobs Can You Get with a Graduate Degree in Public Service?
Some public service careers require an advanced degree before a student can be eligible for them. For instance, becoming a licensed social worker requires a master’s degree while those who want to work as a psychologist must earn their PhD before they can obtain licensure. The higher degrees can lead to careers that offer better pay, higher chances of promotions, more responsibility and the ability to move into other careers that are closely related, such as a psychologist moving into higher education as an instructor. Read on to discover just some of the careers open to those who choose to pursue a graduate degree in a public service field.
Career Matches for Popular Master’s Degrees in Public Service
Many who pursue public service degrees will look to that master’s level as their entry into higher paying positions, better promotions and in some cases, entirely new careers. Here are a few careers that dovetail nicely with master’s degrees in public service.
Career Matches for Popular Doctoral Degrees in Public Service
For some of the following careers, the doctorate is a requirement for licensure. For others, it’s a great way to boost earning potential and job security. Here are a few of the careers that match the degree.
Public Service Degrees with the Most Direct Career Routes
Some people know exactly what they want to do with their career. They have a goal and are laser-focused on that. Those individuals are often quite happy to find a very direct career route – a specific educational program that leads to only a handful of professional options. Here are a few.
Bachelor’s Degree in Education/Teaching
Students in this degree path choose their specialty – such as elementary, secondary, early childhood education, or special education – and follow that path to completion of the degree. Though they might choose to add on endorsements that broaden their teaching horizons, for the most part this degree leads straight to teaching positions in public or private school districts.
Years of College
Licensure in the state in which you will teach
ETA to Career Start
4 to 4 ½ years
Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is all about making certain our digital connections to the world are safe and secure. This focused degree path most often leads to a career as a cybersecurity analyst or management positions within IT companies. It might also provide lateral job moves into areas like database administration or security software development, both of which have a crucial security element to them. As the world’s digital footprint becomes broader, these jobs are becoming much more in demand.
Years of College
ETA to Career Start
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
The Doctor of Psychology (or a PhD in Psychology) is a requirement for those who want to become a licensed psychologist. Though other jobs are certainly possible in the psychology field when one holds a doctorate, work as a psychologist will be the norm. The only differences might be in where the psychologist chooses to work, as there are numerous clinical, research, and academia settings ready to accept someone with this highly-trained experience and education.
Years of College
4 to 5 years beyond the bachelor’s degree
Must meet clinical hour requirements for licensure
ETA to Career Start
8 to 9 years
Public Service Degrees with the Most Flexible Career and Future Education Options
Many degrees in public service lead to more open-ended career and future education opportunities. Getting an undergraduate degree in psychology or criminal justice, for example, doesn’t limit your choices as much as some other academic paths would. Here’s a deeper look some of the more flexible degrees in public service.
Additional Resources for Matching Your Public Service Degree to a Career
O*NET OnLine Education Crosswalk
This unique website allows you to enter in a particular profession, such as teacher, and see the variety of careers and related jobs that are possible for someone with the proper training in the field.
This website sponsored by the federal government offers a wealth of job opportunities for those in public service and related fields. The jobs listed can cover a wide breadth of public service careers, and some are even tailored for those of certain populations or traits, such as jobs for the disabled or military veterans.
Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
This professional organization is perfect for those seeking to learn more about public policy, public management and related fields in public service. Not only does it explain certain degrees and their worth in the field, it also provides job listings, networking opportunities and much more.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
This government website is the gold standard for learning about jobs available in the public service area and beyond. Look up jobs you’re curious about to find in-depth information on the education, training, pay, job outlook, and more.