Many government departments are undergoing significant digital transformation, particularly in areas around security, sustainability, and providing digital platforms for the public.
The public sector doesn’t just cover major London-based departments such as the Cabinet Office or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It also includes smaller and non-ministerial bodies, such as HMRC and the National Crime Agency; local government such as County Councils and London Boroughs; and major public bodies like the NHS and Highways England.
There are a broad selection of jobs for computer science and engineering graduates in the public sector, and you may find the same or similar roles are advertised in multiple departments.
Roles in the public sector can include:
- Cyber security or forensic computer analysis.
- Electronics, networks or systems engineering, including for specific projects within the Ministry of Defence.
- Quality assurance, ensuring that suppliers are delivering products within contractual obligations and working on process audits and compliance resolution.
- Software development, either to support the activities of Civil Service teams or for use by the public.
Civil Service Fast Stream
The Civil Service Fast Stream is a highly competitive leadership development programme run by the UK Civil Service. Successful applicants will work in relevant government departments as part of one of fifteen potential schemes.
Different schemes have different durations, ranging from 2 to 4 years, and different degree level and subject requirements. For example, the Digital, Data & Technology scheme develops Civil Servants who will work in teams that build and maintain government digital services. It requires a 2:2 but no specific degree subject, although you may find a computer science or engineering degree very helpful.
Conversely, the Science and Engineering Fast Stream requires a postgraduate degree (either Masters or PhD) that must be in a science or engineering subject as you will act as a specialist in science and engineering fields.