In late August, the White House announced the launch of the U.S. Digital Corps, a two-year fellowship program designed to place early career software engineers, data scientists and other technologists in IT and related positions in agencies across the federal government.
Inspired by the Peace Corps and the depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps models, the U.S. Digital Corps is designed to attract young tech professionals to consider careers in government service supporting critical national needs, such as assisting the federal coronavirus response, promoting economic recovery, protecting federal cyber-assets, and supporting agency missions. The hope is that the Digital Corps will help reduce the average age of the federal tech workforce and improve its diversity. Currently, only 3% of federal tech workers are under age 30, and only 26% are women.
The new Digital Corps will be coordinated by the General Services Administration (GSA) through its Technology Transformation Services office. Digital Corps program partners include the federal Office of Management and Budget, Office of Personnel Management, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and Office of Science and Technology.
Initial plans are to recruit and place 30 Digital Corps Fellows into at least five participating agencies, including the GSA, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Fellows will be matched to agencies based on their skills and interests, and mentored through a development curriculum.
An announcement with details on how to apply for Digital Corps Fellowships is expected this Fall. According to their recently unveiled website, the U.S. Digital Corps will be looking for applicants from undergraduate and graduate degree programs, apprenticeship, bootcamps, reskilling and other training programs, with an emphasis on a candidate’s skills rather than mandating degree requirements. No prior full-time work experience is required. In addition to their skills, candidates will be evaluated based on their willingness to roll up their sleeves and invest their technical and other skills to helping the federal government better serve all Americans. Targeted tech skill areas are defined broadly to include software engineering, product management, design, data science and analysis and cybersecurity.
For more information on the program and to subscribe for notice of the upcoming Digital Corps Fellowship application announcement, go to: https://digitalcorps.gsa.gov/