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The Public Sector - Pros And Cons

While the public sector is dogged by perceptions of it offering poor pay, frustrating levels of bureaucracy and ''jobsworthiness'', this is quite off the mark in reality. The public sector can offer competitive and satisfying careers. If you''d like to see what''s on offer, take a look at Guardian Jobs.

Although the sector is facing cuts in certain areas over the next few years, the public sector is still recruiting for a very wide berth of careers and jobs with good salary expectations and high levels of job satisfaction.

What careers fall under the public sector?

With 5.8 million of the total 28 million strong workforce employed within it, the public sector offers a very wide range of different careers, going much further than simply Government. The armed forces, emergency services, teaching and charity work are all within the public sector.

Very familiar organisations like the BBC and the NHS also fall under the public sector umbrella, as do many arts offerings and charities such as Amnesty International or UNICEF. There really is a wide berth of career options available.


Because of the need for transparency and focus on equality of pay, it''s often conceived that public sectors are not as high or as flexible as they might be in the public sphere. But the majority of employees in the public sector are unlikely to have chosen their role for salary on its own.

It''s also not true to say that public sector workers are all underpaid when matched to their equivalents in the private sphere. In November 2006 a Public Sector Rich List was published with the details of 171 public servants who took home more than ?150k per annum, with this group having average salaries of ?270,000.

Work/life balance and satisfaction