The State of the Union sometimes provides a road map to where the government is going and where there might be hiring. Let’s consider what President Obama’s speech might mean for federal employment.

Internal Revenue Service

No matter what happens on tax codes and tax reform, the IRS will always be an important agency. Even with worries about furloughs and staff reductions, the IRS is hiring. Positions are available for individual taxpayer advisory specialists, contact representatives, IT specialists, lawyers and more. Many job announcements say officials expect those hired to start work between March and June. For more information, go to or

Department of Energy

Obama continues to discuss energy investment. Positions are open not only for scientists and technical specialists but also for investment officers, grant management specialists, contract specialists and more. Sometimes there may be four openings in one category. Check at, or search for “DOE” at

Department of Homeland Security

DHS is a massive department with a number of agencies, but immigration and border security are two of the president’s priorities. Obama discussed putting more boots on the ground, and that means we may see Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Custom Enforcement hiring more agents and support staff. If the nation’s immigration laws are overhauled, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which oversees lawful immigration, will grow. Positions are available in all three agencies. USCIS is hiring entry-level lawyers. Other positions include inspections and compliance specialists, enforcement and removal assistants, management and program analysts, investigative program specialists and marine interdiction agents. Search for “immigration” at

Department of Veteran Affairs

More troops will be returning home and going from active duty to veteran. The VA will continue to hire medical professionals, contact representatives, IT specialists, social workers and more. There are a number of agencies under the VA, so check out jobs at or under “Veterans” at

Education and STEM

I don’t expect the Department of Education to grow, but the president has emphasized improving education and building programs dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. You can look for grants from various agencies to promote education and STEM at


Cybersecurity is hot and getting hotter in the private and public sectors. The federal government plans to hire thousands of cybersecurity professionals. Many will be hired within the Defense Department, but positions will be filled across the government. Search for “cyber” at

Also check defense agencies and commands such the National Security Agency and the Army’s Cyber Command. Keep watching as the year progresses, and you may find a job.

Dortch is president of the Diversa Group, which specializes in federal employment.