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Recruiting@FCC: FCC Starts Looking for New Lawyers but Not Engineers


Engineering staffing issues at FCC have been a recurring topic here. We previously wrote about a report from the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council supported by funding from the National Science Foundation that recommended to “(m)ake it a priority to recruit top­caliber engineers/scientists to work at the FCC, perhaps for limited terms.” (Let’s ignore the issue that other regulatory agencies with technical jurisdiction routinely ask NAS/NRC for reports about their technical regulatory issues while FCC hasn’t in decades.)

In 2006 and 2012 we have raised issues about why FCC isn’t recruiting on college campuses at the time when the best students are looking for jobs. We believe that last year FCC did not recruit for even lawyers due to budget issues, but now they are back at reciting for lawyers early in the academic year, but not engineers.

In the link for information given in the above release, there is the following statement that has never had a counterpart for engineers at FCC:

Participants may have the opportunity to rotate to a new assignment within the agency at the end of their first year. During their two years in the Honors Program, attorneys will also be afforded professional and educational opportunities designed specifically for Program participants.

The FCC bureaus and offices that hire engineers have historically rejected the idea of a rotation program for entry level engineers even though it is standard practice at most federal agencies. The basic logic is that entry level engineers are generally give boring tasks to reduce application backlogs in the near term and that is more important than the long term benefits of rotation and trying to put “square pegs in square holes”.

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