Have you decided that you would like to work in the public services sector? This is a smart choice for anyone that wants to make a difference, be it at a national or local area. In this blog post, we are going to take a look at everything you need to know regarding the different jobs that are available in the public services sector. We will also provide you with some useful tips that can help you while plotting your career path. So, let’s dive right in…
What is the public services sector?
First, let’s begin by establishing what this sector entails. Essentially, this is an industry that is responsible for providing all of the public services within a country. This includes the likes of refuse collection, housing, social care, education, healthcare, and emergency services. Therefore, as you can see, there is a wide and varied scope of different jobs that are available. This is one of the reasons why the public sector has become so attractive to graduates today.
The various areas of the public sector you can work in
As touched upon, there are so many different opportunities within the public services sector. This can either be split into local government jobs or central government. Of course, these are not the only options, yet the government tends to cross over with all of the other sectors within public services.
These other sectors include teacher training and education, with opportunities for higher education, secondary, and primary teachers. You may also want to move into social care, acting as a social or care worker for many different people in society. Law enforcement and security is another area. Of course, you could work for the fire service, the police, or the armed forces. There are then different divisions within these segments, for instance, you could take a border control degree and work in this segment of law enforcement. Finally, there is the healthcare area of public services.
Who are the main employers for graduates?
There are many different employers, depending on what area within the public services you wish to work within.
Let’s begin by taking a look at the local government. Jobs can be found within all of the following areas at this level:
- Youth and community work
- Trading Standards
- Surveying and town planning
- Social services
- Media and communications
- Environmental health
- Architecture, heritage, and housing
Now, moving onto Civil Service and the central government. Some of the public bodies, agencies, and Civil Service departments you can work for range from security services to the government’s economic department. There are a number of other notable employers within the public services sector that are worth a mention, for example, the armed forces.
What can you expect if your work in the public services sector?
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the different sorts of public service jobs that are available. So, now let’s take a look at some of the different things you can expect if you decide to work in this industry. This includes the following:
- Opportunities to travel – both locally and around the country. In some posts, you will also be able to work in different countries.
- Strong opportunities for continuing professional development.
- Some jobs to have strict entry requirements with regards to nationality.
- Some roles to be very stressful. This is because you will have a high degree of responsibility and you will have to work to tight deadlines.
- Good working conditions, however, job security can be relatively low.
- Jobs to be widely available across the country.
Issues facing the public sector
There is no denying that the public sector is one of the main employers for graduates. This is likely to continue to be the case for years and years to come. However, one of the main issues plaguing the industry at the moment is a shortage of tech and digital skills. Therefore, if you have these skills, you can really set yourself apart.
The skills required for a successful career in public services
While we are on the subject of the skills that the public services sector is looking for, it is worth delving deeper into the skills that are necessary if you are going to work in this industry successfully. This includes all of the following:
- Leadership – If you are to be a public sector manager, you need to be able to lead without controlling others. If you place a person’s actions in a strategic framework it will help people that are involved to comprehend the rationale for the direction you are going in.
- The ability to work collaboratively – Another key quality you are going to need is the ability to work collaboratively. Often, more than one organisation will be involved in order to find solutions to pressing problems, for example, planning the needs of the growing population. You need to be able to work with others effectively. This includes working across boundaries with external partners or other public agencies.
- Resilience – You are also going to need to be resilient because public services are changing all of the time. You need to cope with and persevere with pressure effectively, as well as being someone who can take a positive approach to change and bounce back from any difficulties.
- Respect for hierarchy – Another important quality you need to have is respect for hierarchy. You need to be sensitive to differences in professional background, status, and job titles when you are dealing with co-workers.
- The ability to influence other people through reasoned argument – In the public services sector, you are going to need to be able to influence others to follow your action or buy-in with what you are saying. To do this, you need to present reasoned arguments and have an extremely high level of verbal skills.
- Communication – Communication skills are also imperative when it comes to working in the public services sector, as you will need to build relationships with collaborative partners, colleagues, and service users. You need to explain effectively and persuade others while also getting your point across through writing, varying your verbal delivery based on the situation, and being able to listen well. You will be able to develop your skills as a student while presenting or writing in different forms at a university.
- Critical thinking and problem-solving – Another important skill that is worth mentioning is the ability to think critically and solve problems. You need to offer and implement solutions well, as well as understanding complex phenomena by using critical analysis skills and exploring the root cause of a number of different problems. Again, there are a number of different ways that students can develop these skills. Not only does this include academic study but also through work experience, being a course representative and helping to run a student society.
As you can see, there are many different jobs that are available for anyone who wishes to work in the public services sector. We hope that you now have a better understanding of the different options that are available to you and the many possibilities you can make the most of. You can use this blog post as a starting point for further research into different career opportunities within the public sector domain.