US Department of State
3.8 of 5 279 reviews
www.careers.state.gov Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

US Department of State Reviews

Updated Apr 8, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 279 reviews

                             

91% Approve of the CEO

US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry

John Kerry

(64 ratings)

88% of employees recommend this company to a friend
279 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "I worked at the Foreign Service Institute, where they train diplomats"
    in 20 reviews
  • "See the world, protect the best brand in the world - the US"
    in 10 reviews
Cons:
  • "Foreign Service officers are then central employee core and taken care of"
    in 26 reviews
  • "The biggest challenge is that every two years, there is a rotation of mid-level Foreign Service Officers who arrive with "attitude""
    in 15 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • Senior Management
         
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  • Approves of CEO

 

Great organization with a public service mission and high dedicated diplomats

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at US Department of State full-time

ProsInteresting and important, impactful work, highly capable staff

ConsHighly bureaucratic that can be stifling

Advice to Senior ManagementLearn to use new technology and innovate

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Exceptional leadership opportunities and diverse portfolios

Senior Advisor (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at US Department of State full-time for more than 3 years

ProsGreat benefits, diverse work that always keeps me interested, a lot of room for taking on work that I find personally interesting, good team members, excellent network.

ConsNot always great management, constant tension between foreign and civil service, heavy turnover leads to unstable working environment.

Advice to Senior ManagementEncourage leadership training and management training, acknowledge and follow legal differences in foreign and civil service work force.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Culturally diverse workplace!

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at US Department of State for more than 10 years

ProsGreat place to work where you can meet and interact with people from all over the world.

ConsSometimes politics get in the way of them taking care of their employees while serving overseas.

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An agency with a lot of potential.

IT Specialist (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at US Department of State full-time for more than a year

ProsTravel, pay, and a lot of training.

ConsToo many ego's and employee dissatisfaction.

Advice to Senior ManagementPractice what you preach.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

Work with great minds and learn the best in Diplomacy

IT Intern (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at US Department of State as an intern for less than a year

ProsMany learning opportunities for interns (tours, career fairs, presentations).
Work with diverse group of people on important issues.

ConsSlow to implement new technologies.
Interns may find themselves with not much to do, but with the right initiative you can find a niche.
Doesn't seem like a lot of interns go on to full-time employment.

Advice to Senior ManagementNeed better structure for intern training and career conversion.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

Fascinating place to learn about US policy; wouldn't want to spend a career there

Science Officer (Civil Service) (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at US Department of State full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat learning experience for US foreign policy formulation and implementation; learn how to move paper and make decisions efficiently in a major organization with huge interdependencies across offices. Opportunity to work with other USG agencies in lead position. Great for networking.

ConsHierarchical and bureaucratic; obviously very political; decisions must often be made for political reasons rather than technical ones. Very reactive. After about 6-moths I had mastered my policy coordination job and it became rote. Moved on after 1 year.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

Although it has been less than a year, I am very, very happy at DoS so far.

Passport Specialist (Current Employee)

I have been working at US Department of State full-time for less than a year

ProsVery interesting and awesome coworkers from a variety of backgrounds. Great opportunities for travel. Very solid upward mobility if you are willing to chase after it.

ConsThere is, sadly, the occasional stereotypical government employee to contend with, although I have to admit, it is far less of a problem than I had anticipated prior to transitioning to employment with the federal government.

Advice to Senior ManagementI would love to see more opportunities for temporary duty at posts abroad for domestic DoS employees.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Great summer internship

Intern (Former Employee)

I worked at US Department of State as an intern for less than a year

ProsWorked in a great office with amazing senior management. Supervisors did a great deal to cultivate interns professional growth and exposure to the Department and city.

ConsI have no complaints about my time there.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Diplomacy is their forte not IT

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at US Department of State full-time for more than a year

ProsThe people are great, the salary is awesome. If you are an engineer, computer scientist or Information Technology Specialist they have a skills incentive program that can increase your base salary from 8% - 14% depending on the education or certification you receive while emlpoyed here. There is nothing like it in the federal space at all.

ConsTechnology and diplomats do not mix. There is deep misunderstanding in engineering, physical sciences, information and computer sciences in this agency. Poor system engineering principles at play and those who are in charge do not know what they don't know.

Advice to Senior ManagementHire the following disciplines: computer scientist, network engineers, information systems, electrical engineers as opposed to technology specialist. Hire those federal and private contractors who are graduates of ABET accredited institutions with less focus on certifications and federal tenure.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Pay is good, fellow employees are very nice and helpful

Student Assistant (Former Employee)

I worked at US Department of State as an intern for less than a year

ProsGood pay, Customers are pleasant to work with, you get to learn a lot, fellow pears are all pleasant to work with.

ConsTerminated with no warning. Not enough training on all the legalities, no benefits unless you are a part or full-time worker. Poor communication with Management.

Advice to Senior ManagementYou should not terminate someone's employment with no warning or explanation.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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