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
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