Public service is a diverse field.

It encompasses a wide range of disciplines, including criminal justice, emergency management, public administration, social work, and human services. Public service professionals work in government, as well as nonprofits, and sometimes, of course, politics.

But while the application of public service principles takes many forms, the core value that informs it is a commitment to civic values, says Micheal Kemp, PhD, faculty chair within the School of Public Service Leadership at Capella University. “It’s a lot about giving back to the community,” he says.


People in public service often make “tremendous sacrifices” in order to help others, Kemp says. That’s particularly true when disaster strikes and public service employees are called upon to work long hours and endure considerable stress. But being part of the team that gets a community through a crisis can also be incredibly rewarding, Kemp observes.

Following is a look at all the public service professionals who get involved in the early stages of an emergency—in this scenario, a plane crash. Though their specialties range from fire-fighting to aeronautics to child psychology, the people who fill these roles are united by their passion to deliver assistance, justice, and even basic necessities like food and clean water.

“If you want to do something meaningful with your life, this is a field you should consider,” Kemp says. “It’s extremely fulfilling—in that you know that everything you do is going to have an impact on somebody else.”




Learn more about Capella’s online public service programs and social work and human services programs

See graduation rates, median student debt, and other information at Capella Results.