SEA Week: Dr. Fred Seamon on Evaluation Careers in the Private Sector

Hi, I`m Fred Seamon, Senior Partner with MGT of America, Inc. and Past President of the Southeast Evaluation Association (SEA), a regional affiliate of the American Evaluation Association (AEA). I am also a former Assistant Professor for the Askew School of Public Administration and Public Policy at Florida State University, and former Research Associate for the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy at Florida State University.

Like many evaluation professionals, I had a natural tendency to think of public sector and not-for-profit organizations when considering evaluation career opportunities. I was shocked and amazed by what I found.

Lesson Learned: Evaluation has been a staple for many years in the private sector and the “bread and butter” for small boutique or niche firms that only conduct evaluation work. In the private sector, evaluation takes on several guises, including program assessment, program improvement, organizational assessment, service delivery systems review, impact analysis, and quality improvement reviews, to just name a few.

Hot Tip: Look beyond common evaluation terms and titles and focus on the required skills and expertise evaluation is evaluation regardless of what it`s called or the context in which it takes place. If you are looking to expand your horizon and career in evaluation, first learn to broaden how you think about evaluation. Start with who you know and who they might know, and use your research skills to uncover and discover opportunities in the private sector. Finally, broaden how you look at the private sector and potential evaluation career opportunities to reveal more career options.

Hot Tip: In addition to major private sector firms like Accenture and KPMG, other private sector evaluation career opportunities may be found at foundations, think tanks, economic development organizations, and business and industry professional associations.

Rad Resource: Consulting News is an excellent website to use as a starting point for researching information on evaluation careers and opportunities in the private sector and for staying current on the latest in the field.

Once you start to look more broadly at evaluation itself and other sectors, you will be amazed to discover that evaluation is, in fact, everywhere.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Southeast Evaluation Association (SEA) Affiliate Week with our colleagues in the SEA Affiliate. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from SEA Affiliate members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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