A recent change in federal hiring means it is easier and faster than ever before to get a federal job. This new change to the federal hiring process means the government won't just focus on if you have a college degree and what school you went to.
Instead, the government is now much more focused on the skills and qualifications you have to offer. This is a huge change that could open a ton of new employment opportunities for you. While having a college degree wasn't always a requirement for a federal job, the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) new emphasis on your skills and capabilities is a big change. In fact, this is part of OPM's strategy in attracting the best and brightest to the federal workforce (and let's be honest, there is no shortage of exciting work that needs to be done!). Many private sector companies are also taking this approach by loosening requirements for college degrees while focusing on the importance of a particular skills or attributes that you bring to the table as a candidate. All in all, OPM's change just means you have there are more doors open to you. So let's say you have experience in accounting or information technology, but you either don't have a formal degree or a four year degree, OPM will now more fully consider your years of experience instead of just looking to see if you have the degree or not.
What does this mean for your job search? This is a great question. OPM is now working on rolling out a new standard for job qualifications for all job categories in the government. The assumption is that these new qualification standards will focus more squarely on your skills and qualifications (outside of education). The new standards should be made public early this fall and will likely got into effect this coming winter. If you're searching for a job now, keep searching and applying! If you find yourself still on the hunt as the new standards are rolled out this fall, check back with us for update on more specific steps you can take to improve your search.
As always, I welcome your comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.