Working in the lucrative, ever-evolving public sector can be highly rewarding — and challenging at the same time. Taking a public management course can set students up for success and ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to have a fulfilling career.
In this article, MANCOSA takes an in-depth look into the public sector, its advantages and disadvantages, the kind of work students can expect, and more so that you can decide if public management studies are right for you.
What is the public sector?
The public sector is the part of the economy powered by the state. This comprises of:
- public enterprises
- governmental services
- law enforcement
- public education
- the military, and more.
The South African public sector consists of a three-tier system, including the national, provincial, and local levels of government. These levels have executive authority in their dedicated spheres — and are thus interdependent and interrelated.
Furthermore, South Africa’s public sector is under the control of the government and operates with taxpayer funds. It has also undergone significant changes over the years and is becoming more representative of the diverse needs and backgrounds of South Africans.
Public sector vs private sector
In essence, the private sector is the opposite of the public sector. Companies in the private sector are privately owned, privately funded and face little regulation from the state.
Entities in this sector aim to profit and usually establish their prices based on market conditions and competition.
Companies in the private sector can begin by establishing a new business with private individuals or privatising a public organisation.
Advantages and disadvantages of working in the public sector
Here’s a list of some of the most significant advantages of working in the public sector.
- Your job can make a big difference in the lives of people in the community.
- You’ll get a robust benefits package, including health insurance, the opportunity to participate in government retirement and pension plans, paid federal holidays, and more.
- Better stability and job security as government companies are unlikely to face big layoffs or become obsolete.
- Decisions in the public sector can be easier since certain regulations need to be followed.
- Excellent training and skills development opportunities as the public sector want its staff to develop their skills.
For the most part, working in the public sector comes with many benefits that aren’t available to those in the private sector, which is why a public management course could be a very lucrative career choice.
If you’re interested in getting a job in the public sector, a certificate in public management might be the ideal solution.
What exactly is meant by public management?
Public management is the task of undertaking management in roles in the public sector. Thus, professionals in these positions will manage programs and people that serve the public.
After completing a public management course , you’ll study the government, its structure, processes, and functions — while also being taught how to manage these processes in the most efficient way possible.
Learn more about MANCOSA’s Higher Certificate in Public Management Course.
The kind of work undertaken by the public sector
There are several different types of public management careers with varying duties and levels of responsibility. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Accounting and financial services
People in public accounting and financial services are generally responsible for organising and updating accounting records, analysing reports and transactions, performing financial audits to ensure financial documents are accurate, etc.
They’ll work in the financial or accounting department of public organisations and need to keep financial information confidential at all times.
In public administration, leaders work with communities to promote the general welfare and bring about positive change. Professionals in public administration are prepared to manage nonprofit organisations and all tiers of government (local, state, and federal).
- Public administrators may have job titles such as city manager, county executive, strategic planning director, labour relations manager, policy analyst, public affairs director, and more.
- Human resource management
Quite simply, public human resource management is the application of human resource elements and principles in the public sector. This includes hiring new employees, training them, paying them, and periodically evaluating their performance.
- Knowledge management
Knowledge management and administration go hand-in-hand in the public sector. These two roles work together to build a society’s intellectual capital and improve the public sector’s decision-making and handling efficiency.
Knowledge managers in the public sector may have job titles such as knowledge manager, knowledge asset manager, knowledge analyst, knowledge engineer, knowledge architect, and chief knowledge officer.
Take a MANCOSA Public Management course
Public management is a great sector to be in when you want to help the community and continue to climb the corporate ladder. You’ll find something that suits your interests and needs with many job opportunities available.