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Top 5 MBA Careers In Government

February 20, 2017 9:05 pm0 commentsViews: 5991
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The vast majority of people who complete an MBA degree do not do so because they want to obtain a career in government. In fact, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has reported that in 2006 some 6,100 people graduated with an MBA, yet only 1.4% of them planned to work for the government. This makes sense, when you consider the fact that the average starting salary for an MBA degree holder working in a government position is just $63,565, whereas starting salaries in for profit businesses are around $99,672.

However, there are many government jobs available for people who hold an MBA degree, ranging from the Department of Treasury, to the U.S. Postal Service, to NASA, to the Department of Labor. Hence, although an unconventional career choice at best, it is also a logical choice because there is such a huge range of options available, and such a huge demand. Jump to 50 Best Online MBA Programs for 2017.

Because the government spans such a wide array of industries, it is easier to look at the top MBA careers from the perspective of different departments. As such:

1. The U.S. Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) was the first of all the federal agencies to actively start looking for MBA graduates. In 2002, they created the MBA Fellows Program, and it has been hugely successful. Since 2002, the DOL has hired 15 MBA graduates to positions in Washington D.C., and successful candidates also spend 90 days working for one of the DOL offices elsewhere in the country. To be considered, graduates must have obtained their degree from an accredited university. The application process starts every year in January, and candidates are chosen in February. As part of the MBA Fellows Program, graduates take on a two year position, rotating from one role to the next. Some of the roles they can take on during this two year period include:

• Budgeting manager, whereby they hold responsibility for departmental budgeting.
• Program analyst, whereby they focus on a specific program offered by the DOL to determine its success, viability, and whether or not to continue to deliver it.
• Financial manager, working together with specific departments to ensure they are compliant with financial regulations, data reporting, and more.
• Human resource manager, focusing on the needs of the workforce within the DOL, including such areas as recruitment and retention, succession planning, training, promotions, sickness and absence management, disciplinary procedures, and so on.

As the DOL MBA Fellows Program has gained in popularity, the DOL also developed the MBA Internship Program. This is specifically targeted at those studying towards an MBA program and who need to complete an internship. Uniquely, these internships are paid. They start towards the end of May and end towards late August each year. The DOL also offers course credit and volunteer internships. Roles can be taken up in any department of the DOL.

2. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), like the DOL, also has two individual programs targeted specifically at MBA students. One program, again as with the DOL, is geared towards graduates, and the other towards those still students. Firstly, they offer the Business Associates Program, which is a two year appointment program. Successful applicants will learn about regulations related to the securities market, and they will come to understand what the role of the SEC is in setting and maintaining regulations.

The SEC also offers the 10 week Student Honors Business Program, which is an internship for MBA students. As part of this program, students can take part in various professional development seminars. Additionally, they will be assigned a SEC mentor.

3. The U.S. Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has launched the “Careers that Deliver” initiative. As part of this initiative, they have started the Management Foundations Program. This program is a two year internship for MBA degree holders, for which graduates must apply at the end of November in any uneven year. Those successful in their application can take on a number of specific positions within the USPS, including:

• Plant processing manager, whereby the graduate will work on ensuring operations at specific plants, such as postal sorting offices, are managed properly
• Delivery manager, focusing specifically on the postal delivery sector and trying to improve efficiency
• Transportation manager, who works closely together with the delivery manager, although the focus is very strongly on mail that is sent, rather than mail that is received.
• Retail operations manager, whereby the focus is on postal offices within retail centers, but also on issues such as marketing the postal service as a whole.

Interestingly, in the USPS Management Foundations Program, those who perform in a satisfactory manner are given a permanent mid-level management position. At that point, they will be involved directly in field operations. Most commonly, these positions are managers of large branches or post offices.

4. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a sub-department of the Treasury Department, has started the Bank Examiner Cooperative Education Program. They have nationwide Bank Examiner Intern positions, where students can learn how to supervise and examine banks all over the country.

5. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Although the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is a space organization, it is a huge business. Its annual budget is around $16 billion, which is under extreme scrutiny. They have started the Intern and Fellowship Project, whereby MBA students can take part in a 30 month program that teaches them about the business relationships NASA has partnerships with organizations that enable NASA to achieve its goals, including product manufacturers and service deliverers.

Unfortunately, there are no positions with NASA that would lead an MBA graduate to taking on a position in space. However, it does demonstrate how an MBA could take on a position in government to not just change the world, but in effect change the universe. While government positions are not the most commonly taken by MBA graduates, it is clear that they are targeting these graduates regardless, offering very interesting positions with tremendous growth opportunities, in a variety of different and very interesting fields.