“The Test” is a constant topic of discussion for people trying to get into the Foreign Service. People passing the Foreign Service test and taking an appointment with the State Department are called “Generalists”.
But taking the test and becoming a Generalist is not the only way of working in the Foreign Service.
Currently, there are about 22,500 direct American hires working for the State Department. But there are only a total of around 7,500 Generalists. So who are the rest of the 15,000 employees?
Foreign Service Specialists and the Civil Service employees of course! Selection procedures to become a Specialist or Civil Servant is rather different from a becoming a generalist and in some cases, the acceptance rates are higher.
I’ll be covering the selection process for each in more detail, but here are the direct links on the official State Department website: