Survey: Government to hire 11,000 IT workers in two years

"Where the Jobs Are: Mission Critical Opportunities for America"

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The federal government expects to hire more than 11,000 information technology experts and 8,000 government contracting experts in the next two years, according to a new survey of personnel officials at 34 federal agencies.

Those jobs are among the nearly 193,000 mission-critical federal jobs expected to be filled in 2008 and 2009 to fill a rising need for national security and also to fill vacancies as a wave of current employees retire or resign, according to the report, “Where the Jobs Are: Mission Critical Opportunities for America,” published by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service.

The figures do not include clerical and support jobs. They refer to government jobs only, not contractor jobs, said Sarah Howe, a spokeswoman for the group.

The bulk of the new IT jobs will be at the Defense Department, which already has more than 27,000 IT workers, the report states. The Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security and Treasury departments are also hiring computer specialists in bulk.

Nearly half of the open jobs will be at two departments: 47,897 jobs at DHS and 35,505 jobs at the Pentagon.

Across the board, this includes 62,863 security and law enforcement jobs. In addition, there is a sharply higher demand for compliance and enforcement hires, which will be up nearly four-fold compared with 2005 figures. That includes 27,243 new border patrol agents, customs officers, immigration agents, food inspectors, criminal investigators and airport screeners.

Nearly one-third of the 1.6 million full-time federal workforce is expected to retire or resign in the next five years.

“This report confirms that the job opportunities are there. People just need to seize them," said Max Stier, president of the Partnership for Public Service.

Alice Lipowicz writes for Washington Technology, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

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