Overview of Government Careers
Careers in government focus on providing leadership, public services, national security, economic security, economic assistance, and maintaining order. Opportunities to serve the public exist at the federal, state, and local levels.
Careers in Government
Check out these videos to learn about the typical workday and workplace for government professionals and get tips for success in this industry.
Get Career Ready for Government
Find out what it takes to land a career in government
Earn a Degree
To work in the government field, a foundation in political science, public policy or administration, economics, community health, criminology, or global affairs can be helpful. Check the Mason Catalog for degree requirements.
In addition to your degree, the ability to pass a background investigation and/or security clearance will increase your employment options in the field of government. Join Mason’s Clearance Ready program to learn more.
Federal recruitment programs:
- The Peace Corps Prep program is open to students from all majors and is designed to help prepare undergraduate students for volunteer service and careers in international development.
- This program is open to students and recent graduates with a disability looking to gain experience in the federal sector or private sector. For additional information on enrolling in WRP, contact Mason’s Office of Disability Services
- This program is open to graduate students and recent graduates with advanced degrees. This two-year program focuses on training and leadership development at a federal government agency.
Enroll in UNIV 421 (College to Grad School) to identify the advanced degree that will help you achieve your career goals and create the materials to apply.
Employers expect at least six to twelve months of related experience to be competitive for full-time positions. Gain experience while you are a student at Mason.
Here are the types of experiences most valued by government employers, and where to find them:
- Intelligence Careers
- Fairfax County Jobs
- House Bulletin
- Senate Internships
- Mason fellowship program
Volunteering can show your commitment to public service and a connection to your community. Identify your area of interest and get involved!
- Get involved with your local jurisdiction
- Fairfax City Volunteer Opportunities
- Fairfax County Volunteer Opportunities
- Prince William County Volunteer Opportunities
- Alexandria City Volunteer Opportunities
- Volunteer on a political campaign
Studying abroad can be a great way to prepare yourself for a career in government. Learn to work within other cultures, gain problem-solving and foreign language skills, and grow as an individual. Visit the Global Education Office for additional information.
Enroll in UNIV 320 (Internship Readiness) to develop your internship goals and search strategies to pursue career-related experiences.
It is important for you to be able to clearly communicate the knowledge, skills and experiences you have gained in and outside of the classroom.
Get ideas on how to showcase your qualifications to government employers from the resume samples below:
- Federal government resume sample
- Non-federal government resume sample
- Government graduate resume sample
Enroll in UNIV 420 (College to Career) to develop your job search strategy, personal brand, networking skills, and more. Or, prepare for what's not in the job description - working effectively in teams, making the most of your benefits, and more by enrolling in UNIV 422 (Professional Skills Development).
Career ready Mason grads have gone on to work for Government employers, such as:
City of Alexandria
Department of Homeland Security
National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency
Defense Intelligence Agency
Department of State
Department of Defense
Fairfax County Government
Join the Government community
Get involved with academic and professional societies to grow your network while you're still a student. Your industry advisor can help you decide where to start.
Mason Student Organizations
- Criminology, Law, and Society Student Association
- Forensic Science Student Association
- George Mason University College Republicans
- GMU Army ROTC
- IGNITE George Mason University Chapter
- Model United Nations
- Roosevelt at Mason
- Schar Undergraduate Student Association
- The Alexander Hamilton Society
- The John Jay International Politics Society
- American Federation of Government Employees
- American Political Science Association
- Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
- International Association for Political Science Students
- National Association of Small Business Federal Contractors
- The Intelligence National Security Alliance (INSA)
- Young Professionals in Foreign Policy