Governments at all Levels Need IT Professionals

By Chandler Harris

Despite shrinking budgets, IT professionals are being recognized by governments as more important than ever. One key reason: Numerous state and federal agencies have realized that technology can help solve deficit woes by cutting costs.

Government JobsThroughout the country, state government and federal agencies have issued directives to trim costs by streamlining IT operations, consolidating and sharing services, and improving overall efficiency. 

"I think what we’re seeing is that the fiscal crisis has certainly given rise to opportunities like consolidation and shared services, and an overarching enterprise view of managing, acquiring and deploying technology," says Doug Robinson, executive director of the National Associations of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO).  

Examples of savings through IT can be found in nearly every state. Iowa’s Governor recently signed the Iowa Efficiency Review, which includes increasing the use of technologies like thin client computing to realize cost savings. New York, Missouri, California and other states have realized significant savings through e-mail consolidation. Massachusetts is currently consolidating its 183 data centers, 100 phone systems, 24 e-mail systems and 15 data networks.

Meanwhile, California is undergoing a massive statewide IT consolidation that is expected to save the state $2.9 billion through 2014. The reorganization will centralize state tech operations, consolidate e-mail, data centers, office automation tools and reduce energy consumption, among other things.  

"Through project management we have found ways to budget and plan for IT projects that have saved the state a considerable amount of money," says Bill Maile, communications director for California. 

With its $20 billion budget deficit, the one thing California is not slashing is IT staff. In fact, the state will be looking to hire more tech professionals in the coming years. It has to. More than half of its IT managers and supervisors, and more than 30 percent of its general IT workers, are expected to retire in the next five years.   

"We are looking at a considerable amount of retirees in IT and management throughout the state," Maile says. "In fact, the demand for IT staff is growing and will grow as more people become eligible for retirement." 

In a September 2009 InformationWeek survey of 177 federal government IT leaders, 41 percent identified hiring and retaining skilled IT talent as a major management challenge. The problem with retention is the tendency for government IT workers to move to more lucrative positions in the private sector, the survey said.  

Chandler Harris is a business writer based in California.

6 Responses to “Governments at all Levels Need IT Professionals”

  1. Joesph Kish

    I am currenlty an unemployed UNIX Information Technology Engineer and have been so since last February of 2009. I have been in the IT industry (in general) for over 25 years. It would be an honor for me to work for the Federal Government in just about any capacity right now especially if it meant helping to reduce the Federal Deficit in any fashion. I am currenlty going to a Technical Institution in Detroit, Michigan to update my IT skills in the following areas. Web Development, Linux +, Oracle Database, Microsoft Systems Engineering and Network/Security Engineering.

    Ideally, I would love to keep my family and remain in the Metro Detroit area if at all possible, but would consider all options at this point.

    I would appreciate any assistance possible to get information on how to apply or get in touch with anyone connected with Government career opportunities.

    Please send email to:

    Thank You!

  2. Ty LeDuc

    I have my associates degree in computer science. I am looking for a entry level position as a network administrator, or a system administrator. I am willing to travel and relocate.

  3. Samuel Howard

    I’m a recent grad and is lookin for employment because I’ve been turn down for since I graduation. I am eager to started and find something in the it field. I’m willing to relocate and travel. I am eeager to hear from someone or letting me know where I can apply for this opportunity