If you’ve always wanted to see the world and are well-versed in current events, you may find that working in the State Department’s Foreign Service could be a perfect job for you.
Government jobs in general have proven to be fairly recession-proof in recent months. However, an article in Tufts University’s Tufts Daily newspaper observes that the State Department has sought funds for 1,500 new positions, more than half of them in the Foreign Service. Getting started requires taking and passing the Foreign Service Exam. It makes sense that more people are applying… The more the U.S. gets involved in other countries, the more people who want to be on the ground there, Tufts junior Zach Erickson was quoted as saying in the piece, going on to report that the test had “biographical questions” as well as questions related to government and culture. “Basically they treat the whole thing as one long interview process,” he told the university newspaper. Information on these and other positions can be found at the State Department’s career website, careers.state.gov. As a Foreign Service Officer, you would work at one of the 265 U.S. embassies, consulates or missions around the world. FSOs serve as embassy staff, assisting with administrative matters while providing any needed help to American travelers in the area and advocating for U.S. interests and policies. Candidates are warned that depending on where they end up working, the potential for danger and hardship could be very real. The State Department notes that candidates are not specifically required to have foreign language skills, but adds that these will be very helpful for your application. Candidates must also be between 20 and 59 years old and must be available to serve anywhere in the world, although some may also work in Washington D.C. Other types of job categories that could help you launch a career with the State Department include Foreign Service Specialists and civil service workers. The State Department reports that there are seven categories for specialists, including construction engineering, information technology, language programs and medical and health. Specialists receive considerable benefits, often including paid housing allowances in the countries they serve in. Civil Service employees mostly work at the State Department in Washington D.C. along their own breakdown of categories which includes engineering, business management, foreign affairs and office support. With a new presidential administration underway, this may be the ideal time to take a look at the various job openings and other opportunities that are available with the federal government, both here and abroad.