Can I be of service?
Here are some questions to consider. They may not seem related in any way, but they are – and we’ll tell you how momentarily. Answer each one as honestly as you can, please. After all, your future career – and lives of the people you may touch as you follow that career path – may be hanging in the balance!
- Did the recent election leave you feeling fired up and passionate, and have you thinking about throwing your own hat into the political arena?
- Do you want to make our world a better place, for everyone, even future generations?
- Have you ever driven past a vacant lot and thought, “Geez, what a great place for a public vegetable garden?” Or playground? Or artists’ co-op?
- Are you looking for a way to make a contribution to your neighborhood – our society or the world! – in a lasting and meaningful way?
- Do you see problems all around you – large and small – and think, “That’s an easy fix. We just need to …”?
- Are you passionate about people – of all ages, races and creeds – and enjoy helping them solve their problems, but don’t quite know how to do that, short of becoming a doctor or joining a religious order?
- Do you feel that our national parks and wilderness lands are treasures worth preserving for our children and grandchildren? Told you these questions would sound unrelated!
- Have you ever been stuck in gridlock during your morning commute and thought, “This traffic would open up if they’d just … add a turn lane.”? Redesign the on-ramp? Commission more buses? Bring affordable housing back to the city center?
- Do you agree with Fredrick Douglass when he famously said, “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”?
If you answered “yes” to one – or more! – of these questions, and the hundreds more like them that probably popped into your mind as you read through them, then welcome to the world of Public Service, a vast, dynamic and ever-evolving career path.
Below you will find a more detailed discussion of this rewarding field: What it is, how to earn your Bachelor of Arts in Public Service, what kinds of classes you will take, and where to find employment once you have earned your degree.
Just what is the field of public service?
The term “public service” sounds like something you do in your spare time. Picking up trash along the highway is a public service. Running a Girl Scout troop is a public service. Fighting for the rights of homeless veterans is a public service. The volunteer work you did in high school to make your college application stand out from the crowd was public service.
All of these are worthy activities, and the people who find time in their busy lives to perform them are admirable, of course. But, did you know that many of the activities that fall under the heading of “public service” can also be found as job openings where people can make a lasting contribution to our world while being paid to do the work they love? That’s a win-win proposition. Not everyone can devote unpaid time to social causes and worthwhile work. With a public service degree, and the job you can get with one, you will be able to combine your desire to do meaningful work with your need to earn a living.
Wondering What Kind of Job you'll qualify for with a degree in Public Service?