The lure of money
- By Paula Shaki Trimble
- Nov 05, 2000
Pay is playing an essential role in a NASA pilot program designed to attract
information technology workers to its ranks.
The NASA administrator gave Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt,
Md., a special exemption from some of the restrictive federal pay grade
requirements that make it difficult to bring young, creative computer scientists,
computational scientists, computer engineers and information systems scientists
to the center.
For instance, a recent graduate working as a software developer but
without a master's degree could be hired at a pay grade that recognizes
his or her merit and experience, said Milton Halem, assistant director for
Information Sciences and chief information officer at Goddard.
"If we can show they have certain skills or capabilities, we can offer
them positions at different grade levels," he said. "This is one of the
tools that allows us to go after very qualified people and give them the
grade levels that match their salaries" in the private sector.
Computer scientists with bachelor's degrees are being offered private-sector
jobs that pay $45,000 to $50,000. Meanwhile, a comparable-level job in the
government pays $35,000.