4 central government career paths for those with security clearance

Published on: 16 Nov 2021

If you're looking for an exciting career that can really make a difference, the public sector offers a wide range of options. And within this, central government opportunities are often amongst the most highly-sought after, offering good potential for progression and strong job security.

With 25 ministerial departments looking for talent, there's bound to be something that fits your skills, experiences and interests. Whether in the Civil Service directly or one of the many partner organisations and contractors that work closely with government departments, this sector can be especially useful for those leaving the armed forces or the police, as the skills you pick up are often highly transferable. 

So what are some of the career paths that may be open to you in this sector, and what skills will be especially advantageous if you're looking to transfer from other areas?


1. IT engineer

Managing the multitude of IT systems that are essential to the smooth running of government is a vital activity, and departments are always on the lookout for talent. As you'll be handling highly sensitive and confidential data, these roles often require stringent IT security clearances such as Security Check (SC) or Developed Vetting (DV). Skills in coding, software development, problem solving and communication are vital for these jobs.

2. Project management

With so many departments and initiatives across the public sector, there is always demand for those with project management skills to take the lead and deliver results. There are thousands of public sector projects taking place at any given time, managing around half a trillion pounds of taxpayer money. These range from megaprojects like the High Speed 2 rail line to local schemes to improve people's lives, and it's vital such investments are being spent well.

Project managers need skills in areas such as leadership, teamwork, financial management, communications and risk assessment, among others.

3. Counter fraud and cyber security

If you've got experience in investigative work, such as with the police, a career in counter fraud or cyber security may be a good option. It's especially important for these organisations to protect public services and counter economic crime when they're working with public funds. 

Indeed, there are over 10,000 counter fraud specialists working in this sector under the umbrella of the Government Counter Fraud Profession. Investigative interviewing, intelligence gathering, fraud measurement, data analytics and risk assessment are among the skills needed to work in this area.

4. Data analysis

Data is at the heart of government decision-making, so people with the ability to study information, identify patterns and draw conclusions that can be used to improve performance or direct policymaking are also highly valued in the public sector. This can cover roles including data scientists, statisticians and researchers and requires strong analytical skills, outside-the-box thinking, problem solving and attention to detail.

Of course, these are just a few of the varied career opportunities that may await you if you're interested in working for the central government and can secure the necessary security clearances. 

Browse our range of central government jobs today to find one that works for you.