Moderator: Dr. Francine Berman (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) Panelists: Andrea Norris (National Institutes of Health), Debora A. Plunkett (National Security Agency), Dr. Laura Stubbs (Department of Defense), Farnam Jahanian (National Science Foundation)
Dr. Jahanian stressed how important computer security, networking and robustness were to the government and will be areas of investment for the US Government in the coming years.
Ms. Norris emphasized how important things like the Human Genome project were - you can now buy a DNA sequencer for less than a $1000 thanks to that project. She encouraged research on bringing drugs to market faster (currently it takes an average of 13 years from beginning research to consumer). Already, targeted cancer treatments
Ms. Plunkett mentioned that the NSA faces some of the toughest problems - providing information assurance to the entire country. Information assurance is a national priority, but is under attack as there are many entities out there that would like to have access to the US Government's secrets. New technologies are enabling greater access for employees with great mobility, but it does increase the attack vector.
Dr. Stubbs' said they have growing jobs at the DoD in the areas of cyber science and technology, engineered resilient systems, counter weapons of mass destruction and research around remotely piloted aircraft (you know.. drones!)
All of the panelists did a great job of explaining all of the fun ways you can use your technology degree in the government, quickly answering questions about getting started (you can do as little as a summer internship, a 3 year assignment at the NSF or make a life time career out of it). Check it out yourself at USAJobs.gov!
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