Seeking Advice on How to Move Up In the Federal IT Specialist Field

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Ressler 5 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #156016

    Hector Rivera
    Participant

    I have found that opportunities to move upward in the Federal IT Specialist (2210) field are often limited to very specific areas of specialization. Even within these specializations there are broad sets of concepts and skill requirements. I have also noticed the Federal government does not seem to have cross-training or learning programs to acquire a broader set of IT skills similar to the various leadership programs.

    At this stage in my career I find that I am at a crossroads, should I stay in my current IT specialization or look for lateral opportunities in IT or other areas of interest?

    Appreciate any guidance my fellow GovLoop members can provide.

    Thanks,

    Hector

  • #156032

    Steve Ressler
    Keymaster

    To me, there is a broad concepts & skills around being an IT program management where lots of openings. I think there is some truth in that if you focus on networking or security or engineering, it’s a little more focused on specialization. But I’d argue that the policy, budgeting, program management IT jobs allow more cross-thinking

    What’s your specialization?

  • #156030

    Hector Rivera
    Participant

    My primary focus is IT Security. I have found that in this area there are multiple sub-specialties including FISMA compliance, continuous monitoring, network monitoring, digital forensics, incident handling, etc. So even a specific IT area may require a diverse set of skills where someone may not necessarily have experience in each or several of them. I also have noticed that many upward opportunities focus on management or supervisory positions.

  • #156028

    Steve Ressler
    Keymaster

    What would be your ideal goal – do you want to move into mgmt/supervisory?

    To me there’s 2 paths normally in IT – growing up technical ranks (which has a peek level) and going up mgmt path

  • #156026

    Hector Rivera
    Participant

    My preference would be to stay on the technical side. I am comfortable with performing program management duties and serving as a technical lead providing guidance and analysis to others. However, I would not be interested in a full manager or supervisory role.

  • #156024

    Steve Ressler
    Keymaster

    Hi Hector –

    Curiosity killed the cat! When you state IT Security do you mean Cybersecurity? Which from what every college pamphlet and article states is the hottest thing since the brand new Ipad or the next version?! 🙂

    Jenn

  • #156022

    Hector Rivera
    Participant

    Hi Jenn 🙂

    Yes, while IT-cybersecurity is currently in high demand, it is a diverse field with a lot of sub-specializations. A lot of the government positions I have seen usually have a set of specializations as a minimum requirement. If I were to apply to a contractor position I would have more freedom to choose a specific specialization sans staying a federal employee. Thus I am trying to determine what career options I should pursue while staying in the federal sector.

    Hector

  • #156020

    James Lewis
    Participant

    Hi Hector.

    ITPM might be a good option for you, it would expose you to standard PM practices, which are valuable in both IT and non-IT fields. This would also mean less IT technical specilization, and would allow a higher ceiling to growth (think PM policy or even e300 senior program management)

  • #156018

    Hector Rivera
    Participant

    Hi James,

    I am somewhat hesitant with Project Management due to my concern of getting caught up in extensive documentation and procedures, and contractor management aspects. This is primarily my past experience talking. I am considering leaning towards the areas of Enterprise Architecture, ITIL or an area where I can work at the framework-process-strategy level (i.e. enterprise architect).

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