The VA is launching a campaign to appeal to technology workers, highlighting the unique opportunities and impactful nature of government jobs. This effort aims to counter the common perception that tech careers are primarily based in the private sector, especially in high-profile tech companies. By showcasing the meaningful work done in public service, the VA hopes to draw in professionals skilled in areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, IT, and data analytics.
Meanwhile, the DoD faces significant challenges in recruiting and retaining tech talent. A report by Mitre and the Center for Security and Emerging Technology points out the lack of a unified approach across the DoD for building digital career pathways. Issues like inconsistent application of digital talent criteria, attrition due to lack of mentorship, risk-averse leadership, and outdated technology are hindering the DoD’s efforts. The report emphasizes that retaining tech talent depends not just on competitive salaries but also on the quality of work and the ability to innovate.
The Pentagon is working on defining clearer career paths for AI and data professionals and aims to reduce cyber position vacancy rates. However, the effort is complicated by bureaucratic hiring processes and the need for a more precise understanding of the required tech skills. Each military service is independently tackling the challenge of bolstering its tech talent, leading to varying levels of readiness and maturity in digital capabilities, which could impact joint and interoperable technology missions.