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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Eliminating the Gender Wage Gap for Tech Pros With Security Clearance

April 8, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As President Obama signed two executive orders Tuesday to narrow the gap in wages for men and women in the federal contracting workforce, some new data points suggest such efforts may have a positive impact in eliminating the wage gap for female technology professionals who hold an active security clearance....

Is It Time to Make Cyber Jobs a National Imperative?

April 4, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow With research showing a vast shortage of skilled talent to fill cybersecurity jobs, it may be time for the United States to make cybersecurity a national imperative in much the same way it did with aerospace technology, nuclear science and biotechnology. That’s according to Sam Visner, vice president and general...

DHS Telework System Lacks a Disaster Plan, IG Says

April 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Homeland Security Department’s system to enable telework needs new capabilities to ensure employees can access systems and data during an emergency situation, according to a new report by the department’s inspector general. DHS, which is implementing its Workplace as a Service, or WPaaS, program to enhance telework as part...

Is it Finally Time to Overhaul the Federal Personnel System?

April 2, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Would the federal government be better off with a more flexible, market-driven pay system that allows it to more effectively compete with other sectors for highly-skilled talent in science, technology, engineering and math fields? Yes, says a new report by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton,...

What a 3.3 Percent Pay Hike Could Mean for IT

March 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A group of House Democrats on Wednesday proposed legislation that would authorize a 3.3 percent across-the-board pay increase for federal workers in 2015. For federal IT workers in particular, the proposed pay hike – which is more than three times the amount proposed by President Obama in his fiscal 2015...

IT Grads Rank 14 Agencies as Top Employers

March 26, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Who says young computer science graduates do not want to work for federal agencies? A new report lists the top 100 ideal employers among undergraduate computer science students, and 14 federal agencies made the list. The latest survey of more than 46,000 undergraduate students by branding consultancy Universum found that...

Security-Cleared IT, Cyber Pros See Fatter Paychecks in 2013

March 25, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Despite a declining job market and salaries for security-cleared professionals overall in the past two years – in large part due to budget cuts, furloughs and sequestration – there’s two fields that were immune to those declines and hardships: IT and cybersecurity. A survey of nearly 21,000 security-cleared professionals by...

Why Cyber Jobs Need a Career Path

March 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow There’s a myth circulating in the race to recruit and train up cybersecurity professionals that even those without a technical background can become a cyber warrior. With a radical shortage of skilled cybersecurity talent, experts across the cyber industry have fueled the belief that anyone, particularly transitioning military personnel, with...

What Federal IT Managers Are Doing Instead of Hiring

March 19, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow While President Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget request points to potential better days for federal employees following years of pay freezes, budget cuts and sequestration, most federal IT leaders are not breathing easy – yet. That’s according to a new report by Accenture Federal Services and the Association of Government Accountants,...

How IT Jobs Have Changed in 15 Years

March 17, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Think about your current information technology job – would it even have existed 15 years ago? Even if it did, it’s likely to have either dramatically grown or shrunk, depending on your job description. That’s according to the Pew Research Center, which analyzed data from the joint federal-state Occupational Employment...

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