The New York State Digital Service is a pilot program for mid-career tech professionals who are ready to focus on a different set of challenges. If you have been looking for a way to share your knowledge and skills to help serve your fellow citizens, joining the Digital Service is your opportunity to jump in for a short sprint, a “civic tour of duty,” that will change New Yorkers’ lives for the better.
You will be matched with high-priority digital projects based on your skills and interests. As a member of the Digital Service, you will also create resources that help the Digital and Media Services Center build its knowledge of best practices from your work experiences, co-lead brainstorming sessions, and contribute to building a lively, creative culture with your colleagues. The work that you do as a member of the Digital Service will leave a legacy that will help existing state workers expand their knowledge and improve services for citizens.
Government services are among the most important in our lives. Yet, until the advent of teams like the United States Digital Service, government hasn't been positioned to take advantage of the benefits of the digital revolution. The creation of the New York State Digital Services program will enable New York to use the principles and practices of the digital age to serve its people better, faster, and cheaper while strengthening trust in government at a time when it is badly needed.
–Jennifer Pahlka, founder and advisor of Code for America
New York is getting in on the ground floor with several other states working to expand effective civic tech capabilities. This embedded New York Digital Service team will collaborate with other government leaders and technologists to together accelerate the State's ability to deliver quality digital services for New Yorkers while significantly stretching budgets using modern practices.
–Megan Smith, CEO of shift 7 and a former U.S. Chief Technology Officer who served under President Obama
What more can we tell you about the Digital Service program positions?
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of skills are you looking for?
Professionals who are highly skilled in software development, product management, human-centered design, and related fields. Click here to see the job posting.
For more information about the Digital Director job, please visit the posting on StateJobsNY.
How many people will be selected?
This is our first year, so we are starting off small with a group of three.
What is the culture of the New York State Digital Service?
If you haven’t worked in government before, you will experience the depth of commitment that public servants have and the important work that results. New York State is diverse by nature, and you can expect that to be reflected in the work environment, which means lots of different experiences and cultures coming together. Being surrounded by people whose purpose is to serve others is pretty gratifying! Digital Service team members will be cultural ambassadors, advocating for deep creative collaboration.
What are the eligibility requirements to work as part of the New York State Digital Service?
Applicants will need to be eligible to work for New York State without employer sponsorship. You can reside anywhere in the world when you apply, but we need you to be where we work, so you will need to transfer to Albany or New York City for the 18-month tour of service (Albany is our preferred location). Someone based in New York City will also be considered. Candidates who receive a conditional offer will also need to pass a New York State background check.
Who will review applications and select the members of the New York State Digital Service?
The Digital and Media Services Center will bring together a team, which includes Jennifer Pahlka, founder and advisor of Code for America, to review the applications, talk with the most promising applicants about the position, and discuss their ideas about using technology to help the government better serve the people of New York State. Applicants who best fit the needs of the program will be selected to participate in the New York State Digital Service.
Where will I live and work? Is there a relocation package?
Because part of the reason the Digital Service is being created is for you to share your knowledge with the government digital team, you will need to be where the team is. Albany, NY is the preferred location. A New York City base will also be considered. We cannot cover moving or relocation expenses.
I would like to visit the offices. Can you help?
We are happy to set up a visit for candidates who have received a conditional offer. As a candidate with a conditional offer, you can reach out to us to schedule a visit. Please note that we will not be able to pay for travel expenses prior to official employment with the state.
What is the salary?
The salary for the Digital Service will be $95,000.
What benefits will I receive?
All members of the New York State Digital Service will receive health care and other benefits such as retirement credit.
How much of a time commitment will I make if I accept a position in the NYS Digital Service?
Digital Service members are expected to work full-time for an 18-month “tour of service” beginning from your start date. There are likely to be nights and weekend hours in addition to a standard work week. Although we anticipate that this will be a temporary tour of duty for most, those who would like to continue their work with New York State after their tour ends can apply for state jobs available at that time.
How long will the application process take?
After the application window closes, we anticipate completing resume review and interviews within three months of receiving your application. If you receive a conditional offer, the background check and onboarding process will take an additional four to six weeks after that.
For this inaugural year, key dates are as follows:
- March 13, 2020 – Application opens for Digital Service.
- April 10, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. – Application closes for Digital Service.
- May 2020 – Notifications of interviews will be sent.
- July 2020 – Conditional offers will be extended.
- September 2020 – Digital Service members begin their work.
Are there other ways I can work for New York State?
Yes! You can check out New York State fellowship and internship programs here or check out our state's jobs board here.
What is the difference between the Empire State and Excelsior Fellows programs and the New York State Digital Service Program?
The Empire State Fellows Program is designed to attract talented professionals from a variety of industries who want to refocus their careers on public service. Empire State Fellows serve with the expectation that successful Fellows will continue to work in New York State government at the end of their fellowship.
The Excelsior Service Fellowship is targeted toward recent graduates of New York State law, professional, and graduate schools. Candidates must have received their graduate degree or advanced degree from one of the Fellowship program’s partner schools in the academic year prior to starting the Fellowship. Unlike the Empire State Fellows program, there is no direct application process for the Excelsior Service Fellowship. Instead, candidates are nominated by the partner schools for the program on an annual basis.
New York State Digital Service positions are for mid-career technologists. They will be assigned to the state’s technology projects and will not be expected to stay in state government after their 18-month “civic tour of duty."
Can I apply for the Digital Service and the Empire State and Excelsior Fellows Programs?
Yes! However, you must submit separate applications for each program.
Is there a dress code?
Most days you’ll be able to dress in business casual clothing. However, you will need business attire for important meetings.
Do you have more questions?
If you have any questions not covered here, please email [email protected].