The Benefits Of Working In Tech In The Public Sector

a city landscape to show how by working in tech in the public sector you could contribute to the everyday workings of a city

Tech in the public sector is booming. Governmental agencies, healthcare providers, and educational institutions are all pushing forward with digital transformations. This inevitably increases the demand for tech professionals in the public sector.

Some tech workers lacking exposure to the sector may not know of the numerous advantages of working in tech in the public sector.  From flexibility and compensation, to training opportunities and increased job security, there are a number of reasons why some professionals choose to work in tech in the public sector.

Technology in the public sector

There are some fantastic growth opportunities predicted for tech in the public sector in the next 5-10 years. With increased funding and investment into the UK tech sector as a whole, the chancellor recently announced a £800 million funding package to enhance government productivity using cutting-edge technology. Furthermore, an additional £34 million has been pledged to expand AI utilisation across governmental departments.

These investments mean that there are a multitude of opportunities for great tech talent to dive into. As the government invests further in tech and works to attract fantastic talent, many professionals are likely to be considering what the benefits of a career in the public sector are and how they weigh up to the private sector.

The benefits of working in tech in the public sector

Better job security

Whilst private companies may be the largest employer of tech professionals and often offer talent higher starting salaries, there is lower job security overall.

This year alone, we have seen tech layoffs from companies such as Microsoft, eBay, Google, DocuSign, and more. This insecurity is not seen in the public sector, where institutions take a very different approach to hiring and firings, due to more scrutiny over taxpayer’s money and ethics. The private sector on the other hand usually has a greater focus on revenue and maximising profits and value to shareholders. This occasionally leads to a more brutal redundancy process.

Organisations across the public sector tend to value facilitating upward and cross departmental career mobility. Systems, processes work culture and attitudes are often similar across public sector organisations, meaning if a project ends or an individual is no longer needed, their collaborative attitude normally means they can find the individual a position in another department or organisation.

For those considering working in tech in the public sector, increased job security might sound very attractive, especially as we continue to move through a cost of living crisis.

Increased opportunities

With the rise in investments in tech in the public sector, comes more opportunities for tech professionals.

Whilst in the private sector, the high amount of tech lay offs in the past few years have dampened opportunities for tech talent and led to periods of unemployment or lower paid roles for some tech workers, governmental records show that their tech workforce increased by 9% in 2023.

The government  also launched ‘Government Digital and Data’ in November 2023 to boost the number of tech specialists in the civil service and “rival” big tech companies. They are creating a clear “career path” for great talent, making it evident that the government is aiming to both attract and retain specialist tech workers.

Great training

Public sector organisations are motivated to upskill their current tech workers in order to retain them long-term, meaning many have a strong focus on internal training. In the civil service alone, there is a guaranteed 5 days of learning and development each year, talent programmes, loan opportunities to gain new experiences and work-based qualifications and training.

University graduates can enter the Digital, Data, Technology, and Cyber faststream in the civil service. They will have a starting salary of £31,186 and a predicted salary of £45-55k in their first job after the 3 year scheme. This is aided by multiple new schemes to boost the number of tech professionals in the UK, giving wider access to individuals considering entering tech.

Any tech professionals wanting to continually progress and develop in their careers have the opportunity to do so in the public sector.

Attractive compensation and flexibility

A major benefit of working in the public sector is the generous pension schemes. For instance, many universities providde employer contributions of up to 21.6% and a civil service pension includes employer contribution at 27%.

Additionally, on average, employees in the public sector often work shorter hours. According to the ONS, public sector workers average 36 hours per week compared to private sector employees who average 37.5 hours. The civil service union PCS is even pushing for a 4 day work week.

Furthermore, the public sector has organisations located throughout the UK. This means there are plenty of opportunities for great professionals to gain access to work who do not want to live/ comute to cities where there are typically more jobs available. For many tech professionals, this translates as both a shorter working day and a shorter commute.

If you add up all the benefits and pension contributions, working in tech in the public sector can be more lucrative than private.

Social purpose

Working in tech in the public sector will mean that you are contributing, and improving the essential services and infrastructure of the society you live in.

The public sector includes the police, NHS, local councils, fire services, HMRC, DVLA, education, social care, housing, environment and armed forces. You will likely find an employer in the public sector that matches your values as an individual. Naturally, with the sector supporting individuals, your work is more likely to have more purpose.

For example, the NHS is undergoing a digital transformation to extend the digital capabilities of the health service, including improving key services. This will mean an increased number of individuals with significantly easier and better access to healthcare – what purpose could be greater than that?

 

If you are an IT professional looking for your next great opportunity, check out our latest opportunities here or send us your CV and we will contact you when suitable vacancies arise.

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