In your own backyard

GSA and the CIO Council launched CIO University four years ago to train federal IT managers.

Federal workers don't have to look far to find ways to get academic credentials to advance in the world of information technology.

Seeing a giant gap for government workers, the General Services Administration and the CIO Council launched CIO University four years ago to help workers get the credentials and know-how to advance in their jobs.

The program, designed primarily for people currently employed by the government, is a consortium of universities offering dozens of graduate-level programs to address the needs of workers in high-tech jobs. The courses are designed to teach students to look at IT in new ways and deliver services in the most cost-effective manner.

"We had an influence on what universities were teaching," said Emory Miller, a founder of the program and a former GSA official who is now senior vice president for government affairs at Robbins-Gioia LLC. "It helped them get attuned to what is happening in the government."

The consortium of seven universities offers an integrated, online program covering a full set of core competencies, a modular program that addresses pieces of the competencies and a one-week survey course. It also offers graduate degrees, graduate credits, continuing education units and a CIO University certificate.

The program is also open to private-sector employees. Each participant must be sponsored by an agency or business, and tuition is hefty — $25,000 per year — but it may be paid by the student's employer.

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