Monday, November 29, 2010
The United States Federal Government is experiencing a deficiency of Contract Specialists throughout the workforce. There are many reasons for this deficit; however, the main cause was a reduction in 1102s (Contract Specialists) in the 1980s. This left the most experienced 1102s getting ready to retire in the years 2011-2016, and brand new inexperienced interns to fill in the gaps (Newell, 2008). The hiring of new contract specialists will not be affected by Federal hiring freezes due to the mass exodus of experienced professionals retiring.
The job of a Contract Specialist involves highly skilled technical training, and certification requirements that usually take from 2-5 years. A 1102 earns a fair wage as one progresses in rank and grade over a number of years. Those seeking a stable, long-term career should consider becoming a contract specialist. A Contract Specialist reviews the details of contracts and acts as a business advisor to a variety of customers. Four skills sets are developed over ones career as a 1102 which are: completion of a bachelor's degree, computer and software mastery, knowledge of contract laws and regulations, and the related work experience gained.
If one does not yet possess a bachelor's degree, seek a "Fast Track" position in which one can work, get experience, and one's college degree at the same time. Applicant's that have a degree can begin applying on USA Jobs for example, and begin some introductory courses in contracting in online or classroom settings. The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is the primary agency training and developing the contract specialists of the future (DAU, 2010).
Sacramento State University offers an online certificate in contract management, Management Concepts and ESI offers DAU equivalent courses. Building a resume for a career in contracting is not easy; the ideal situation is to secure a position as a contract specialist and obtain the necessary training while working as a 1102. Further information will be available by January 2011 regarding courses and training available to prospective applicants. Refer to this website and author for similar articles on the subject.
Author: Christopher Weber, MBA
About Author / Additional Info:
DAU (2010). Retrieved from http://www.dau.mil/default.aspx
Newell, E. (2008). Federal officials strategize on boosting acquisition workforce.
Retrieved from http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0208/021408e1.htm