Brittany Ballenstedt

Blogger Reporter Portrait for 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.
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Awards Recognize Best in Government Cybersecurity

December 20, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Six government cybersecurity practitioners were recognized by the SANS Institute this week for their efforts in making measurable advances in information security. The People Who Made a Difference in Cybersecurity 2013 Awards were presented to individuals, teams and groups at the SANS Cyber Defense Initiative training event in Washington, on...

DHS Opens 100+ Cyber Internships to College Students

December 19, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Homeland Security Department has opened up more than 100 volunteer positions across the country to college students pursuing a degree in a cybersecurity-related field. The 2014 Secretary’s Honors Program Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative will provide unpaid student volunteer assignments at DHS field offices in more than 60 locations across...

Seven Steps to Solving the Cyber Skills Gap

December 19, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Cybersecurity professionalization nonprofit (ISC)2 earlier this month offered key federal agencies a series of next steps that can help address a persistent skills shortage in the cybersecurity field. In a Dec. 2 letter to officials at the White House, the Homeland Security and Defense departments, the National Institute of Standards...

Nearly Half of Feds Deemed Eligible to Telework

December 18, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow December marks the three year anniversary of the passage of the Telework Enhancement Act, and agencies finally have a measure from the Office of Personnel Management on how the law has affected telework programs and participation across the federal government. OPM on Wednesday released the 2013 Status of Telework in...

Federal Job Satisfaction Drops to 10-Year Low

December 18, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal employees’ satisfaction with their jobs has hit is lowest level in more than a decade and continues to trail that of their private sector colleagues, who actually registered a slight increase in job satisfaction this past year, according to a new report. The new Best Places to Work in...

Too Few Women in Fed Tech Jobs; Too Many Challenges for Them

December 16, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow While women represent the majority of federal employees working in medical, public health, accounting and personnel management fields, they still remain relatively scarce in information technology and other science and math fields, according to a new report. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Women’s Work Group report, released last week, found...

IT Hiring to Get a Boost in 2014

December 13, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It appears as though the new year will continue to bring positive career prospects for information technology professionals, as more than 80 percent of chief information officers are planning to hire new IT staff to expand or fill vacant positions, according to a new study. Robert Half Technology’s 2014 IT...

New Credential for Health Care Security Professionals

December 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Health care information security and privacy practitioners both in government and private industry now have access to a new credential that allows them to validate their skills to protect the privacy and security of sensitive patient health information. (ISC)2 announced the new Health Care Information Security and Privacy Practitioner credential...

How Government IT Shops Can Learn From Starbucks

December 11, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Your morning commute or afternoon pick-me-up have probably involved a trip to Starbucks, whether it was for a Café Americano or something as specialized as Niles Crane's order of a double shot, non-fat, low foam latte in an episode of Frasier. But whether you ordered the specialty drink or not,...

Government's IT Skills Shortage Points to a Future of Failure

December 10, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Government agencies are still falling short when it comes to having the top-notch talent needed to effectively develop, leverage or understand technology. And the chances for attracting that talent from the outside are grim as agencies grapple with a severe shortage of workers with technical skills, according to a new...

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