Graduating into a Government Job?

Last night I ran into a political science student who will be graduating this December, like I am. I asked her what she would do after graduation, and not surprisingly she overlooked the question, like I usually do when someone asks for my post-graduation plans “Do you know Ashley?” said my friend. “I envied her so much because she is majoring in computer engineering! Now engineers are needed everywhere!”

I didn’t know whether this is the case until I saw an article by Tim McManus from the new issue of The Public Manager. McManus’ stats from his office’s Where the Jobs Are report coincides with what my friend said: Graduate-level engineering talent is in tight supply. Nurses are also in need.—“The need for nurses will continue to grow as Baby Boomers enter their retirement years and the demand for care escalates.” SaidTim, who works at the Partnership for Public Service which was responsible for the jobs report.

If you are an HR officer at a government agency what will you do when you hear this? Tim suggested that “Given the limited pools of nursing, engineering, cyber-security and other mission-critical talent, government must think creatively about how to attract and retain top talent, including offering financial incentives when possible.” If you think this is hard to achieve under the current budget situation, you can also try to build in-depth relationship with colleges and universities.

Or, as a student I must say one efficient way for government agencies to recruit a top-drawer workforce is to emphasize the positive externalities of being public servants—what makes one feel better than being recognized and respected as the honorable servant of a nation? Or, being a public manager, what do you think?

Xin Wen is working for The Public Manager while studying communications at Georgetown University. She received her undergraduate degree from NanKai University in China, where she grew up. Contact her at [email protected] or [email protected].

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