Pay for Federal IT Newbies Lags Badly

Susan Hall
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Though a recent survey found federal cyber security executives paid well by industry standards, the same does not hold true for entry-level IT pros.


The spring update by the National Association of Colleges and Employers put the average starting salaries for new computer science grads at $63,017. But in federal jobs, those at General Schedule Grade 7 in the Washington area will start at $42,209, reports


At the same time, few federal agencies plan to hire. A survey of federal CIOs released last week found that few expect any budget increase for this year into next, and some expect some cuts in contractors. In a political climate of severe budget cutting in government, expect that trend to continue. The greatest amount of hiring was expected to be for federal IT program managers, a new classification of senior executives who manage complex initiatives.


Though federal CIOs have said they need to hire 30,000 specialists in cyber security, agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security are hampered by red tape. Reportedly, though, it does not hire entry-level workers in that capacity.


Those new IT grads will be snapped up in the private sector, though. The number of projected entry-level hires for 2011 is up 18.4 percent over 2010, with computer science grads considered a hot commodity.

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