Wired Workplace Wired WorkplaceWired Workplace
How information technology is changing the landscape for federal employees.

The Federal Workforce in 2020

ARCHIVES

Younger workers have been brought up with an always-on connection to people and information thanks to technology. What impact will this have on the future of your agency workforce?

According to a new report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project and Elon University, it could mean good or bad news, depending on whom you ask.

A survey of 1,021 technology stakeholders and critics found opinions evenly split as to whether younger generations' connectivity could yield a net positive or net negative by 2020. Researchers said young people growing up hyperconnected to each other and the mobile Web will be nimble, quick-acting multitaskers who will do well in some key respects.

At the same time, however, connectivity also will drive young people to thirst for instant gratification, settle for quick choices and lack patience, the survey found.

More specifically, respondents were asked to read two statements and select the one they believe is most likely to be true in the year 2020. The majority (55 percent) agreed that the hyper-connected, multitasking lives of teens and young adults will yield helpful results in 2020. Some 42 percent agreed with the opposite statement -- that hyper-connectivity will yield "baleful results."

"While 55 percent agreed with the statement that the future for the hyper-connected will generally be positive, many who chose that view noted that it is more their hope than their best guess, and a number of people said the true outcome will be a combination of both scenarios," the report states.

Meanwhile, respondents were consistent in their predictions of the most desired skills for young people in 2020. The most popular skills were public problem-solving through cooperative work, or crowdsourcing; the ability to search effectively for information online and be able to discern the quality of information; synthesizing details; being strategically future-minded; the ability to concentrate; and the ability to distinguish between "noise" and the real message.

"Memories are becoming hyperlinks to information triggered by keywords and URLs," said Amber Case, CEO of Geoloqi, in response to the survey. "We are becoming 'persistent paleontologists' of our own external memories, as our brains are storing the keywords to get back to those memories and not the full memories themselves."

Reporter Portrait for GovernmentExecutive.com

Brittany Ballenstedt writes Nextgov's Wired Workplace blog, which delves into the issues facing employees who work in the federal information technology sector. Before joining Nextgov, Brittany covered federal pay and benefits issues as a staff correspondent for Government Executive and served as an associate editor for National Journal's Technology Daily. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mansfield University and originally hails from Pennsylvania. She currently lives near Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where her husband is stationed.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.