Public finance is actually a very serious profession in the United States. Many people who work in this field do because they want to serve the public and what better way to do it than to provide them with the services and goods they need through financing.
I used to think that people who worked in public finances were a sort of accounting personnel that dealt with numbers all day. The only difference was that they were dealing with public money instead of an individual's or a corporation's. But I read an article which made me realize that this is not true.
People in the field are actually working to find better financial policies for government agencies so that the people can benefit more from it. And the government is very particular about selecting employees that are honest and can be trusted in their work. They also have to be very competent in their field and are expected to keep developing themselves, their knowledge and skills.
So public finance workers are really public workers. Social work, public finance and public policy work are not too different. The interests of all three lie in serving the public. I'm really glad that I ran into this article, it shed some new light on public finance for sure.