What Is Civil Service?
A civil service career is an umbrella term that describes a government employee who implements and enforces laws and policies. Civil service positions may be available as part of federal, state, and local government agencies. Employees could oversee many necessary tasks to make sure town, cities, or whole states operate effectively.
Civil servants help run some of the following behind-the-scenes government programs.
- Urban and Regional Planning
- Environmental Compliance
- Emergency Services
- Crime & Drug Prevention
Depending on your civil service ambitions, there could be an online degree program to help you work towards your goals. These programs are designed to address key concepts that could aid you both on your resume and your potential future career. And, with so many civil service positions available, there may even be an equal number degree programs as well!
Why Work for Civil Service?
Besides being a rewarding career that aids and supports communities, there are plenty of other reasons to pursue a career in civil services.
- There’s a wide variety of careers. Civil service careers present a lot of options from office positions to fieldwork.
- The civil service field is literally comprised of millions of positions. In 2016, the government employed 9.5 million civil servants. This number excludes schools and hospitals.i
- No matter where you live, there may be positions located nearby. Communities are inundated with civil servants. You might just not see them working behind the scenes. Even small towns might have a mayoral clerk, a small courthouse, or other government buildings that require a staff. While many positions are available in cities like Washington, D.C., you might be able to find one in your own back yard.
- There’s room for advancement. Throughout your career, you could enhance your position. Many civil servants begin in entry-level roles and then pursue managerial positions in their office. Others may choose to pursue civil servant careers to gain experience in the political field. After doing so, they may choose to campaign for elected positions within the government.
What Are Civil Service Jobs?
Civil servants fill a number of roles within the government. Speaking generally, these positions provide support to communities and how they function. Support can be given financially, socially, or judicially depending on the requirements of the position.
More specifically, roles could range from post office workers to human resources managers that work for elected officials.
The following are just a few examples of potential civil service careers.
- Police Officer
- Office Clerk
- Human Resources Manager
- Game Wardens
- Education Administrators
- Financial Advisers
Law Enforcement Careers & Criminal Justice Degrees
Police and detectives are probably the careers you think of when you think of law enforcement careers. These positions are placed in charge of upholding local and federal laws, patrolling assigned areas, and responding to emergency calls.ii In 2016, police officers and detectives earned a median salary of $61,600.iii
If you’re considering criminal justice careers, you might want to consider earning a criminal justice degree. Criminal justice degree programs examine the fundamentals needed to operate in the law enforcement field. This knowledge could help you better understand the basics of ethical laws, human behavior, and how to preform criminal investigations.
Criminal justice programs could further be broken down into several other concentrations. Each of these concentrations could later be applied to pursuing a career in a specific faction of law enforcement. Depending on your law enforcement career goals, you could consider some of the following degree concentrations.
- Juvenile Criminal Justice
- Cybercrime & Cyber Security
- Forensic Psychology
- Criminal Justice Administration
- Homeland Security
Many entry-level law enforcement positions require students to have earned a bachelors in criminal justice degree or a related concentration. Federal agencies, in particular, may enforce this requirement.iv
Below are a few criminal justice degree programs to consider before pursuing law enforcement careers.
Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice at Grantham University
The associate of arts in criminal justice at Grantham University primarily teaches how criminal justice and corrections function. The AA degree often provides a general overview of the criminal justice process. This could help students develop their law enforcement-related knowledge before pursuing a career or bachelors degree.
Courses could consist of some of the following.
- Police Systems
- Juvenile Justice
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice at Indiana Wesleyan University
The bachelor of science in criminal justice at Indian Wesleyan University is similar to the associate degree program. But, instead of just focusing on the general fundamentals, students may have the chance to delve into more in-depth criminal justice topics.
The following are a few classes you could take at Indian Wesleyan University to work towards your bachelor of science degree.
- Ethics in Criminal Justice
- Probation & Parole
- Criminal Justice Administration
- Court Procedures
With additional required classes, you might be tasked with completing 42 credit hours during your criminal justice program. If you’re pursuing a concentration, this might be a little more.
There are several start dates to enroll each semester for new students. When you decide that law enforcement is your career of choice, you could conveniently apply and begin your studies throughout the year.
At Indian Wesleyan University, you could potentially earn a bachelors of science in criminal justice in 18 months depending on enrollment. This means that in a little more than a year and half, you could potentially have the minimum requirements necessary to pursue a career in law enforcement.
Master of Science in Criminal Justice at Tiffin University
Tiffin University’s MS in criminal justice is a practical degree that could place you in real-world law enforcement scenarios. Students could have the chance to study and research criminal trends to better predict potential outbreaks.
