How to land a federal IT job

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Many listeners are working in mid-level technical positions in the government or for a contractor. They are looking to advance their career and are considering many options — doing an MBA, getting a degree in Systems Engineering, or perhaps a Master’s Degree in Technology Management.

Joshua Meredith is the assistant dean of Analytics, Technology & Security MPS Programs at the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies, and he outlines some of the options available today to prospective students. He says students should look at their background and do a “gap” analysis. You may have strong credentials in encryption and federal cyber compliance. However, if you want to move up in your agency, you may have to increase your project management skills.

Head shot of Joshua Meredith
Joshua Meredith, assistant dean, Analytics, Technology & Security MPS Programs, Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies

For federal contractors, you may have five years progressive experience in project management and have boatloads of cyber certifications. However, in order to move to a management position, you will need some training in finance.

Look at programs that give you options to learn face-to-face as well ad on line. Consider the background of the instructors in the program. Generally speaking, people who have experience at high levels of the federal government have the experience and knowledge to offer instruction as well as career guidance.

Meredith mentions a local hack-a-thon called Hoya Hacks. Students from hundreds of schools come to the Georgetown campus to test their skills on short term projects. Local companies get the opportunity to support the endeavor and present technical challenges to learners.

The takeaway: you are responsible for your career. Objectively look at your strengths and weaknesses and develop a strategy to accomplish financial and career goals.

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