As part of its ongoing effort to lure younger workers into government jobs, the federal Chief Information Officer's Council has launched the Tech Fellows Program. It's a two-year fellowship for students at the masters- or doctorate-degree level in computer science, computational mathematics, information technology or information science. Actually, those with significant related IT experience also may apply, though they will be expected to complete a graduate degree.
In a blog post, federal CIO Steven VanRoekel wrote:
The Technology Fellows Program helps to break down some of the bureaucratic barriers that slow hiring and presents young people with a prestigious option when coming out of their respective graduate programs. Once inside the federal government, the Tech Fellows will be given the challenge of working with the projects and complex systems that are only available when working in federal IT. In my opinion, this is the competitive advantage that the federal government holds against the private sector.
He also wrote:
In no other organization in the world can an individual work on information-gathering systems sent into space, the protection of our warfighters and homeland through cybersecurity, or unlocking health data that could benefit millions of Americans. Federal IT touches every single policy area and issue in our country. If you have a passion for solving complex problems and know that IT can be a part of any solution, the Technology Fellows Program will be a great opportunity.
The council is building the fellowships out of its successful Presidential Management Fellows program, so this new program should be up to speed right off the bat. Agencies will provide at least 80 hours of classroom training and each fellow will complete a four- to six-month development assignment. Based on their qualifications, they will be paid at the GS-9, 11 or 12 level, reports Federal News Radio.
Applications will be available beginning Thursday and will be accepted through the Office of Personnel Management until Sept. 25.