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Federal Workers Increasingly Interested in Private Tech Sector

Indeed Hiring Lab: Uncle Sam has a new rival: the private tech sector.

  • Since last year’s government shutdown, federal workers’ interest in the tech sector has continually outpaced that of the general population.
  • The government may face a steep challenge attracting tech talent, largely because tech jobs in the tech sector command nearly a 50% salary premium over comparable federal positions.
  • Government tech jobs are 7.5 times more likely to require a top-secret security clearance than similar positions in the tech sector—another potential hurdle for job seekers.

“This time last year, federal workers endured a 35-day government shutdown, the longest in history. As it dragged on, Indeed found that federal workers looked increasingly for new opportunities. But while the memory of the episode fades, the government faces another challenge — attracting and retaining talent, especially in the ever-expanding tech sector.  Federal agencies looking for tech workers are finding that the private tech sector is a formidable rival. Consider the benefits of a private sector tech job: higher salaries, fewer or no security clearance requirements, tempting perks such as working remotely, and, in a few cases, on-site gyms, dogs at work, and fully stocked snack bars. This may especially be the case for the defense sector now that Amazon’s HQ2 is rising just a stone’s throw from the Pentagon.  To be sure, federal government jobs have their own advantages, such as greater job security and robust pension plans compared with the private sector. Nonetheless, considering the tech sector’s benefits, plus the fact that the federal workforce is aging and the security clearance process can be painfully slow, the question is can Uncle Sam compete?…”

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