U.S. Federal Government Jobs Education and Training

Prepare for public service with U.S. Federal Government jobs education and training

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 2 million civilians are currently working in US federal government jobs. Add in the 615,000 workers currently employed with the Postal Service and it's easy to see how important the federal government's role as an employer is to the national economy. Not only does the government employ a large number of people, but it also offers its workers reliable vacations, great benefits and good job stability, making it an attractive place to work.

In order to work for the executive departments and independent administrations that comprise the federal government, potential employees must acquire the proper education and training. There are a large number of ways people can prepare for federal government employment, but they each typically begin with a traditional four-year college degree. Before applying for US government jobs, employees should consider the following:

1. Many United States government jobs require at least a bachelor's degree, while many require a combination of advanced degrees and related work experience.

2. Some agencies, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), have their own training academies.

3. Advertisements for job openings specify what combination of education and experience applicants should have before applying.

Get a college degree that prepares you for government work

Many federal government job openings require applicants to have at least a bachelor's degree in a related field. Fortunately for recent graduates, the federal government employs workers from such a wide range of educational backgrounds that most standard undergraduate degrees will work. Majors in environmental science, physics, modern languages, history and accounting can all find work with the government.
Georgetown University has excellent programs in Foreign Service and international affairs that prepares students for careers in organizations like the Departments of State and Defense. Schools like Harvard and Stanford also have top-ranked undergraduate programs in government and political science. Although these schools are highly selective, reviewing their programs can give prospective students an idea of what to expect from other universities.

Attend a training academy to increase federal government job opportunities

Some government agencies require such a specific set of skills that they offer to train their employees themselves. Others offer professional training and certification programs to help current employees sharpen their skills and stay abreast of the latest research, policies and trends.
The FBI Academy trains new recruits to become field agents, investigators, forensic experts and more. The Central Intelligence Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency both offer career-long training programs for their employees.

Review the requirements for specific United States government jobs

Arguably the best way to prepare for a job with the federal government is to research current job openings and see what they require from applicants. This gives potential employees the clearest idea of what education and experience they will need to compete for positions.
USAJobs is the online employment portal for all of the government's agencies. Applicants use this site to upload resumes, search new job postings and apply for government work. Workers who the government already employs can browse the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's resources on career management and development.

  • Before applying, research US government jobs on the website of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It offers information on job scheduling, salaries, benefits and more.