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What Major You Should Choose If You Want a Federal Career?
by Guest Blogger, Ginger Abbot

Are you interested in pursuing work in the government? The road to a federal career can be long, but once you snag your government job, you’ll likely find a good salary and career security. Plus, you’ll be working to change the lives of countless Americans.

You can get a government job by pursuing several bachelor’s and graduate degrees. Here are the best majors to work in federal services.

Public Administration

Public administration is often the go-to major if one wishes to pursue work in government. If you choose to get your bachelor’s or master’s in public administration, expect to tackle public budgeting, community analysis, public policy, and financial administration classes.

You’ll likely find it easier to get into government work with your educational background in public administration, plus experience in human resources, public relations, and community association management.

Business Administration

A degree in business administration teaches students about financial subjects like accounting, international business, marketing, human resources, and management. Students who pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree will find open doors in federal government positions and likely a higher starting salary.

However, those who choose to pursue a bachelor’s will also see numerous job opportunities, specifically in the financial analysis, management, logistics, auditing, and accounting fields.

Computer Science

Studying computer science provides a comprehensive background in technology, mathematics, and analytics. With a degree in computer science, you’ll find a wide range of opportunities in government agencies. You might find yourself with a competitive edge working for agencies within the cybersecurity or intelligence communities.

Computer science knowledge, including the ability to design and test software, is highly sought-after expertise. Having a degree in the field will set you apart from other candidates.

International Relations

Students who study international relations will learn problem-solving skills through diplomacy and development courses. You’ll focus on global political issues, foreign trade, and economic matters. If you’re interested in working with the U.S. Foreign Service, getting a Master’s in International Relations could help you in one of the Service’s career tracks.

Political Science

A bachelor’s degree in political science or a Master’s in Political Science degree will provide a thorough education about public policies and the mechanics of government bodies. You’ll study the origin of political systems and public policies and unpack political theories and ideologies.

Political science is a versatile degree that could help you move into various government fields, including policy analysis, political staffing, and legislative work.


The study of economics can be highly beneficial to advance your career in the federal government. The U.S. government relies on our economy to create jobs and maintain stable prices and consistent growth. Your degree could prepare you for a federal career involved in policy-making, economic analysis, and consultation roles.

Because economics degrees heavily focus on math, statistics, and data analysis, many government agencies would be interested in recruiting you to their field.

Public Health

Public health is a quickly growing government field. The emphasis of your studies would be to learn about, prevent, and respond to infectious diseases and lifestyle-related health issues to encourage wellness on the national and local levels. Both Bachelor’s and Master’s of Public Health degrees are quite common.

If you pursued public health, you could find yourself working in biostatistics, epidemiology, health care administration, project management, or environmental science.

Mechanical Engineering

One degree you might not regard when considering your future in the federal government is mechanical engineering. However, many federal agencies hire engineers to design engines, tools, equipment, and machines. The Department of Defense, the Air Force, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers often employ mechanical engineers.

If you study mechanical engineering, you could qualify for facilities project management, flood risk management, and construction mechanical engineering.

Public Policy

Studying public policy will help you transition to a federal career by teaching you a policy analysis curriculum, program evaluation, politics, and management, all of which are core skills valuable to any government agency.

An educational background in public policy could train you to be a policy analyst who’s ready to interpret and analyze data trends and unpack policy issues.

Majors for a Federal Career Path

Many majors can lead to a federal career. It’s up to you to decide on the best fit for your aptitudes, interests, and long-term vision.

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