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9/14/2011
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Federal Fellowship Program Seeks IT Talent

Chief Information Officers Council launches a Technology Fellows program to recruit more qualified IT personnel across the federal government.

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The federal government is now accepting applications for a new program that seeks to hire the top IT talent in the private sector.

The Technology Fellows program, launched by the Chief Information Officers Council (CIOC) in collaboration with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), is aimed at helping the federal government compete more effectively with businesses for qualified and innovative IT professionals, according to a blog post on CIO.gov.

The program is in line with an IT reform plan unveiled by former U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra in December as a way to improve technology operations across agencies. One of the goals of the plan is to build a more qualified team of IT personnel in the federal government.

In particular, the feds are targeting people with undergraduate degrees in computer science, computational mathematics, IT, or information science, and a graduate degree or relevant work experience in an IT-related field, according to the post. The new program will follow the same rules as the Presidential Management Fellows program, which offers government positions to graduate school students. People can apply on USAjobs.gov starting Thursday until Sept. 25.

If accepted, technology fellows will serve two years in one CIOC agency, after which they can decide whether to continue to work for the federal government, according to the post.

During their tenure, the fellows will work on critical problems in the federal IT portfolio as well as receive training in managing large IT programs.

The program is not the first that the Obama administration has launched to work with the private sector to bring new IT talent into the federal government. Government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security are swapping tech talent with the private sector in a worker exchange program to share expertise and learn from tactics used among businesses.

The administration also has a number of student-oriented initiatives to help improve technology education as part of an overall goal for the United States to compete more effectively overseas in this area.

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