You’re trained in a particular field and want to work for the federal government. Like any job hunt, it’s going to take diligence, networking and the fine art of self-promotion. Add thinking out the box to that list.
Take someone who is in the education field, for example. The Department of Education is the obvious place to look. It’s a great department, which is also why it might be one of the hardest agencies to crack. There is little turnover.
But education in the federal government is broader than the Education Department.
The Department of Defense, as a case in point, runs its own school system for children on military bases. The Department of Defense Education Activity hires teachers and administrators to work in 194 schools in 14 districts located in 12 foreign countries, seven states, Guam and Puerto Rico. Other agencies like USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) hire education specialists to help develop and evaluate education programs in other countries.
Too obvious? Let’s dig deeper.
The State Department has the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs that runs the Office of Academic Exchange Programs, Office of English Language Programs, and Office of Global Educational Programs. Many agencies have “Offices of Education” and education and outreach Programs for K-12 students. Included in these are the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Energy and more. NASA and other technical agencies have an Office’s of Education that works with educators to attract and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and engage Americans in their missions.
STEM has become one of President Obama’s priorities for the schools. Many agencies are overseeing STEM projects that involve working with K-12 educators, administrators and their schools. Agencies who have STEM offices include the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering in the Department of Defense.
The federal government does a tremendous amount of training and professional development. This is especially the case for agencies with large workforces who need training for new and current personnel. For example the State Department has the Foreign Service Institute, there is the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), FEMA has the National Training and Education Division (NTED) and agencies like TSA have a Training and Development Office.
I can go on, but hopefully you get the point.