Professional Development

Resource Roundup: Want to get hired in #govtech? Here’s how you can get started

These fellowships, accelerators and other pathways can help you get a leg up in the govtech world.

Who here is helping hold the door to government open?

(Photo by Flickr user ThatMakesThree, used under a Creative Commons license)

While DC may be home to many, many people working outside of the infamous federal government circle, those wanting to succeed in the civic economy certainly have a lot of allies.

And tech is no exception, especially as laws and government actions change every day — and the need for support in cybersecurity, data and innovation grows in tandem. But how do you break into that huge, prestigious circle and make a name for yourself in govtech? To help, we’ve rounded up five local programs and resources for all things in government tech, from grassroots civic data projects to the Department of Defense.


A Startup Studio cohort from FedTech. (Image via @FedTechStartups on Twitter)

What began as part of the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program has grown into its own entity, fueling founders and startups with technology built for federal agencies like the Department of Defense, NASA and the Department of Energy. With its accelerator and other programs, founders gain access and even pair up with a federal partner to plan their entry into the govtech market.

Learn more here

Presidential Innovation Fellows

The Presidential Innovation Fellows are challenging developers, data scientists and designers across the country to #HackThePayGap. (Photo by Flickr user Matt Wade, used under a Creative Commons license)

The White House. (Photo by Flickr user Matt Wade, used under a Creative Commons license)

The year-long fellowship, which became a permanent fixture in 2015, matches engineers, designers and strategists with agencies as entrepreneurs-in-residence. Fellows, who can be anything from full-stack developers to VC-backed founders, work in data science, engineering, products and systems thinking. In this capacity, they advise and scale solutions in government. Applicants don’t need to meet any education requirements, but they do need at least a year of experience in leadership, data project organization or other relevant requirements.


Apply Here

US Digital Corps

Chris Kuang, cofounder of the US Digital Corps. (Courtesy photo)

Launched last August, this two-year fellowship is designed for early-career technologists who are interested in social impact and public service tech. Recent graduates of schools, apprenticeships and boot camps can apply for 30 slots, where they’ll be deployed to different federal agencies to work on solutions in topics like economic recovery, racial equity, healthcare and climate. The Digital Corps is a collaboration between the General Services Administration (GSA), the White House Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. It operates through the GSA’s Technology Transformation Services.

The Opportunity Project

The Opportunity Project is a data-centric project program. (Photo by Stephen Dawson on Unsplash)

Created in 2016, The Opportunity Project is a data-based program for digital tools and part of the Census Open Innovation Labs at the U.S. Census Bureau. Together, technologists, community advocates and agencies can work together to build digital solutions and tools for the public good. This work takes place during The Opportunity Project’s 12-week Sprints programs, which typically begin in late summer or early fall.  Participants are often recruited, but you can also apply to express interest in hosting, advising or taking part in a Sprint challenge.

Apply Here

National Defense University

Military graduates. (Photo via @DeptofDefense on Twitter)

If going back to school (and defense tech) is your thing, the National Defense University has a College of Information and Cyberspace. You can go for the typical graduate degree, but it also has six certificates in roles within the Department of Defense and the federal government: Chief Data Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer, Cyber Leadership, Cybersecurity and IT Program Management.

Learn more here -30-
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