The cost of ignorance

Letter to the editor

No one will come to work for the federal government in the IT career field

for many reasons:

1. Did you know that the 334 — computer specialist — occupational series

is still classified as an administrative and clerical occupation?

2. Did you know that the highest grade at base level for that same occupational

series is an 11?

3. Did you know that most civilians in that pay grade at base level

working in the communications and information offices (i.e. squadrons) must

take annual leave and pay for any locally provided training?

4. Did you know that graduate degrees are not considered in promotions

for civilian employees in the 334 occupational series?

5. When college graduates see what today's workforce is making compared

to private industry and how today's federal employees are treated, why would

they come to work in the Department of Defense? Even the young people in

the enlisted ranks are getting out and going to work in private industry

for more money and benefits.

I am really tired of seeing in the headlines this IT worker shortage.

There is no shortage: It is a mismanagement of resources and a disgrace

to the profession how IT workers are treated.

Technology changes, and if you think training is expensive, add up the

cost of ignorance. Until people in charge, namely the Office of Personnel

Management, get their act together and classify the communications and information

occupational series as a professional series, no young talented and educated

person will be recruited. I wouldn't be interested.

I have six years left before retirement. I have been downgraded and

never re-promoted in the past 14 years. I have an undergraduate degree in

mathematics and two master's degrees. I have tried for and applied for other

jobs. I am also an African-American female. This career field is mostly

Caucasian males.

Yes, I am angry and yes, I believe in freedom of speech. When you print

about an IT worker shortage, get the facts: Ask the people who work in the

career field what is really going on.

Name withheld upon request

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