Department of Homeland Security Introduces IT Career Plan

Susan Hall
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The Department of Homeland Security has produced a document to outline a career trajectory for IT professionals.

DHS CIO Richard Spires introduces the document “IT Career Path—You are IT! in a blog post at He fails to provide any guidance, however, on how to find this document.

Writes Spires:

Recognizing that rewarding careers take concerted effort from both the organization and the employee, the “IT Career Path” highlights what it takes to succeed at DHS, enabling employees to make informed decisions concerning their professional development. The guidance features career profiles for 11 IT functional areas across three career levels—individual contributor, manager and senior leader. The profiles are designed to help employees determine how to best prepare for new opportunities in a particular function, providing insight into typical roles, major responsibilities, general sphere of influence, competencies that contribute to success, and critical development experiences.

It also will aid those considering a move outside their current IT function, he says.

IT pros in particular want to be able to see a career path for themselves – something employers often fail to provide, Vincent Milich, director of the IT Effectiveness Practice at Hay Group, told me, explaining:

"IT folks really care about continuing to retool themselves, having an opportunity to move ahead, knowing what's available to them in the organization and where they can go."

The federal government has been working – struggling, actually – over the past couple of years to define the core IT skills and roles it requires, especially in cybersecurity.

Given the federal government’s difficulty in attracting and retaining a new generation to its work force, efforts such as that recently announced by the Defense Department to beef up its cybersecurity forces require more insight into the possibilities for folks signing on.

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