The government’s stimulus plan is meant to re-employ or retain some 3.5 million people. One hundred and eleven billion dollars is allocated to the plan’s “infrastructure and science” category. So, it certainly seems IT people will have opportunities in there somewhere.
But it’s important to understand not all of the jobs in this area will be IT jobs. For example, some of the work will be doing things like building solar energy systems, constructing smart electrical grids or laying communications lines. Sure, these tasks will include some IT components, but those will make up a relatively small portion.
How do you figure out where the opportunities are?
You identify which agencies are likely to be involved in funneling money to initiatives that might involve IT, or companies you’d like to work for. Here are some things to consider:
First, the government’s and media’s language often uses “technology” for things far removed from IT. Much of the money for data center modernization, for example, may go to construction firms as opposed to IT specialists.
Actual buying decisions will often be made at the local level, through agencies that small and medium-sized businesses already know. Because many will have wide flexibility in how they spend their money, IT opportunities won’t always be obvious. In education, stimulus money can be used to maintain teacher salaries OR buy new computers. How the funds are spent is up to the local school board. So… pay attention to what’s going on in your area. Local companies who are positioned to take advantage of local projects may need more staff to handle the work.
In things like healthcare, companies like Hewlett-Packard and General Electric are already positioning themselves to sell more of their systems. On the ground, local VARs should find business installing and maintaining networked systems in medical practices.
Each federal department is required to maintain a Web site dedicated to its recovery efforts. The sites offer information on funding, actions taken and what’s planned for the near-term. You can find a listing of the sites at www.recovery.gov.
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I’m Cat Miller, this has been DiceTV, and we now return you to your regular desktop.