Now, probably more than ever before, there’s a vast array of career options available to individuals considering what they want to accomplish in their life. Today there are career paths that didn’t even exist five years ago. From the time we are young, we are asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” A person’s answer to that question most likely changes, or at least evolves, as they grow and develop into autonomous individuals. We are influenced by those around us and our life experiences. We develop interests and beliefs which affect the decisions we make, including the choice of what career we want to pursue. 

What is a public service career?
Public sector jobs exist to benefit society as a whole by providing essential services and education to citizens regardless of their ability to pay. 

Individuals who wish to help others and change the world they live in often lean toward public service careers. Public service provides meaningful and rewarding work for those who choose it. Occupations that fall into the category of public service are those in government or nonprofit organizations and those in family services. 

Is Public Service Right for Me?
To determine whether a public service career is the right fit for you, consider whether the work interests you. Would you find the work fulfilling? If you don’t have a desire to work for the common good of all, or you don’t like working with the public, then a career in public service probably isn’t for you. However, if you’re passionate about making a difference and serving others, then it’s worth considering a career in public service.

While some public service jobs, particularly in government, offer competitive salaries and benefits, others, such as nonprofit organizations, don’t always pay as well as the private sector. The same is true for job stability. Most people who enter into public service do it because they’re passionate about the job and helping others in their communities. While you shouldn’t decide your career path solely on compensation, it is a factor worth considering. 

Those who pursue public service careers may be eligible for student loan forgiveness; however, this is not immediate. For positions that qualify, you would still have to make 120 consecutive loan payments before the remaining balance can be forgiven. Also, it depends on the type of loan as only direct loans apply. 

The most significant benefit of a career in public service is knowing you’ve made a difference in the lives of others. If that is something that appeals to you, then a career as a public servant may be right for you.