Exposing the truth about working for an IT government contracting company

Exposing The Truth About Working For An IT Government Contracting Company.

The US government contracting industry is a significant player in the nation’s economy, with over $600 billion spent annually on an array of services and products.
 
The purpose of this article is to provide a balanced perspective on the advantages and challenges of working for an IT US government contracting company. Many IT professionals are intrigued by the prospect of entering this industry but might have reservations due to misconceptions or lack of information. By addressing these concerns and offering practical tips, we aim to guide IT professionals in making an informed decision about whether a career in government contracting is the right fit for them.
 
At XA Talent, we have over two decades of experience in the recruiting and staffing industry, including government contracting. We’ve helped thousands of IT professionals find rewarding positions in this sector, and we’re excited to share our insights to help you make the best decision for your career.
 
Stay tuned as we dive deep into the world of government contracting, discussing the pros and cons of working in this industry, and offering practical advice for IT professionals considering a career change. We’ll cover job stability, growth opportunities, competitive compensation, and benefits, as well as the unique challenges that come with working for a US government contractor. By the end of this article, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision about your career path in the exciting and ever-evolving world of government contracting.

Managing an IT government contracting company for the past 20 years, I've observed firsthand the growing demand for skilled IT professionals in government contracting. From cybersecurity to infrastructure and systems management, and from software development to data analysis, the role of IT professionals has never been more critical in helping the government meet its objectives.

Advantages of Working for an IT Government Contracting Company

While managing a government contracting firm at XA Systems over the past 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to study and observe the various benefits that come with working for a US government contractor. Let’s explore some of the key advantages that might make this industry an attractive option for IT professionals.
Advantages of Working for an IT Government Contracting Company

1. Job stability and growth opportunities are often top priorities for IT professionals, and government contracting can deliver on both fronts. With long-term contracts that sometimes span several years, you can enjoy a sense of security in your job.

Additionally, the diverse range of projects and agencies you might work with can provide valuable experience and open doors for career advancement. In fact, the US government has seen a 7.2% increase in IT spending from 2020 to 2021, indicating strong growth in the sector and a need for skilled professionals.

 

2. Competitive compensation and benefits packages are another advantage of working for government contractors. While it’s true that private sector salaries can sometimes be higher, government contractors often offer comparable or even superior benefits packages.


These can include comprehensive health insurance, retirement plans, and generous paid time off. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations in the federal government was $96,490 in May 2020, which is competitive when compared to the private sector.

 

3. The opportunity to contribute to public sector initiatives is another compelling reason to consider government contracting.


As an IT professional, you could play a pivotal role in projects that have a direct impact on national security, infrastructure, and social programs. Additionally, government contracts often involve working with cutting-edge technologies, which can keep you at the forefront of industry advancements and enhance your skill set.

 

4. Networking and Professional Development opportunities. Working for a government contractor can provide ample networking and professional development opportunities.


You’ll likely collaborate with industry experts and professionals from various backgrounds, which can help you build valuable connections. Furthermore, government contractors often invest in employee training and certifications, ensuring you stay up-to-date with the latest tools, technologies, and methodologies in the IT field.

While there are many advantages to working for a US government contractor, it’s essential to weigh these against the potential challenges, which we will discuss in the next section. This way, you can make an informed decision about whether this career path aligns with your personal and professional goals.

Challenges of Working for an IT Government Contracting Company

Challenges of Working for an IT Government Contracting Company

As with any career path, working for a US government contractor comes with its own set of challenges that IT professionals should consider before making a decision. In this section, we will discuss some of these obstacles to help you gain a more comprehensive understanding of the industry.
 

1. Security Clearances and Background Checks

One challenge unique to this industry is the need for security clearances and background checks. Many government contracts, especially those related to national security, require IT professionals to obtain and maintain security clearances. This process can be time-consuming and necessitate a thorough examination of your background.
 
A study conducted by ClearanceJobs found that the average time to process a Top Secret clearance was 422 days in 2019, although efforts are being made to reduce the backlog and processing times. In our experience, other less exhaustive clearances, such as Public Trust, typically take about 2 – 4 weeks depending on the agency and department as they each operate on their own schedules given their caseload and staff resources.
 

2. Ethical considerations

Ethical considerations can also pose a challenge for IT professionals considering a career with government contractors. While many government contracts serve the public interest, some projects or clients might be controversial. It’s crucial to evaluate whether you’re comfortable with the nature of the work and the potential impact on society before committing to a position in this industry.

Despite these challenges, many IT professionals find rewarding and fulfilling careers working for US government contractors. By understanding the potential obstacles and being prepared to navigate them, you can make an informed decision about whether this career path is right for you. In the following sections, we will provide tips and strategies for evaluating potential employers, preparing for job applications, and ensuring long-term success in the government contracting industry.

