One of the fastest growing sources of public service employment in recent years has been public sector contracting and consulting. Some contractors now employ thousands of staff, analysts, managers, and more. Many of them are MPAs and MPPs.
The consulting sector offers challenging, fast-paced positions, frequently better paid than their public sector counterparts, but also requires more flexibility and tolerance for changing employment and work situations. You need to be flexible and adaptable. Public sector consultants analyze public sector operations, using qualitative and quantitative methodology. They make recommendations for improving efficiency and accomplishing critical goals. Contractors can provide a variety of goods and services to the government, including long term contract employees to government agencies. They work on short and long term projects knowing they may need to adjust and swiftly move from one to the other.
Sometimes the work is done in a public sector workplace right next to government employees, sometimes in place of a government employee, and sometimes for short periods of time as a consultant, or for months and even years as a contractor. Sometimes the work is in a completely different location, located in a huge firm, or in a tiny “mom and pop” consulting shop. But your goal can remain the same as government service: doing your best to help government (at all levels from Federal to State to Local) satisfy the needs of its citizens, and “leave the world better off.”
Does consulting or contracting sound interesting to you? This portion of our website is designed to introduce you to the many kinds of career opportunities provided by the contracting and consulting sector, and you’ll hear from people who actually work there who will describe exactly what it’s like. You’ll find out the similarities of doing public service through a contractor or consulting firm versus direct government employment, and you’ll find out some of the differences.