Back to Blog Listing

After the Shutdown: Government Demand for PhDs

Not happy with certain aspects of the US or state government?  Why not work to change it. The US government is a consistent and significant employer of PhDs across numerous academic disciplines–and it won’t always be shut down.

In 2016, there were 19.4 million employed in local and state government positions, a figure that is projected to reach 20.1 million by 2026 according to BLS data. A quick glance at USAJOBs, the official website for government positions, identifies the most urgent hiring needs in the following areas:

Of course, open positions don’t necessarily require a PhD but there are many which do. Our search of “PhD appropriate” government jobs has also yielded a number of positions across a range of disciplines, including firms which sub-contract for government services and are involved in policy advocacy or government relations.  Take a look.


Director of Federal Affairs, Americans for the Arts

Proposal Development Specialist (DfID Global Fund)

Executive Vice President, Study Abroad, CIEE

Policy/Program Specialist, Nat’l Conference of State Legislatures

Psychometrician, Clinical Quality Measures


Strategic Intelligence Analyst, National Defense

Computer Vision Product Architect, In-Q-Tel

Environmental Engineer, US Department of the Army

Astrophysicist, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Civil Engineer, Department of Transportation

For access to more jobs as well as archived and searchable opportunities, visit our SmartJobs page. Note: SmartJobs access requires a university affiliation. User-generated jobs are free to all members and can be accessed here.