Tips for IT Professionals Considering Working For An IT Government Contracting Company

To begin, when preparing for the job application process, it’s essential to tailor your resume and skillset to the government contracting industry. Emphasize your experience with relevant technologies, methodologies, and certifications that are in high demand in the sector. According to a survey by ClearanceJobs, the top five skills in demand for cleared professionals in 2021 were cybersecurity, cloud computing, systems engineering, data analytics, and software development. Acquiring relevant certifications, such as CISSP, CompTIA Security+, or AWS Certified Solutions Architect, can also give you a competitive edge in the job market.
 
To ensure long-term success in the government contracting industry, it’s vital to develop strategies for navigating the unique work environment. Be prepared to adapt to the bureaucratic nature of the industry and learn to work within the constraints of government regulations. Stay up-to-date on industry trends and changes in regulations by attending conferences, webinars, and subscribing to industry publications. Networking within the industry and fostering relationships with colleagues and industry professionals can also help you stay informed and expand your opportunities for career advancement.
 
Working for a US government contractor can offer numerous benefits for IT professionals, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. By following the tips and advice outlined in this section, you can make an informed decision about whether this career path is right for you and position yourself for success in the government contracting industry.

The Final Verdict: Is Working For An IT Government Contracting Company Right for You?

As an industry analyst, my goal is to provide you with the information and insights necessary to make an informed decision about whether working for a US government contractor is the right fit for your career. In this final section, let’s recap the key advantages and challenges we’ve discussed, and explore how to weigh these factors when making your decision.
 
The benefits of working in government contracting include job stability, growth opportunities, competitive compensation and benefits packages, the chance to contribute to public sector initiatives, and ample networking and professional development opportunities. However, it’s essential to balance these advantages against the challenges such as bureaucracy and regulations, the need for security clearances, and ethical considerations.
 
When deciding if government contracting is the right career path for you, consider your personal and professional goals, your values, and your tolerance for the unique challenges of this industry. Reflect on your skillset and whether it aligns with the in-demand skills in the government contracting sector. Think about the projects and clients you’ll potentially work with and assess whether they align with your ethical standards.
Ultimately, the decision to work for a US government contractor comes down to your personal preferences, values, and career aspirations. By carefully weighing the pros and cons, evaluating potential employers, and preparing for the application process, you can make an informed choice and chart a successful path in the government contracting industry.
 
As an IT professional, your skills and expertise are in high demand across various industries. The government contracting sector offers unique opportunities and challenges, but it’s crucial to find the right fit for your individual needs and goals. No matter what you decide, remember that continuous learning, networking, and adapting to change will be essential components for success in any industry.

Abigail Sel

I’m Abigail, a marketing expert who has transitioned from luxury brand marketing to corporate and executive branding. As a Chief Marketing Officer with a passion for storytelling and launching innovative digital strategies, I’ve spent the last decade helping companies build brand love and drive business growth.

https://myxatalent.com

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Aiyaz, VP of Recruitment and Staffing

Aiyaz Uddin

VP, Recruitment and Staffing

With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Aiyaz brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our team by strategically positioning clients to attract, engage, and pipeline the most sought-after talent in information technology utilizing open-source intelligence, talent solutions, and machine learning tools for federal and local government contracting firms, and commercial employers. Aiyaz has a proven track record of success in matching the right talent with the right opportunities, leading to long-term and mutually beneficial relationships.

 

As a leader in the industry, he is constantly seeking out new and innovative ways to improve our services and deliver the best results for our clients and job seekers.


Aiyaz is a certified tech recruitment professional with an MBA in Finance & Marketing along with M.Sc. Psychology. Additionally, his drive to seek new and innovative approaches to talent acquisition led him to speak on LinkedIn Talent Solutions by LinkedIn and HackerEarth’s Tech Recruiting Conference Hire 101.


Under Aiyaz 's leadership, XA Talent has become a trusted partner for companies looking to grow their teams and job seekers looking for their next great opportunity. Aiyaz and our team are committed to delivering an exceptional experience for everyone we work with.

 

Get in touch with XA Talent today, and let us help you find your next great opportunity.

Peyton Brooks, VP of Workforce Development

Peyton Brooks

VP, Workforce Development

As a firm believer in continuous development and self-improvement, I attained a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Howard University and a Juris Doctor Degree from The George Washington University Law School.

 

My passion for service to the community drove me towards the workforce development industry, where I have been in active pursuit to change the trajectory of lives and shape communities ever since. With nearly a decade of experience doing so, I have helped thousands of individuals obtain access to more short-term, affordable, and convenient upskill and reskill opportunities across the nation.

