Careers in the public sector span across a wide range of professions. The public sector generally consists of organisations that are run or funded through government. You need to know that careers in the public sector are based on serving the community and require people who are passionate about the work.
Here are a few public sector career paths you can choose from:
Administration roles are about ensuring the smooth running of the office. This entails routine organisational tasks such as scheduling appointments and meetings, keeping records of minutes, preparing reports, and keeping financial and stock records. Most offices in government need good administrators, as they help to run an efficient office. Administration work is found in nearly all industries, and plays an essential role in most government agencies.
Some of the important skills required for administration roles are the following:
- Good communication skills
- Computer literacy and typing skills
- Good organisational and planning skills
- Professional manner and the ability to maintain confidentiality
An administrative career in the public sector gives you the opportunity to gain valuable experience. From there, you can decide whether you’d like to work your way up into a supervisory or managerial role, or whether you’d like to move into a more specialised role within the public sector.
Financial and accounting careers
These careers are all about allocating and spending public funds. They require the ability to create and execute financial strategies in accordance with government policies. The way money is spent in the public sector needs to be monitored and audited according to the relevant financial management acts.
Within this career direction, there are various areas one could specialise in, such as auditing, taxation, and financial administration, to mention a few.
Some of the important skills required for financial and accounting roles are the following:
- Sound financial and accounting knowledge and skills
- Good research, analytical, and problem-solving skills
- Leadership and decision-making skills
- Ability to handle confidential information
Click here to view courses that can help you start your career in finance and accounting for the public sector.
Public management careers
Public management careers span over all government departments and are found in central, provincial, and local spheres of government, as well as in parastatal institutions such as Eskom. Depending on the department and role, public managers can be involved in public law, finance, research, human resources, health services, and various other fields. They ensure that efficient administration is practised by providing training, mentoring, and development opportunities to staff. They are also responsible for ensuring the correct working methods and procedures are followed.
Some of the important skills required in public management roles are the following:
- Good written and verbal communication skills
- Problem solving skills
- Knowledge of government processes
- Leadership skills
To help you start your career in this direction, consider a course in Public Management. Also keep in mind that to work in public management, you will usually need some experience working in junior roles in the public sector.
The public sector offers a variety of career and growth opportunities. While there are many options available to you, it is also important to know what the requirements are for the career you want, and how you can enter the public sector. Remember, these roles are about service and require you to be passionate about the work.
Consider the paths mentioned above, and see which one appeals to you the most. Once you know which direction you want to go in, it’ll be easier for you to choose the right course to help you prepare for your career.