Are you certified
I wish they would go into more detail about which certifications were in demand and held the most value. There are so many certifications out there.
sweet - one thing that's always helped me keep advancing is to constantly have a certification calendar, i.e. what's my roadmap, when I am going to attempt each cert, etc. Eyes on the prize, gents!
I worked for the Air Force for 15 years and as a DoD civillian for two years. Unfortunately your question is a loaded weapon as each job req that goes out is tailored for that job only. I suggest that for your initial search focus on what you are qualified for and see what pulls up. If your specialty does not pull up much, I think you might need to branch out. Preview job listings that are current to get a feel as things in Federal jobs are fluid and remember most departments do not get the "Greatest and Latest" right away, though I would not discourage you from getting that. Each department is different and varied on their environment. Moves have been made to streamline things but in the end you have to focus on what department you want to work for and research their needs.
This isn't really unique to Federal jobs though. It should be a goal of IT professionals everywhere to get the paper to back their skills. I can tell you that I know about KACE, Windows XP-7, and Server 2k3-2008... So can anyone else. The paper is the proof that you know and employers everywhere respect that.
Some people are test takers and can pass tests and be paper geniuses but they are real world stupid. They have no idea how to apply the theory of what they supposedly are experts at. I prefer someone who has hands on knowledge and is in the trenches than someone who spits out acronym after acronym of certifications.
There are certifications are based on a hands on skills assessment, not a paper test.
better question would be is it only certs you need these days or a degree or a combination of both?