My academic background is in Criminology and Psychology, and it was whilst studying my Psychology masters that I discovered I really enjoyed conducting research. I had heard about the Civil Service Fast Stream and thought it sounded like a great opportunity, so I applied to the Social Research stream. My first two years on the Fast Stream were spent in another department before joining the Home Office. I applied to work for the Home Office as I really wanted to work on Criminal Justice issues and the causes of crime. The Home Office also has a strong analytical community including many Social Researchers.
As an analyst, most of my work is supporting policy colleagues in using the best available evidence on domestic abuse. Another part of the work is conducting evaluations on new domestic abuse policies to measure their impact and effectiveness. I really enjoy working on important issues like this. The research area is not the most uplifting, but it is motivating to work on an area that focuses on protecting vulnerable people.
I think a key benefit of being a social researcher is that you are able to continuously learn and develop research in your area. Another part I enjoy is being able to apply what I had learned from university to design my own research projects. The Home Office has a strong stakeholder network, including academics, other government departments, and support service providers. It is always interesting to collaborate and learn about their work.
If you were considering an Analyst career in the Home Office I would say ‘Do it!’ because there are so many different opportunities for social research here.