The skills you need for the government jobs of tomorrow: 100 places to learn for free–A Great Compendium Provided by


All of the skill sets highlighted by are invaluable. However, I would add an additional emphasis, a greater knowledge in civics. Even with the focus on techniques and  technologies at the very center of public engagement, there still needs to be an intrinsic understanding of the relationship between government and the governed.  It’s personal and intangible.  As such, it needs to be outlined in terms of the correlations between governmental bureaucracy, the general public and those that occupy elected and appointed positions; All within the context of a representative/republican form of government. Even with the best of intentions, It is more complicated that just applying the latest set of the mechanics of community outreach, big data, and customer service. The resurgence of populism, tribalism, ethnocentrism, and other “Isms” of the day serve as formidable barriers to the proper conduct of the peoples business. It also depicts how the civic needs of society are not being met. The focus on the tools of civic engagement are clearly needed. However the terms “civic” and “engagement” need to have equal value. Engagement is the culmination of applications and discourse and does not necessarily result in actual communication.  In that it is reflective of a tangible activity, it is easier to understand and explain. Yet the term civic is a whole other matter. It implies something greater. It requires a knowledge of the purpose and role of governance in society. It is more than just the efficient and effective delivery of public services. It requires a sense of individual and communal responsibility that goes beyond just the product at hand. It is less apparent and much harder to define.  This is where the true challenge to representative democracies lie. Given the current state of affairs in our nation, I would posit that an education in civics is even more important to the functioning of a healthy society than the focus on STEM.

Steve Harding

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