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2023 In-Demand Careers

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Georgetown University, Walsh School of Foreign Service

Jobs in Political Risk, Government, and Intelligence Intrigue Students


A weeklong virtual career program at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) in January provided a snapshot of students’ interests. The best-attended sessions covered political risk, government careers in general, intelligence careers in particular, and international development.

Those topics align with employment trends that the Walsh School of Foreign Service has observed among its 2022 master’s degree graduates. Some of these trends reflect recent global events. For example, COVID-19 vividly demonstrated political risks of globalization, when lockdowns in other countries disrupted supply chains in the United States.

“The alumni community here is bigger, stronger, and more engaged than any alumni community I’ve worked with before. It’s the alumni recognizing they need to help build up the next generation of leaders.” –Nathan Slusher, Career Center Executive Director, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Other employment trends have been stable over the years. The two sectors that employed the largest share of the 388 Walsh School graduates in 2022 were the private sector (39 percent average over five years) and public sector (34 percent average), according to SFS Career Center Executive Director Nathan Slusher. The other sectors that graduates went into were the nonprofit (22 percent) and multilateral (5 percent) sectors.

Some of the 2022 graduates were among the five students and alumni of Walsh School master’s degree programs who received Fulbright scholarships for the 2022-23 academic year. Georgetown University ranked first among Top Producing Institutions for the 2022-2023 academic year, achieving the highest number (49) of these overseas study and research grants of any US college or university.

Among graduates taking private sector jobs, many were interested in consulting, especially in the subfields of political risk and government contracting. Deloitte and Booz Allen Hamilton were two of the biggest employers.

The public sector—especially intelligence organizations—has always been keen on Walsh School students because of Georgetown University’s focus on public service, as a Jesuit institution, and the school’s location in Washington, DC, Slusher says. The top five 2022 public employers were the departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, the Intelligence Community, and the US Agency for International Development. The State Department was the single largest 2022 employer, with 18 hires.

Recent Georgetown graduates taking government jobs bucks a nationwide trend of an aging US government workforce. Only 7 percent of permanent full-time federal employees are younger than 30, compared with 20 percent in the broader labor market, according to a recent Washington Post op-ed. The reasons that were cited included lengthy and convoluted hiring processes and an outdated pay system.

One source of support for job-hunting graduates is a network of engaged alumni, Slusher says. The Walsh School of Foreign Service celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019, which gives graduates a wide swath of alumni resources to draw from.

“The alumni community here is bigger, stronger, and more engaged than any alumni community I’ve worked with before,” Slusher says. “That goes back to the Jesuit value of ‘people for others.’”

Georgetown University, Walsh School of Foreign Service
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