 

Given my vast industry expertise, I provide management consulting services to workforce
development organizations helping them with customized solutions, specialized curricula, strategic partnerships, and employer engagement. My consulting leverages deep technical knowledge as well as strategic and tactical approaches to provide the best solutions with data-driven outcomes. 

 

My proven experience in building workforce development systems have led me to develop and evangelize best practices for workforce development programs that include the following outcome-based attributes:

– Livable wages and sustainable careers in high-demand industry sectors
– Job placement-focused programs with strong employer partnerships
– Data-driven understanding of regional skills gaps; and
– Comprehensive skills training that includes practical application work experience with career coaching.

 

My ability to thrive in the workforce development industry is attributed to my strong interpersonal skills, which have enhanced my capabilities to understand what people truly mean to communicate when attempting to express their business challenges. This trait has set me apart from the rest, as I can identify and resolve the root cause of challenges resulting in proper alignment of investment to desired business outcomes.

 

Therefore, as a leader of cooperative outcome-focused efforts, I would like to connect with
professionals who are interested in collaborating to improve communities and change the trajectory of lives through sustainable career attainment.

Abigail Jpones

Abigail Jones

Chief Marketing Officer

As a CMO passionate about innovative, results-driven marketing strategies, I help companies accelerate tech talent acquisition, enhance executive visibility, and build impactful brands. My entrepreneurial experience, including building startups in London, fuels my work as as a Chief Marketing Officer at XA Talent.

At 𝗫𝗔 𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁, my role transcends traditional marketing, designing marketing strategies with talent in mind to strengthen talent pipelines and enhance company reputations. A successful organization begins with its people, and our approach ensures we attract individuals who can best contribute to and thrive within your organizational culture. These strategies are continuously refined in response to technological disruption, ensuring that securing brilliant minds enables your company to grow consistently and achieve its broader goals, furthering your mission to make a meaningful societal impact.

We specialize in tech talent acquisition and executive search while working closely with CEOs and senior leaders to manage their executive branding, which significantly impacts and enhances their employer brand. This collaboration enables them to hire on demand, build influential alliances, and foster advocacy for sustained business growth.

Additionally, I provide 𝗳𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗖𝗠𝗢 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀, helping companies develop strategic marketing plans, drive thought leadership to enhance brand visibility. As a speaker, I share insights on entrepreneurship and marketing, aiming to inspire and empower the next generation of leaders. My mission is to merge innovative marketing strategies with recruitment solutions to foster talent development and organizational growth.

When I’m not strategizing, you can find me attending marketing events and exploring new technologies and trends to bring fresh perspectives to the table.

Personally, I have lived in five countries – Malaysia, Australia, Dubai, the UK, and the US.

✈️an avid traveler
📑completed my MBA in London
👩🏽‍🍳love to experiment with new recipes at home
🤸🏽‍♀️absolutely love Pilates to strengthen my mind and body!

If you are interested in learning how to use your voice to build a strong workforce, connect with me and stay updated with my latest insights.

Evan Jones, Founder and CEO

Evan Jones

Founder and CEO

After 20 years of delivering IT management consulting and infrastructure operations & management services to the federal government (XA Systems, LLC https://xasystems.com/) and hiring thousands of employees over the years, Evan and his team have developed a system that scales a company's personnel recruitment with culture-driven candidates who contribute to the success of the business.

 

As a technology-based business focused on continual process improvement, the methods he and his team have developed have been improved over the years and are centered on employer branding and recruitment marketing that results in a pipeline of engaged candidates ready to be hired on demand. He believes every business can succeed and create an impact if they are willing to take uncomfortable action with the right tools and knowledge. He’s determined to stand in the gap and provide the tools and knowledge businesses need.

 

To date, he has played a role in the growth and development of more than 30 companies. He has worked behind the scenes of SMBs and massive 8 to 10-figure companies helping them overhaul their processes, reinvent their recruitment marketing strategies, and drive growth, both in net profit and an overall employer reach into job seeker communities.

 

With a passion for business transformation, Evan has developed his own technology, an enterprise SaaS solution, ServeOptics, that delivers service support performance metrics to IT leaders who need actionable insights to make informed business decisions. The more visibility of operations that exists with real-time performance metrics and automated reporting, the more efficient and effective companies can be in their service support operations, which enables a business to gain a significant competitive advantage in their industry.

 

Evan is interested in connecting with forward-thinking business professionals who want to collaborate on business opportunities or discuss how his recruitment system can enable a business to attract top-tier candidates, employ on-demand, and retain its best employees.