No Degree? No Problem. The Changing Landscape for Government Job Seekers

There are nearly 200,000 job openings across the federal government. Within those openings, a large percentage are in the areas of Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Building the workforce in these relatively new disciplines is forcing a new look at traditional requirements for careers in government.

The practice of skills-based hiring is gaining traction in government as a way to fill these important vacancies with a more diverse set of talent. Skill-based hiring involves looking beyond degrees and certifications and identifying candidates' skills that are applicable to the role. For example, a person may not have a computer science degree, but they have worked extensively with a key programming language or system in previous roles.

Uncovering Skills Not Experience

A candidate could have great experience. A four-year degree from a prestigious school. Past work with brand-name companies. But if you really dig in, you may find they don't actually possess the skills needed to get the job done. Continue reading

Supporting AI Growth in Government with Professional Education

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being incorporated into the function of government in numerous ways. The website includes more than 700 AI use cases across federal agencies.

Among the many projects, AI is being used to:

These pilot projects provide a peek into the power of AI to improve the speed and effectiveness of decision-making and service to citizens. However, for AI to have a government-wide impact, the success and challenges of these solid projects need to be shared. Continue reading

The Lesser Known Missions of Homeland Security

The mission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is widely understood, "to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values." However, in carrying out this mission, DHS touches a number of areas that may not seem intuitively tied to homeland defense but are nonetheless critical challenges facing the nation as well as agencies across government.

Artificial Intelligence

DHS has a key role in securing the homeland from cyber threats. The department's Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is the operational lead for federal cybersecurity and the national coordinator for critical infrastructure security and resilience. With this responsibility, CISA and other DHS agencies play a key role in shaping policy and guidance around emerging technology use. Today, they are keenly focused on helping agencies safely and ethically use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve mission effectiveness.

DHS is leading by example. AI is currently being used to aid border-patrol efforts, combat drug trafficking, and create age-progression estimations of missing children. While implementing AI itself, DHS is also focused on how adversaries may use AI and creating ways to defend against the technology being used to spread disinformation, create more advanced cyber attacks, or speed the development of weapons. Continue reading

New Tech Means New Acquisition Strategies for DoD

With more and more battles being fought in cyberspace, the pace of warfare has accelerated. However, the systems that support our warfighter were not designed to support the speed or types of products and services needed for modern defense. This year's AFCEA West Conference is focused on ensuring acquisition and readiness are on pace to meet global security demands. Ensuring our warfighters get the tools they need when they need them is a critical effort requiring evolution and reform of defense acquisition.

Improved Private Sector Coordination

A congressional hearing in late 2023 discussed the need for the Department of Defense (DoD) to tap into the innovation taking place in the private sector to stay competitive with global adversaries. A draft of the national defense industrial strategy stated that the defense industrial base "does not possess the capacity, capability, responsiveness, or resilience required to satisfy the full range of military production needs at speed and scale." Continue reading

Department Spotlight: Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce's mission is to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity for all communities. With 13 bureaus, it serves as the voice of business in the Federal Government and spurs the growth of quality jobs in communities across the country.

Commerce plays a huge role in innovation and advanced computing. Commerce is the department that oversees the efforts of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to provide guidelines around secure and equitable technology use. Additionally, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) leading climate science research and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) work to protect American IP are also housed under Commerce. Continue reading