New IT job family may debut in May

Next month, the Office of Personnel Management expects to have its new information technology job family ready for official use. The series will cover all IT workers in government. The GS-2200 job family will replace the computer specialist position (GS-334) and could also include other workers performing jobs where "the paramount requirement is IT," an OPM official said.

This could mean that some tele-communications specialists (GS-391), administrative workers (GS-301), computer scientists (GS-1550), computer assistants (GS-335) and computer engineers (GS-854) would be reclassified under the new IT job family.

It will be up to agencies to reclassify the workers once officials determine that they fit the description of the job family. "We can't give an exact answer today" on who that might be beyond the computer specialist series, the official said. "We initially started with the [computer specialist series] because we knew it was practically a clear conversion."

There likely will be a "fair number of jobs" converted to the GS-2200 family standard, said another OPM official. "Those jobs have one thing in common — they all have paramount requirements for IT knowledge."

Some jobs will be easier to reclassify than others, the official said. For instance, in the computer assistant series (GS-335), "there's a lot of work that has surface similarities to some of the work performed" in the GS-2200 family, but the similarities may only be at the low end of the scale.

"A key difference is what is management's intent in establishing the job to begin with," the first official said, adding that there is a difference between practical and conceptual knowledge.

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