We've examined the phenomenon of more and more college grads choosing the public sector over the private sector. The common assumption behind this possible trend is that the recession has drained opportunity out of the private sector, while government opportunities grow along with the expansion of the government.
But a survey of human resources executives (via Bloggingstocks) seems to question this assumption. A plurality of the HR people identified science/information technology as the top career prospect for young people looking for a job. The growth potential in computer and engineering industries is still quite high. Government, on the other hand, was seen as more of a gamble:
Government and public service received less than 5% of the HR professionals' votes for this survey (they were instructed to vote for only one discipline each). Programs are being cut (along with positions) as local and federal governments seek to balance budgets, which can make this field a bit less attractive. Yet, coming retirements due to an aging workforce could lead to more open jobs in the near future. Challenger notes that "despite the increasing need for replacement workers, the government has done little to streamline the hiring process or improve its image when it comes to being a great place to work."