Working for the government is not the first thing that comes to mind for those obtaining MBAs in finance. The current MBA buyer’s market may have driven many to work for the government, but there is demand for finance workers in the government, and the recruitment process is becoming easier. Though government jobs tend to pay less than the private sector, they can provide excellent work experience. Also, a government job can be the starting point for a long term career in finance. Here are three types of jobs a financial MBA can look for when seeking government work.
They are responsible for analyzing and tracking money movement, producing financial reports, financial projections, and cash-flow statements. These positions require leadership abilities and team skills. They oversee and provide managerial functions over the interpretation of financial and operational transactions. They will often have supervisory functions over budgets and programs. As managers, they will be responsible for reporting to and interacting with managers and leaders from other departments and branches. Financial managers will also have a hand in policy making and the development of financial rules and regulations.
In the private sector, financial analysts tend to evaluate investment portfolios, analyze and forecast market conditions, and provide information for future investment-related decision making. Government investing practices typically focus on safety and liquidity, rather than the aggressive investing practices of the private sector. Governments and governmental departments may employ financial analysts to reevaluate and report expenditures and resource usage. Financial analyst functions will also include financial reporting, cash management, debt management, and financial forecasting. A financial analyst position is a good starting point for an upward career track in finance, and can lead to higher positions such as manager or director positions.
A budget analyst’s primary function is to allocate an organization or departments resources to help the organization accomplish its mission objectives. The budget analyst’s job is to understand the programs and operations they examine in order to provide appropriate requirements, justifications, and context for their budget plans. A budget analyst tracks and analyzes revenues and expenditures for all departments within an organization, or, in the case of larger organizations such as the government, departments within a branch of the larger structure. In most cases, budget analysts will also analyze and consider profits and profit margins, but because government fund allocations are determined by financial management, a budget analyst working in the government will often look for more efficient ways to distribute funds and manage costs.
The government hiring process can be very bureaucratic, though this process has been improving lately. The easiest place to start looking for jobs is in the federal government. USAJobs.gov is where most federal recruiting takes place. The largest departments in the federal government that hire MBAs in finance include the Department of Treasury, the Commerce Department, the IRS, and the Labor Department. The website has tens of thousands of jobs listed. Many schools are now connecting with the government to assist students in applying to government jobs, and the process of getting a finance job in the government is only getting easier.