March 14, 2012 at 4:02 am #156016
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.
March 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm #156032
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?
March 14, 2012 at 10:37 pm #156030
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.
March 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm #156028
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
March 16, 2012 at 3:42 am #156026
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.
March 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm #156024
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?! 🙂
March 21, 2012 at 4:07 am #156022
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.
March 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm #156020
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)
March 27, 2012 at 2:11 am #156018
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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