Baltimore-Washington ranks among country's top five areas for certified IT professionals

Baltimore-Washington ranks among country's top five areas for certified IT professionals

The federal government's IT work force crisis reflects the entire nation's lack of certified specialists, according to the Cyber Defense IQ Report from Brainbench Inc. of Chantilly, Va.

Although IT professionals across the country lack certification in several critical areas'including security'the Baltimore-Washington region ranks among the top five for certified IT workers.

The survey ranks metropolitan areas for the number of workers with certification in disciplines such as Internet security, network security, disaster recovery and planning, TCP/IP administration and WAN technologies.

'The Baltimore-Washington area came out pretty strong,' said Mike Russiello, president and chief executive officer of Brainbench. He called the area a hotbed for IT professionals and said the federal government can look in its own backyard to fill its IT jobs.

Baltimore-Washington ranked second in the number of Internet security professionals, behind San Francisco, and second behind Denver in disaster recovery and planning specialists. The region ranked first in WAN technicians and fifth behind Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver and Dallas for network security professionals.

In TCP/IP administrators, Baltimore-Washington ranked fourth behind San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.

Ernie Paskey, acting director of the competency assessment division at the Office of Personnel Management, said he uses Brainbench to find out what kind of people are available to work for federal agencies.

'Assessing them with something like what we did with Brainbench allows for an element of standardization; we have a good picture of the skill set of the IT people in the government and in the private sector,' Paskey said.

Of more than 3 million IT specialists assessed by Brainbench, 13,000 work in the government.

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