Government, Public and Social Services Career Cluster


The Government, Public and Social Services cluster is a broad group of industries associated with serving society in a variety of ways. From helping someone with a personal crisis to non-profit management to international diplomacy, careers in this cluster can impact an individual’s quality of life or address global issues. Careers in these fields typically involve planning and performing government functions, policy-making, managing, advocating, counseling, researching, enforcing, protecting, helping, problem-solving, leading and mentoring. Opportunities exist in federal employment (the largest industry in the United States), as well as local and state government, national, international, community, for-profit and non-profit organizations and associations, and religious organizations working with constituencies directly and indirectly. 

How NIU Gets You There

NIU offers a variety of academic pathways, activities and access to organizations to help you get started on your journey toward a career in government, public and social services. In addition to the majors, you can volunteer at a related organization, follow news, issues and trends related to your cause, network with others who share your passion to solve social, community, national and international issues. Maintain a strong grade point average as internships, fellowships and research opportunities are competitive. And lastly, don’t do anything that will negatively impact your record. Many job opportunities in this cluster will require a background check.

Suggested Activities


Explore Your Skills

Skills needed in this cluster:

  • Abilities: analytical, investigative, organizational, research, speaking, writing
  • Social: communication, compassion, interpersonal, leadership, listening, perceptiveness
  • Personal: critical-thinking, decision-making, emotional stability, problem-solving, time-management

Get more information about occupations and skills related to career clusters.


Industries include:

  • Academia
  • Childcare
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Government – All Levels
  • Healthcare
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • Human Rights
  • Law Enforcement and Security
  • Mental Health
  • Museums and Libraries
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Non-Profits/Community Organizations
  • Politics
  • Public Policy
  • Religion/Ministry
  • Social/Human Services

Related NIU Majors

Learn more about career paths related to this cluster, possible job titles, internships obtained by NIU students and employers who have hired NIU graduates.

  • Anthropology
  • Nonprofit and NGO Studies
  • Human Development and Family Sciences
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology