Government & Public Administration

Government ensures that citizens have vital services that they might not otherwise be able to access. Government employees provide regulatory oversight and support for transportation, public safety, healthcare, education, utilities, and courts. In North Carolina, most government employees work for state or local governments. Some people also work for the federal government. Occupations in government mirror careers found in almost every industry. They range from many business, management, and administrative occupations to jobs related to construction and transportation.

Public work sector jobs typically require the same educational requirements as private sector occupations. Government employees’ work schedules and environments depend on workers’ specific jobs and — at times — on the size and level of government. This cluster includes desk jobs with regular eight-hour workdays as well as outdoor work with varying schedules. While hiring practices for most government workers are like those in other sectors, some public sector employees are elected or appointed to their jobs.

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Core Skills

The following Core Skills are necessary for success in these occupations.

  • Programming - Writing computer programs
  • Writing -
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information
  • Speaking - Talking to others
  • Mathematics - Using math to solve problems
  • Systems Analysis - Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
  • Negotiation - Bringing people together to solve differences
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • Judgment & Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one

Career Pathways

Career Story

Marcus Abernethy

Caldwell County Community College

Associate of Arts

"I knew by the time I left high school that I wanted to pursue a career in public service."

Marcus Abernethy is the City Manager of Hamlet, N.C., a small city near Rockingham. His path toward this career began while in middle school. In seventh grade, Marcus Abernethy was inducted into Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s TRIO/Educational Talent Search program.

The TRIO program helped him discover what it takes to be a leader and to discover his own passion for public service. “TRIO instilled in me a strong desire to lead others,” said Abernethy. “I knew by the time I left high school that I wanted to pursue a career in public service.”

While at CCC&TI, Abernethy further developed his leadership skills with a variety of student activities. He continued his involvement with TRIO in the Student Support Services program for college students. Abernethy served as both a senator and vice-president for CCC&TI’s Student Government Association, served as a CCC&TI Student Ambassador, and attended the NC Community College System Student Leadership Institute, a yearlong program that selects only a few students from across the state for participation.

Abernethy earned his Associate in Arts degree in 2010 and transferred to Appalachian State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and his Master of Arts degree in Public Administration.

Abernethy indicates that his success is due, in part, to his hard work and the support he received through CCC&TI’s TRIO program, but also to those who have helped him along the way.

Go to Career Cluster Matrix to find occupations by cluster and interest type.