In the United States, to receive qualified training, young Americans typically attend school for at least for 12 years, whether it followed a curriculum or focused on a specific industry. Upon graduation, some of these students may continue onto college, enter the work force or apply for accelerated programs.
This education system may work for some work sectors, while others face ongoing worker shortages. Is there another way to create more well-trained employees in the U.S.?
The U.S. government offered an opportunity for on-the-job professional training to David Bray, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chief information officer. As FCW contributor Adam Mazmanian puts it, Bray "is a bit of a prodigy." At 36-years old at this senior position, he has actually been practicing government IT since he was 15.
Bray started out working for the Department of Energy as a part-time network engineer, and by the time he was 18, he was working on applications for military satellites for the Institute for Defense Analyses. With a strong background in the public sector, many job seekers in his industry would wonder why he did not apply for jobs in Silicon Valley or other tech-savvy markets.
Government could really use help from web developers, but competition with private-sector businesses have made it difficult for public sector organizations to recruit accordingly to stay current as going digital is becoming more of the norm.
"About 40 percent of our systems are more than 10 years old," Bray told FCW. "That keeps me up at night."
Bray's expertise makes him a great fit for the FCC because the agency works on improving telecommunication policies and approving electronic gadget prototypes.