Politics, local government & civil service
For graduates who want to help lead the country and put their energy into worthwhile causes, a career in politics, local government or the civil service could be the answer.
A career in politics offers a vast range of options. It’s not just about being able to debate and engage in public speaking – there is a multitude of careers all seeking a broad range of skills.
Careers in politics include party fundraising, parliamentary advisor, organising election campaigns, administration, parliamentary officer – informing MPs on a range of issues – public relations, campaign coordinator, lobbyist and a researcher.
Any graduate wishing to pursue a career in politics must be up to date with current affairs, watch and read political commentary and have a sound understanding of the British political system.
Graduates must also be articulate, pragmatic, quick thinking, persuasive, have good leadership skills and inspire and motivate others.
No set degree is required in politics, although a political-type degree may hold some advantage. Some work experience in a political party or a human and civil rights organisation would be invaluable and show you have a keen interest in pursuing a career in politics.
The local government employs more than two million people and is one of the largest employers in the UK. Jobs range from administrative and clerical to environmental health, planning, housing and project management.
For graduates who are looking to become the future senior managers, the National Graduate Development Programme for Local Government is available. The programme lasts for two years and involves a placement with a local authority. Salaries start at £22,958.
Graduates can find themselves working on long-term projects affecting local people in areas such as refuse collection, homelessness, park restoration, transport and schools.
Again, graduates must keep abreast with current affairs and have an interest in local matters and communities.
Civil servants are employed across central and local government and can work for any number of departments including the Ministry of Defence, Foreign and Commonwealth office or HM revenue and Customs.
The Civil Service's Fast Stream starting salaries usually range between around £25,000 and £27,000. It currently takes around four to five years to earn a promotion, where you may earn more than £45,000.
You'll also receive a mixture of formal training courses and on-the-job learning. Further study and qualifications may also be possible, particularly if your work for a department that recruits people with technical backgrounds.