In addition, psychology- and sociology-based courses may dive into different factors that foster criminal environments (for example, poverty and child abuse). And, classes may also offer techniques to mitigate those circumstances.
You may want to consider this path of study as a way to enhance your current law enforcement career. The advanced techniques could possibly benefit managerial positions that are responsible for overseeing and protecting larger districts.
Administrative Roles & Public Administration Degree Programs
Public administration careers include a large amount of the people who work behind the scenes to help the government function.
Roles may seem similar to those in business positions like administrators and executive assistants. Why so similar? Because you could be performing the same tasks as in the business sector, just for a government agency. Positions could be found in departments such as human resources, urban and regional planning, community services, and emergency management to name a few.
Earning a public administration degree may help you pursue careers in this field. Public administration programs teach strategies and methods to help better distribute necessary materials and manage resources for a community.
In addition, courses could take an in-depth look into current policies and how to reform them. That way, you could better understand their enforcement or where the challenges may lie.
Bachelors of Public Administration at Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University’s bachelors in public administration program emphasizes experiential learning in the nonprofit and public sectors.
What does that mean? That you could have the chance to work with real-world management, leadership, financial, and more scenarios.
The following encompass the core fundamental courses of the admin bachelors program.
- Personnel administration in the public sector
- Ethics, Policy, and Administration
- Management Information Systems
- Contemporary Social Issues
- Budgeting & Finance
- Public Policy Formation
Master of Public Administration and Policy at American University
The masters in public administration and policy (MPAP) program at American University teaches ways to lead public, community programs in the United States. Initiatives could include International Development and Management or Budgeting and Financial Management.
And, courses may also engage with the logistics needed to make these programs flourish. These courses could include project management, finance, and leadership principles.
The doctorate in public administration program might be a great choice for you to help you potentially enhance your public administration career. Many students who earn this degree choose to pursue managerial positions in their chosen field. The leadership techniques covered in courses could help you better understand the needs of your team and the community you’re assisting. Not to mention, you could have the knowledge ability to alter current to possibly become more effective.
Doctorate in Public Administration at Northcentral University
The doctorate in public administration program at Northcentral University focuses on new ways for the government to get more done with fewer resources. Courses in the doctoral program evaluate the effectiveness of current public policies. In some cases, research is conducted to try to enhance standing programs.
This degree could address issues through both your local and federal government.
The research strategies addressed in this program could be applied to issues within environmental compliance, urban planning, and government management.
Municipal Clerk & Political Science Degree Programs
Municipal clerks may be the worker bees that keep the government rolling along. These professionals might be placed in charge of some of the following tasks.
- Recording local, state, or federal government meetings
- Maintaining government records
- Answering information requests
- Helping officials prepare for electionsv
Employers in this field generally look for applicants with some college education. In many cases, earning a political science degree, combined with on-the-job training, could help you pursue this position.
In an online political science degree program, you could be entering a program that covers the theory behind government, military, and public policy. Courses expand upon the political process in length. Oftentimes, classes outline the basics of campaigning and the political process. In others, you might study the impact of laws and policies on a community.
Why are employers looking for candidates with a political science degree? Because they want someone who understand the documents they’re working with! Knowing your materials could help enhance data entry accuracy as well as other communications. Without that degree, you might be struggling to pick up the jargon quick enough.
Associate of Arts in Military Studies at Ashford University
Ashford University’s associate of arts in military studies program acts as a concentration of political science. Specifically, courses go into more intimate detail about the role of the military within government bodies. Not only could you study the history of the armed forces, but also engage with its role a peacekeeping body.
Classes may also cover military ethics, communication, and international relations.
This might be a great choice for students who are actively looking to enroll in civilian positions within the armed forces. Not only could you develop a keen understanding about the inner workings of the military, but also the writing, reading, and problem-solving skill sets to address clerk-related tasks.
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Government at Ashford University
The BA in political science and government program at Ashford University takes a comprehensive look at how the government functions. Courses examine subjects like political behavior and policy development to better understand the life cycles of government systems.
As part of this program, you could take some of the following courses
- American National Government
- International Relations
- State & Local Government
- Congress & Presidency
- Comparative Politics
- Political Analysis
Financial Analysts Jobs & Online Finance Degree Programs
Financial analysts help guide businesses to make smart investments that could potentially grow and expand over time. They’re constantly evaluating changing market values and trends to better grow their current capital.
In terms of civil service positions, financial analysts are often looking to grow a community’s financial holdings to fund events, policies, and services. In some cases, you may even pursue a career that works directly with the IRS and taxation inflation. Or, you could work with evaluating foreign and national debt and judge its increases and decreases.vi
Students who work towards these careers may want to earn a degree in finance. The coursework could help you better understand how to spend, save, and grow financial sums. Not to mention, it could cover essential knowledge like accurate bookkeeping, data statistics, and mathematics.
