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US Government Seeking College Students, Degree Holders

US Government Seeking College Students, Degree Holders

Peter Vogt | Monster.com Career Coach

The US Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which oversees the federal government’s civilian workforce, recently created an ad campaign spanning four television networks to directly speak to college students and recent graduates ages 18 – 40. The idea: To tell students and recent graduates around the country that rewarding careers await them in the federal government. The federal government says it will need to recruit and hire thousands of new college graduates over the next five to 10 years to replace an impending wave of Baby Boomer retirees.

The Partnership for Public Service released survey findings noting that 42 percent of today’s college students are “extremely” or “very” interested in working for the federal government.

Sound like a perfect fit? Unfortunately, you’re wrong. Far too often, the government agencies with strong demand for new government employees are not finding the qualified candidates that are out there.

The Problem

That same Partnership survey, which involved 3,000 students at six different universities, revealed that only 13 percent of students are “extremely” or “very” knowledgeable about federal job options.

Such numbers show “that students are eager to learn more about federal job opportunities,” noted Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership, in a news release on the study’s findings. "It is up to the federal agencies to change their approach and to take the message to the students in a way that resonates with them.

The Good News

This creates an advantage for qualified candidates, who are earning higher salaries in many government professions than ever before.

The Bad News

With the strong benefits and salaries of government jobs growing stronger, competition is also getting more fierce. More government agencies are hiring applications who have gained additional qualification by earning a degree in a government related field.


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