How to Get a Job with a Government Degree

(No, it's not a link to a McDonald's application.)


The best way to find a quality job after graduation is through internships.  The more the merrier, the sooner the better. Internships give you practical skills and work experience that enhance your classroom learning. Here is a list of internship opportunities.

Five Examples

Janine Harrod, Class of 2004, did the Albany legislative internship in the spring of her senior year, and is now a legislative director with the Massachusetts Restaurant Association dealing with state legislative issues that impact the restaurant industry. In her words, " I have to admit, that my internship at the Assembly was the perfect training for my job. Thank god all that driving back and forth to Albany has paid off! I don't think I could have landed this job if it weren't for that experience."

Kate Imbach, Class of 2003, interned with NYSERDA, the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, and a reproductive rights lobbyign group in Albany. After graduating she went to work for Charles Group Consulting.

John Iz, Class of 2003, worked as the editor of the Skidmore News, and did two summer internships as a reporter for the Saratogian and with NBC Nightly News. After graduating, he was hired by MSNBC News.

Greg Thall, Class of 2002, interned with a Philadelphia Legal Aid Office and a member of the NY State assembly. After graduating he worked on the Rendell for Governor Campaign as the Campaign College Outreach Coordinator (see here) and the Philadelphia mayoral campaign, and is now in law school and working in Governor Rendell's Office of General Counsel.

Kate Donovan, Class of 2001, interned with the Massachusetts EPA, a Massachusets state legislator, and Environmental Advocates (an environmental lobbying organization) before graduating. She was hired by Price Waterhouse to work as a consultant for the EPA on Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage issues and is now in grad school at Columbia.

How do you find an internship?

The Washington Post has a series of excellent articles under its Internships 101 section on how to find internships and maximize the experience. I have supervised many summer internships with students who have interned for Senator Hilary Clinton, Mayor Jane Campbell of Cleveland, the Saratoga Springs City Planner, NBC Nightly News, Environmental Advocates in Albany, Green Mountain Energy (a renewable energy private company), the Saratoga Foundation, the Recording Industry Association of America, the City Planner of Norwich, CT, the public radio station WAMC, the NH Governor's Office of Energy and Community Services, the Saratogian, and the Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Public Works, to name but a few. The options are endless.  Most are done for 3 or 6 credits as an GO 299 or GO 399 independent study in the summer with me.  

There is also a great full time internship program during the spring semester in the New York State Senate and Assembly which you receive credit for and get paid. Go here for information.

Here is an interesting article with series of links on international internships


Online Resources to Find a

Job in Political Science

The Web is an incredible source for job information. This list includes positions in academia as well as a long list of available applied jobs. Take a look below for a sample of what's available. The links were updated on July 23, 2004. The Washington Post has a nice series of articles on how to get your first job that are worth reviewing.

City Limits 

A list of a wide variety of positions in non-profit organizations from the City Limits newspaper

Opportunities in Public Affairs, a list of DC jobs and a newsletter you can subscribe to

The Washington Network Group is a networking organization of professionals in business, finance,
foreign and government affairs. Lots of stuff on job hunting in DC. See their job postings section

Washington Post Employment Web page

Roll Call Jobs-   Roll Call is the leading publication for Congressional news.  This is its job and employment page.

Job Openings in State Legislatures posted by National Conference of State Legislatures Job Clearinghouse  a wide listing of city, state, and federal jobs in government

Careers In Government is a clearinghouse of information, resources and jobs available in public sector organizations in America and abroad.

Empire State Capital Area Chapter Jobs Links page-- lots of links to govt and NGO jobs

Politics1 Campaign Job Bank This site has links to dozens of national, state and local political campaign related jobs.

Politics as a career -- A CNN article on the life and pay of political campaign consultants - "Six-figure jobs: Politics as a career"



USA Jobs

The U.S. Government's official site for jobs and employment information, maintained by the Office of Personnel Management. Many positions requiring a social science background can be found through this site.

Multistate Associates Inc. list of state legislative web sites

Careers in Public Service--National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration

Advice on seeking a career in public service, first-person accounts, links to resources to find public service jobs.

American Association for Public Opinion Research -- if you are interested in public opinion polls

Directory of agencies and organizations; chapter listings

Jobs in State Government
The National Council of State legislatures has links for job openings in a number of state legislatures as well as other state agencies. It is by no means comprehensive, but certainly worth looking at.  If you are interested in employment opportunities with state legislatures, check it periodically.



The Corporation for National Service has job openings at the headquarters in Washington D.C. as well as in field offices across the country.  This site also contains information on other current job openings and how to apply.

A project of Action Without Borders includes over 35,000 nonprofit and community organizations in 165 countries, which you can search or browse by name, location, or mission.  Also includes thousands of volunteer opportunities in your community and around the world and the best nonprofit career center on the web with hundreds of job listings.

Independent Sector                           

A coalition of leading nonprofits, foundations and corporations strengthening not-for-profit initiative, philanthropy, and citizen action.  Site includes several job links with updated position announcements.
The Internet's leading source of nonprofit jobs and career opportunities.

NGO Locator: Information and Links

International Jobs

How to get a job in the US Foreign Service

International Nonprofit Organization (IREX)
IREX is the premier U.S. nonprofit organization specializing in higher education, independent media, Internet development and civil society programs in the U.S., Europe, Eurasia, the Near East and Asia.

U.S. News
Find a job abroad.  Use this site to search jobs in countries all over the world.

Philanthropy Careers and Jobs Listing

JobLink for Journalists

Southeast Diversity Journalism
The National Diversity Newspaper Jobbank. Emphasis on employment for minorities and women

Academic Career Network

Academics 360 -- a meta-collection of Internet resources that have been gathered for the academic job hunter

Environmental Jobs

Environmental Career Opportunities

The Job Seeker --Specializing in natural resource and environmental vacancies nationwide

Environmental Career Center's web site.--

Green Corps, the Field School for Environmental Organizing, Environmental Leadership Training Program We are hiring for one-year paid positions in our leadership training program. We are seeking the next generation of environmental and social change leaders: recent college and Masters graduates who want experience running campaigns and making a concrete differences.   If interested contact Skidmore Graduate,  or call at 617-426-8506.

The Student Conservation Association offers conservation internships

American Society for Public Administration
Search for careers in public administration.  Includes access links to current federal job postings and to postings in all fifty states plus the District of Columbia.

Guide to Careers in Child and Family Policy                           

Learn generally about a career in child and family policy or search for internships, fellowships, volunteer positions, or jobs at all life stages.

National Forum for Black Public Administrators                                                       

Search for jobs, as well as browse many job categories including human resources, public safety, engineering, housing, community development and more.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics
Start a career with the Department of Labor.  Visit their website and learn more about how to apply for a job at The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

General Accounting Office (GAO)
Career tracks at GAO include analyst, financial auditor, specialist and more.  Visit their website to learn more about a career with GAO.