Tech Fellows Program Is Official

The government has officially launched a Technology Fellows Program as part of the Obama administration's 25-point plan to reform federal IT management.

The new fellowship program, which supports point 11 of the IT reform plan, will appoint technology students who are expected to complete a master's or doctoral-level degree to serve a two-year paid fellowship with the federal government. Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in rotational assignments and gain in-depth experience managing large and complex IT programs.

"Challenges with IT program management have long been pervasive across the federal government due to a general shortage of qualified personnel," Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel wrote on the White House blog. "The result was not only slower progress than the private sector but in some cases millions in taxpayer dollars wasted due to personnel lacking the expertise to manage and oversee such large projects."

The technology fellows program will be part of the long-standing Presidential Management Fellows program, which launched in 1977 and currently includes more than 80 agencies. The Office of Personnel Management announced Thursday that it is now accepting applications for the PMF class of 2012.

The PMF application period runs Sept. 15-25, 2011, OPM said. In addition to submitting an application, candidates must be nominated by their school's dean, chairperson or academic program director.

"Highly qualified IT professionals are of great demand in any sector of the economy but the extent to which the private sector is able to hire top performers affords private companies an advantage in attracting the best and brightest in IT," VanRoekel wrote. "The Technology Fellows Program helps to break down some of the bureaucratic barriers that slow hiring and presents young people with a prestigious option when coming out of their respective graduate programs."

Click here for more information on the 2012 Technology Fellows program.