OPM Launches a New Web Portal for Federal Internships
The federal government’s HR agency describes the new section of USAJOBS as a “one-stop shop” for students seeking to explore a career in public service.
The Office of Personnel Management on Thursday launched a new portal as part of USAJOBS for students interested in applying for internships at federal agencies, billed as a “one-stop shop” for those interested in exploring a career in government.
The new portal filters federal job advertisements by those available to current high school, university or graduate program students, and it allows potential applicants to sort openings by agency, salary and General Schedule pay grade, and location. Individual listings also state the length of the internship program, expected hours from participants, as well as whether interns could be converted to full-time positions upon the completion of their degree.
The tool’s rollout is the latest in a string of actions by the Biden administration to try to revitalize internship programs across the federal government by making them paid, more easily accessible and more fulfilling. Over the last decade, federal agencies have seen a precipitous decline in the number of interns, which officials say have hurt the government’s ability to recruit young people.
In 2021, OPM issued regulations aimed at making it easier for agencies to hire college students and recent graduates, and in January, the agency issued guidance to help agencies expand their use of internship programs and make sure more of those opportunities are paid. Federal agencies have committed to hiring 35,000 interns over the course of fiscal 2023.
Internships listings posted on the new portal also will specify whether those positions are eligible for workplace flexibilities like telework or remote work. As of Friday, agencies had posted 159 internship opportunities to USAJOBS, and OPM Director Kiran Ahuja promised that more are on the way.
“Federal internships offer a critical pathway into government and public service,” Ahuja said in a statement. “No matter what your interests are, the federal government offers opportunities in nearly every sector and every industry, from conservation to housing policy, cybersecurity and health care. Hundreds of internships are already posted with more opportunities going live every week. A federal internship is a great way to start your career in public service and make an impact in your community.”