What to do after UPSC - job opportunities in the civil services India

Each year, thousands of students appear for the UPSC civil services exams. Most aim to be IAS Officers. However, you are probably not aware that there are many more departments encompassing the civil services other than IAS. This article provides detailed information on the various career opportunities after UPSC.

What is the meaning of civil services?
Civil services encompasses a wide spectrum of government services, excluding judicial and military services. A civil servant is one who works in one of the many government departments, be it an engineer, an accountant or an administrator.

How to get a job in the civil services?
Aspirants aiming for careers in the civil services have to appear for the civil services examination, better known by its acronym UPSC (Union Public Service Commission).

What type of job opportunities are available after the UPSC exam?
Successful candidates of the UPSC exam do not only have job opportunities as IAS officers or IPS officers, as is assumed by many students. There are many more government services to which you can apply. This is the list:

Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
This is regarded as the most prestigious service. Most UPSC exam candidates aim to become IAS Officers primarily because of the automatic impression of high status it creates & the respect it generally generates. There is a stamp of authority that comes with being an IAS Officer. So what exactly does an IAS officer do? An IAS officer’s role, to put it broadly, encompasses the setting up and execution of various government policies.

Indian Police Service (IPS)
The next most sought after career after IAS is in the IPS, which is involved with the maintaining law & order. An IPS officer is responsible for ensuring security of the people and prevention of criminal activities. There are plenty of opportunities to go up the IPS ladder through promotions.

Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
Working as an IFS is not about travelling to foreign countries! Working in the IFS is all about taking up various responsibilities associated with economic, trade, cultural, media and other aspects of co-operation between India and other countries across the globe. You may begin your career in the IFS as a Third Secretary. With experience & competency comes future promotions to the post of First Secretary. Then there are the prestigious senior posts of Director and even possibly taking up the coveted role of an Ambassador or High Commissioner.

Indian Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS is associated with Income Tax. One aspect of the IRS is to collect income tax from the general public, including those who are employed as well as business people. Then there is the Customs and Excise Duty arm of the IRS. Working in the section involves computing, collecting & keeping records of the accounts of the various customs & excise duties that are imposed by the government.

Indian Postal Service
An officer in the Indian Postal Service is responsible for ensuring smooth co-ordination with various government agencies. This section of the civil services comes under the administration of the Director General of Posts.

Indian Informative Service (IIS)
This branch of the civil services is responsible for administrative matters related to the set-up, processes & functions of various broadcasting & advertising agencies which are owned by the government. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting heads the IIS.

Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)
Officer in the ICAS work on accounting principles & guidelines related to the Union Government of a State Government. It forms a liaison between various Ministries and departments of the governments’ budget divisions & the Comptroller General of India on accounts-related matters.

Indian P & T Accounts and Finance Service
As the name implies, candidates selected for this service work on various accounts & finance aspects of the Department of Telecom & Department of Posts, with job locations being either in one of the centers (branches) or at the main Headquarters. Work responsibilities including collection of telecom license fees, internal audits, management of pensions, etc. 

Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS)
The job work in the IA&AS covers a very wide spectrum. You could be conducting a performance-based audit in a government organization or compiling data about provident funds or working on the accounts of pensions. The Comptroller and Audit General of India (CAG) head the IA&AS.

Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
Have a claim against the Indian Railways? It will be settled by somebody in the IRAS. Besides settling claims and generally maintaining accounts, the IRAS also offers advisory services to the Railways’ management boards.

Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
When applying for a job in the Indian Railways, you will likely be appearing for a recruitment exam organized by the IRPS. Officers in the IRPS not only work on the recruitment, selection and training of personnel for the Railways, but also are involved with promoting, transferring and taking disciplinary action against personnel. The department also deals with retirement-related issues.

Indian Defence Accounts Service
This branch of the civil services is under the purview of the Ministry of Defence. Its primary function is to formulate policies which are associated with accounts procedures, assigning financial powers, internal audit procedural changes for defence, etc.

Indian Defence Estate Service
Like the aforementioned Defence Accounts Service, this too is under the management of the Ministry of Defence. An IDES Officer plays multiple roles, working on audits of the Ministry’s land, proper use of the land, making provisions for municipal administration, etc.

Indian Ordnance Factories Service
All equipment related matters of the defence services, including provision of requisite machines & spare parts, are handled by the officers of this department. It thus includes personnel from a wide range of disciplines, including metallurgy, engineering, science and technology.

As you can see, there is much more to launching a civil services career than aspiring to become an IAS Officer!

Additional Resources:
Eligibility criteria and fee

Stages of UPSC exam


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