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10/30/2002
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Government Workers' IT Skills Improve

Government workers' skills outstrip private-sector employees in several areas, Brainbench report says.

Government workers are catching up with their private-sector counterparts in their IT skills, according to an analysis of more than 11,000 online-skills assessments.

A report issued Tuesday by Brainbench Inc., an online-testing certification service, shows that government IT workers outscored their corporate counterparts in disciplines such as Unix, Linux, and Microsoft technology administration and Microsoft application skills. Private-sector IT workers received higher ratings in areas such as networking, databases, and Internet technologies.

Brainbench compared the scores of 4,110 government and 7,096 private-sector online test-takers drawn from its database of more than 5 million online tests and concluded that progress is being made to improve government IT workers' skills, despite traditional barriers such as lower pay, an aging government workforce, and small investments in employee training.

Brainbench president Mike Russiello credits increased attention to government workers' IT skills by the federal CIO Council and the National Academy of Public Administration in narrowing the gap. He says House-passed legislation--the Digital Tech Corps Act--that encourages business IT managers and workers to work temporarily in government would close that chasm further if it eventually becomes law.

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