Critical Read

Losing the tech talent sweepstakes

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What: "A Future of Failure? The Flow of Technology Talent into Government and Civil Society," a report by Freedman Consulting that was commissioned by the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Why: In the Digital Age, ensuring the development of technology talent and filling the pipeline with potential future workers are essential to keeping the government relevant and making it an appealing place to work.

Unfortunately, the government and civil society, which includes nonprofit organizations and churches, are losing the battle for talented technology professionals to the for-profit sector. The report's authors concluded that the major obstacles in hiring and retaining such individuals are compensation and culture.

The report recommends increasing the connections between federal agencies and potential employees through internships and fellowships, advertising technological career opportunities in the government, and developing partnerships with academic institutions.

Verbatim: "Technology talent is a key need in government and civil society, but the current state of the pipeline is inadequate to meet that need. The bad news is that existing institutions and approaches are insufficient to build and sustain this pipeline, particularly in the face of sharp for-profit competition. The good news is that stakeholders interviewed identified a range of organizations and practices that, at scale, have the potential to make an enormous difference."

Full report: FordFoundation.org

About the Author

Reid Davenport is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him on Twitter: @ReidDavenport.

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