CIO Council to survey IT worker skills

Friday - 1/14/2011, 1:05pm EST

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

The Chief Information Officer's Council wants to know whether agencies have the technical skills to implement the Office of Management and Budget's 25-point plan to reform information technology.

To figure that out, the CIO Council and the Office of Personnel Management will kick off an IT skills assessment survey on Jan. 18. The assessment runs through Feb. 25.

"Specifically, OPM will use information from the survey to help create a specialized career path for IT program managers," states a post on the council's website. "The Office of Management and Budget will also be asking agencies to develop specific plans to close the competency gaps in IT program management that will be determined by the survey."

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra announced the 25-point IT reform plan in December. As a part of that, OMB wants to design a program management career path with direct hirer authority and develop a special cadre of IT acquisition employees. Both of these are scheduled to be done in the next six months.

The CIO Council and OPM survey will:

  • Identify the available supply of IT expertise across the government workforce.
  • Determine where resources should be focused to improve or sustain IT competencies and skills.
  • Assess progress in closing competency and skill gaps.

"Survey results will provide federal Chief Information Officers and the Chief Human Capital Officers with the necessary information to make informed decisions on the capabilities, skills, and resources that every agency's IT workforce will need to achieve its vision," the CIO council states. "Analysis of the survey information will also inform strategies to recruit, retain, develop, and manage a fully trained and qualified IT workforce to meet current and future mission requirements."

The council estimates the assessment will take IT workers between 40-60 minutes to complete, according to a fact sheet on the council.

The council expects the survey results to be available to agencies by spring.

The last survey of the IT workforce by the CIO Council available online was from 2006. About 40 percent of the 71,000 workers responded. The council found most workers are at a GS-12 level or equivalent, most are between 51-55 years old, almost 68 percent are college graduates, 36 percent are women and most say they will retire in 11-to-20 years. The assessment found 66 percent are in the 2210 series, while the biggest skills gap is around Web technology, project management and information systems and network security.

In the council's 2010 Recruiting the Net Generation report, the study found more than 105,000 IT workers under an expanded definition.

The study finds 63 percent of the employees are between 45 and 63 years old.

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