Two new programs should boost the ranks of young IT pros in federal government and revised hiring processes should make it easier for managers to do so.
The Tech Fellows Program launched last fall and agencies are expected to select their candidates before summer. 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.
What's great is it's a fast-track hire because once they've cleared the hurdles of the selection process, you can just point at the pool and hire them.
The second initiative, the Pathways Program, provides tracks for students in high school, undergraduate or graduate programs as well as recent graduates. Speaking of regulations published in the Federal Register on Friday, Nextgov.com quotes Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, as saying:
The aim is to enable student and recent graduates to more effectively compete for federal service. Over the summer, we will continue to work with federal agencies to implement these regulations and to identify specific opportunities for students and recent graduates.
The Pathways Program is not specific to IT, but provides more flexibility in hiring, while still maintaining the veterans preference. It also requires agencies to meaningful assessments of participants before placing them in permanent positions. That program also isn't limited to students. Barry explained:
They might be recent vets using the new GI bill, moms going back to school after raising kids, workers who've gone to night school, or even long-term unemployed folks who sought out a new trade or degree.
Agencies have 60 days to implement the regulations, so don't look for positions through that program until probably fall.