Skills required for a career in the Public Sector industry
The sector is very broad. Whatever you want to do, it's likely you can do it in the public sector.
Many public sector jobs involve dealing with the public, so good people skills and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of others is very important
Typical Public Sector career progression routes
Career progression tends to be clearly defined. Roles are usually grouped in bands or stages. From this, you'll be able to work out how far you are from your dream position.
To help you progress, stay informed on industry developments. You can also develop your personal and workplace skills through training to get the most out of your job.
Typical Career Development for the Public Sector industry
The public sector is vast, so career development opportunities will vary depending on where you work.
For example, in teaching, you may be able to take on extra courses to help you become head of department.
In the NHS or the police force, clear gradings will show you what you need to do to move to the next level in your career.
In the Civil Service, you'll be given five days every year to dedicate to learning and development, allowing you to upskill in areas that are relevant for you.
How much do Public Sector professionals get paid?
Public Sector salaries vary hugely. For example A social care worker will earn a very different salary to those working in Central Government. Despite this, the pay gap between the public sector and the private sector is narrowing.
Here are the average salaries for a selection of Public Sector jobs, including with a few years' experience:
What qualifications do I need for a Public Sector career
Humanities and social science degrees can qualify you for roles across the huge number of Public Sector areas that require softer and less technical skills, like communication, teamwork or diplomacy.
If you want to work within the Civil Service, a masters in an area like social policy or international relations, as well as foreign language skills might also be of benefit.
Certain professions, (like or teachers or NHS nurses) will require specific subjects to be studied, whether they're at undergraduate level or with a training course.
How to get there
Many public sector organisations, like the Civil Service, have structured graduate schemes. They usually last around two years. The application process typically involves application forms, interviews and cognitive tests.
If you've studied a specific degree, such as nursing, you'll be able to apply for jobs that are directly related to that area without having to take on further qualifications.
Specialist careers, such as teaching, also have defined career routes. You should investigate these individually. There are various routes you can take to pursue a teaching career, and all lead to the same result when completed.
It also helps to have some work experience. For example, if you want to work in social care, working with children or adult learners before applying shows dedication.
Contact local schools, hospitals, council or other public-serving organisations and ask if you can spend some time volunteering or shadowing a member of staff. This will help you stand out when you apply for jobs or training programmes.