Skip to main content

Careers in Government and Public Service

The U.S. government is the largest civilian employer in the U.S., while working alongside it are state and local entities addressing the basic needs of citizens and communities in the areas of transportation, education, public health, public assistance, energy, natural resources, law, commerce, and more.  The Partnership for Public Service’s Annual Report states that “government is our best tool for solving big problems,” and – as our earlier Careers in Government article discussed – government is broad; there are many ways to enter its service, and it provides valuable work experience that’s applicable across all sectors of the economy.

We’re going to break it down for you again between Federal and State/Local as well as share extra resources and internship opportunities.


If you want to work at the federal level, a good place to start is It shows students how to write a federal resume, tips on how to use the site to find jobs, as well as lays out the various hiring paths. Here are 3 we think you will find most relevant:

  1. The Public (vs. internal government hires)
  2. Students and Recent Graduates
  3. Peace Corps & AmeriCorps VISTA 

For current students and recent grads, the Pathways Program offers internship and employment opportunities.

For students and grads looking for a 1-3-year Gap Year experience and the opportunity to serve the community in the U.S. or abroad, AmeriCorps VISTA and the Peace Corps are great options and, upon completion, will provide preferential consideration on federal job applications. Find more information on this topic: GoGovernment-Information for Peace Corps and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers

Not all agencies will post their open positions on The federal agencies that comprise the intelligence community (NSA, CIA, FBI, etc.), for example, post positions on Careers or their individual agency sites. The Department of State uses their own site to post available jobs which also includes a link to aforementioned DOS Pathways Program.

Where are the federal jobs? Only about 15% of federal jobs are in the DC metro area and roughly 83% are located in other parts of the country, with 2% outside the U.S. The 2% outside of the U.S. are primarily in the military and with USAID, as well as the departments of Health and Human Services, Commerce, Justice, and Homeland Security. Check out the GoGovernment – Career Guides Work Abroad if you want to learn more about these types of opportunities.

STATE AND LOCAL is the official web portal for the government and lists information about state and local government. Besides going to individual states’ websites, you can find links to resources for governors, state attorneys general, state health departments, state, county, and municipal courts, and more. 


Here’s a snapshot of some job and internship opportunities currently available on Handshake. Make sure to save jobs you are interested in, follow companies, and save searches for the future so you can easily keep up to date with new listings that might interest you and get the most out of Handshake.


Bucknell students have interned across government departments and localities, here is a snapshot of some recent student internships:

  1. City of Detroit Mayor’s Office – Civil Rights, Inclusion & Opportunity Development
  2. Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  3. Congressional Research Service
  4. National Institutes of Health
  5. New Jersey Office of the Public Defender
  6. New York Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau
  7. Smithsonian Institution – Office of Policy & Analysis
  8. Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
  9. U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division Office of International Affairs
  10. U.S. Trade and Development Agency

Comments are closed.