Government Employment & Internships
Government agencies provide employment opportunities for students of every major. This page will help you navigate the federal job search process and identify state and local opportunities as well.
The federal government is the nation's largest employer, expecting to fill some 50,000 entry-level positions in the coming year. Because of this growing need to replace retirees, the government sponsors many valuable programs and websites aimed at increasing interest in federal employment.
Overview of Federal Government Industry
This page from the Career Guide to Industries provides a nice first-step overview of employment with the Federal Government.
"Making the Difference" Student Outreach Web Site
This site provides job profiles by area of interest, descriptions of federal agencies, an overview of benefits, tips for applying, and lists of "hot jobs" and "cool internships." A great place to start.
Best Places to Work
This site includes a comprehensive ranking of federal agencies based on a survey of more than 250,000 employees. The rankings are designed to offer job-seekers unprecedented insight into the best opportunities for public service.
A one-stop portal for a range of Federal employment opportunities and resources for students, before and after graduation. Note that the resume and application process for post-graduate federal jobs is quite unique; you'll want to get informed before you begin. In addition to the resources here, we have several books in our resource library and can provide expert guidance through appointment.
This is the official central job-posting site of the Federal Government, but it does not necessarily include all available opportunities. It's not the best place to BEGIN exploring federal employment, but is a good place go once you know what you are looking for. The list of official job titles below can be a real help in your search.
Federal Jobs by Major
To assist students in selecting a career field, the government has created a list that groups common federal jobs according to relevant academic majors. Note that the top of the list includes several jobs suitable for students with a degree in any field.
A-Z Index of Federal Departments and Agencies
Many federal positions are posted only on individual federal agency websites, and this list will get you there. Once at a site of interest follow links to employment, career, personnel, human resources, etc.
The Resume Place | Ten Steps for Students
If you plan to apply for federal jobs you may need to create a unique federal resume. The resources and "builders" on the website of federal job expert Kathryn Troutman will allow you to get started. We also recommend her book, "The Student's Federal Career Guide," as it is the only federal employment text aimed at student and entry-level employment. Be sure to check out (and search) the blog on this site as well! LOTS of useful articles.
Student Federal Jobs Handbook
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the links above, start with this helpful PDF created for a recent Federal employment workshop here on campus.
Key Student Employment Programs
Though many agencies have special hiring and training programs for specific high-need areas (such as cyber-security), there are a few key programs that cut across agencies and offer expedited entry into the federal government, including:
Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)
SCEP positions are substantive internships that must be related to the student's area of study. Most positions are paid, and others may be arranged for academic credit. For more information, see the Office of Personnel Management, or this page from USA Jobs. There does not appear to be a good central source for these opportunities, so Googling "Student Career Experience Program Gov" might be your best bet. You can also search USA Jobs and browse the websites of agencies that interest you to look for opportunities (Full A-Z index).
Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP)
The STEP, another name for a temporary internship with a federal agency, is a great way for students to be exposed to the government. These paid positions can range in length from a summer to as long as the student is in school. It is not necessary for the work to be related to the student's academic major, which allows the student to gain experience in a variety of fields. Begin your search as described above.
A Note about the FCIP
In the past, the post-graduate Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP) was a common avenue for entry into the federal government. It was eliminated in March 2011 and will be replaced by new employment initiatives currently in development. Details will be provided as they become available.
Other valuable, but less widespread, federal programs worth Googlinginclude the following (links will bring you to Google results; note that adding "gov" helps to focus the search):
Outstanding Scholar Program Gov(Hiring program for grads with 3.5 GPA)
Summer Internship Program (Open)
Diversity Summer Internship Gov (Racial and Ethnic Minority students)
Student Volunteer Program Gov (Unpaid training opportunities)
Workforce Recruitment Program Gov (For students with disabilities)
State and Local Government
Overview of State/Local Government Industry
This page from the Dept. of Labor Career Guide to Industries provides a nice first-step overview of employment at the state and local level.
State and Local Government Index
This amazingly comprehensive and well-organized directory provides convenient one-stop access to the websites of thousands of state agencies and city and county governments. You can view a categorized list of all the Web sites for a given state (here's Maryland!), or view all websites for a given department (e.g., legislature) across the states. USA.gov also includes a directory of state and local government links (see right side of the page).
Maryland State Government
Two useful links for those interested in employment with the state of Maryland: Job Openings in the State Personnel Management System, and Links to Employment Information from Other State Agencies.
And don't forget...
St. Mary's County Government