These positions typically require entry-level applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field. And, financial analyst positions seem to currently be on the rise. From 2014 to 2024, these positions are projected to potentially grow in number by 12%.
This is faster than the national average. Additionally, these positions earned a median salary of $81,760 in 2016.vii
Associate of Applied Business in Financial Management at Antonelli College
The AAB in financial management offered at Antonelli College covers the basic accounting fundamentals needed in a financial position. For example, courses could include topics in tax preparation, bookkeeping, bill collecting, and payroll services.
An associate degree in finance might be a great way to test the waters before jumping directly into a career. These programs are often shorter in length because of their concise curriculum. This could also make the program ideal for your busy schedule. If you later decide to pursue a career in finance, you could then apply your associate degree credits towards a future bachelors program!
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Finance at Liberty University
Liberty University’s bachelor of science in business administration financing programs teach analysis techniques to better predict market changes.
This could include studying investment strategies, the stock market, and banking methods. Not only could this help you potentially grow assets, but also prepare for unforeseen circumstances.
This is a common degree for people to earn before pursuing a civil service position in finance. The coursework may directly apply to that position’s day-to-day routine and tasks.
Master of Science in Finance at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School
Students who pursue the MS in finance program at Johns Hopkins might examine the financial impact of the global market.
Instead of focusing on smaller communities, the masters programs branches out to over international financial plans. As part of these wide-sweeping program, you could take some of the following classes.
- Managing Financial Risk
- Global Corporate Finance
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Continuous Time Finance
This degree might help you pursue a financial career in the higher federal government. In these positions, you might work with foreign countries in terms of trade negotiations and debt. Your knowledge of international finances might become especially handy in these situations.
Information Security Analysts & Cyber Security Degrees
As the government’s online presence continues to grow, so does the need for IT security analysts. In fact, the cybersecurity job outlook is projected to potentially grow by 18% from 2014 to 2024. That’s much faster than the national average.viii
Information security analysts create and implement plans to better protect computer systems and networks. In the civil service sector, this could include private documents like voter registrations or confidential government memorandum. Keeping these materials safe could be a matter of national security.ix
Earning a cyber security degree, or one in another computer science related field, might be a great way to break into this industry. Courses could cover the necessary knowledge to block potential threats, minimize risks, and help recover from cyberattacks.
Information security analyst positions typically require a bachelors degree for entry-level positions. In some cases, employers may look for masters degrees in the same field.x In 2016, people in these roles earned a median salary of $92,600.xi
Associate Degree in Network Security at Rasmussen College
The associate degree in network security at Rasmussen College is a career-oriented degree program. Courses in their curriculum are built upon the following 4 foundational pillars.
- Technology Fundamentals
- Desktop & Mobile Security
- Ethical Hacking
- Industry Certifications
Focusing not only on the practical skills and knowledge, but also earning career certifications, could be ideal for those seeking a role in the industry.
Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity at Utica College
The bachelor of science in cybersecurity at Utica College is interesting because it generally accepts students who have already earned an associate degree in a related field.
Since students may have already completed general academic requirements and information security basics, the bachelors programs is often shorter than others. This could be great for students who earned an associate degree to jump into the field, while still looking to study the topic in a more in-depth way.
Courses in the bachelor of science program may focus on specific facets of cybercrime. For instance, classes could touch on the following topics.
- Computer Ethics
- Cybercrime Law
Master of Business Administration in Cyber Security at Cardinal Stritch University
At Cardinal Stritch University, cyber security is offered as a concentration for their MBA program. Courses instruct how to identify and reinforce vulnerable parts of employer’s computer systems. Not to mention, you may be able to design your own personalized safeguards to address the needs of various companies.
Courses in the MBA reflect the standards set forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
What Is the Civil Service Exam?
The positions listed on this page generally require you to pass a civil service exam prior to being hired. The civil service test differs between roles, regions, and states. These exams cover essential material that could be used during your daily routine on your perspective job.
If you’re studying for the exams, earning one of these degrees could be of use. Coursework may cover some topics that are on the exams. By earning these degrees, you could simultaneously work towards your academic goals and study to pursue your professional ambitions.
Exams are offered several times throughout the year. Be sure to schedule and complete examinations before sending out your applications.
[i] bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_99.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm#tab-2 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm#tab-4 | [v] bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/information-clerks.htm#tab-2 | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm#tab-2 | [vii] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm#tab-1 | [viii] hbls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm | [ix] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm#tab-2 | [x] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm#tab-4 | [xi] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm#tab-1