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Brittany Ballenstedt

Blogger 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.
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Why Telework When You Can Take a Snow Day?

January 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Agency leaders who have incorporated telework into their continuity of operations plans likely had an advantage Friday, when their employees could take unscheduled telework to avoid the slippery commute after a snowstorm hit the East Coast. Snowstorms often force federal offices to shut down, requiring only emergency and telework-ready employees ...

New Year Brings Good News for Technology Pros

January 2, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The new year is bringing positive employment news for information technology workers, with the majority of tech-focused managers and recruiters planning to boost hiring in the next six months. Dice.com’s 2014 Hiring Survey of nearly 900 technology-focused hiring managers and recruiters found that nearly three out of four respondents (73 ...

Why Aren’t More Feds Teleworking?

December 20, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Nearly half of federal employees have been told by their supervisors that they are indeed eligible to telework, yet most aren’t doing so. The Office of Personnel Management’s latest telework status report, released Wednesday, found that 47 percent of federal employees in September 2012 were notified of their eligibility to ...

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 ...