Career Planning

Whether you are new to the field or have worked in it for many years, one of the best ways to assist yourself in advancing your career is by networking. Becoming involved in relevant professional and student associations will often lead to meeting the people who can best guide you in your career goals or perhaps even provide you with specific opportunities. In addition to the career information on this page, we strongly encourage you to review our Student Groups and Professional Organizations page for advice on how you can become more professional involved with the fields of Political Science or Public Administration.

Do not wait until the semester before you graduate to think about your career after graduate school. It might be too early to apply for positions but it is never too early to gather career advice, explore options, make connections, and develop the skills and experiences you need for your desired career. You are encouraged to consult with your academic advisor or other members of the faculty who may have experiences and information relevant to your career goals. In addition, listed below are a number of links to web sites with career planning and job information.

NU Career Services: www.northeastern.edu/careerservices/

The following are some of the many services offered to graduate student through our Career Services Office:

  • Interviewing Workshops
  • Curriculum Vitae and Resume writing advice
  • An Internship Database (accessible through your MyNEU account)
  • Internship and Career Fairs
  • Forums and recruiting events related to careers in Government
  • Numerous workshops and small-group career advising sessions

Internships and Fellowships

Department’s Fellowship and Internship Database:  We post specific internship and felowships that might be of interest to our students on this section of our website.  Most of these are opportunities that are usually offered every semester or year.  For more up-to-date opportunities we strongly encourage you to keep an eye on our facebook page and the Graduate Student “Weekly Updates.”

School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs:  On this site you can find further listings of opportunities as well as links to other sites with career advice and job openings.  This page is especially relevant for those interested in pursuing careers in public policy.

American Political Science Association:   APSA includes several links to research grants and post-graduation fellowships relevant to graduate students in Political Science.

Academic Positions

If you are looking for positions in the academic market it is especially important that you work closely with your advisor and other faculty with whom you have worked. They can help you in preparing your Curriculum Vitae, recommend positions and networking opportunities, help you in publishing, and provide other invaluable feedback and advice.

After these conversations, you might also consider utilizing the Department to create a student profile page, or to create a placement file for confidential letters of recommendation.

In searching for academic positions probably the most valuable websites will be the professional organizations listed here.  However, there are some more general sites with search functions for openings in academia.

Public Sector Associations

American Society for Public Administration: www.publicservicecareers.org
Public Service Careers is the only comprehensive nationwide job search and career site for those wanting to work in the “new” public sector of: Government, Nonprofits/NGOs, International, Consulting and Education. You can set up personal job alerts, an RSS feed for auto job updates and search for jobs in several different ways.

National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration: www.naspaa.org
Provides advise on finding work in the public sector and links to a wide array of federal, state, local, international, and nonprofit web sites.

Federal Agencies

U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM): www.opm.gov/
Most federal executive agencies must list positions through OPM, so this is the first source for federal government jobs across the nation. Through this site, you can search by location (e.g., state), category (clerical/professional/technical/executive) or job type (e.g., accounting, engineering).

USA Jobs’ Student and Grad Page: www.usajobs.gov/StudentsAndGrads
This site is geared toward students and includes some basic information on the federal hiring process as well as a search function for internships and full-time positions. The site is especially useful to gain some information on the unique qualities of applying for a federal job and how best to prepare.

U.S. Agency for International Development: www.usaid.gov
This is a great resource for jobs nationally and internationally but you must be willing to travel. The current focus is on gender issues, business development, health and education. There are also some great short term opportunities’ through contracts, volunteer work, internships, etc.

U.S. State Department: www.careers.state.gov
This is the resource for foreign service jobs. You must be willing to move anywhere and in almost all cases you must be willing to take the foreign service exam. There are opportunities for anyone with a background in all areas of political science

Presidential Fellows Program: https://www.pmf.opm.gov/
“The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program was established by Executive Order in 1977 to attract to the Federal service outstanding men and women from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs. By drawing graduate students from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, the PMF Program provides a continuing source of trained men and women to meet the future challenges of public service.”

State and Local Government

Govtjobs.com: www.govtjobs.com
Most jobs on this site are at the state, county, and local levels. Jobs can be listed by various categories, including: administration and management, code enforcement, or community and economic development.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts: https://jobs.hrd.state.ma.us/recruit/public/3111/index.do
Resource for state jobs within Massachusetts. Some positions currently offered are for those with a background in Political Science or Public Administration.

State of Maine: www.maine.gov
This site includes links to both state government opportunities as well as other sites deadling with employment in the State of Maine.

State of Vermont: www.vermont.gov 
This site provides a full list of state jobs to be filled, some of which are appropriate for those with backgrounds in Political Science and Public Administration

State of New Hampshire: www.state.nh.us
View a list of current state job openings and links to other information about state employment from this site.

State of New York: www.state.ny.us
This state website links to information on working for the state government and other opportunities in the state.

State of Connecticut: www.das.state.ct.us
This site is busy but you can search for current openings and find information on required tests, etc.

State of Rhode Island: www.ri.gov
View current state job openings through this website.

Massachusetts Municipal Association: www.mma.org
This site provides a list of jobs at the municipal level across Massachusetts and updates its list regularly. This is a good resource for finding local government opportunities outside of Boston.

City of Boston: www.cityofboston.gov
Posts jobs available within the city government. Some residency restrictions may apply.

Nonprofit Sector

NU Cause
This is a great on-campus resource for those looking for work in public service. They hold several relevant information sessions and events, as well as links to resources, inclusing a great hand-out of websites of use to those interested in nonprofit management.

www.idealist.org
A great resource for jobs in the nonprofit field. There are national, international, and local opportunities listed. The site also lists opportunities for volunteer positions, internships, and consulting and is a good resource for those in all fields of political science and public administration.

ynpnboston.org/
Connect with or join this local chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network for job, internship, networking and advocacy opportunities related to Nonprofits in the Boston area.

www.nonprofitjobs.org
Provides postings for jobs with nonprofit agencies across the nation. Searches can be limited by location and category.