State tool helps workers plan careers

The State Department plans to deploy an online career-development tool in June designed to help its information technology workers advance their careers and stay with the department longer.

The tool, under development for the past several years, will be deployed on the State Department's intranet and made available to IT workers worldwide. It is part of the department's IT retention program, which also encompasses such initiatives as distance learning for those overseas and enhanced training.

"We have to make sure IT workers are on the cutting edge of technology," said Danuta Guzowski, a program analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Information Resource Management. Career development and keeping up with changes in the IT field are "at the top or near the top" of IT workers' agendas, she added.

State created the software tool with the help of a vendor, people3 Inc., and with input from companies at the early stages of development. "It's career assessment and development in the privacy of your own cubicle," said Guzowski Monday at the Government CIO Summit, sponsored by FCW Government Technology Group, in Kiawah Island, S.C.

The tool, which consists of many components, enables employees to:

Track the skills they have and the ones they may need. Evaluate themselves and others on competencies and skills. Obtain training and classes. View job families and their characteristics. Learn detailed functions of a job. See the competencies needed for a job. Understand progression in a job family. Compare one job to another using side-by-side pull down menus.

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