Monday, August 20, 2012

2013 PMF Preparation

It's been quiet lately in PMF land.  That doesn't mean nothing is going on, though.  Two bits of information that will eventually affect you, potential 2013 class, deal with the Pathways program and, by extension, the new application system that should be available for this application period.

If you recall, the Pathways program was an attempt to streamline entry into federal service.  The biggest changes were 1) the dropping of the nomination requirement, so you no longer have to be nominated by your school, and 2) a change in the eligibility window such that you need only have completed a graduate degree within the last two years to be eligible to apply.  These changes are now in effect.

According to what OPM published on the Federal Register in July, the new application system is intended to field some 25,000 applicants this year (and the application process is estimated at 13 minutes).  Keep in mind this is nearly triple the highest applicant pool they've dealt with in the past.  This should be interesting.

As I did last year, I had hoped to round up a quick count of hires by this point by way of comparison.  I didn't manage to get the numbers, though, but will try to update this post in the next day or two to include them.  At some point, I know I owe the community the data from 2012's class, but wouldn't you know I've been too busy to sit down and play with it?

Finally, about the application period.  I don't really know when it will start this year.  It usually starts after people have gotten back to school from summer break, so they'll have time to chase down nominating officials.  Since that's no longer part of the process, I'm guessing you all know as much as I do.  Stay tuned, I guess.  In the mean time, chime in if you're planning to apply this year.  I suspect this is going to be an interesting ride.

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  1. Do they really expect 25,000 applicants this year or are they accommodating for the future? Any idea if this is going to make the application processes more competitive or will the acceptance number increase as well?

    Wonderful site btw.

  2. Thanks :)

    It's hard to tell what they're expecting. One of the consequences of widening the eligibility window is bound to be a greater applicant pool. Last year there were over 9000 applicants.

    Historically, the PMF program had a 500 fellow target per year (it's mentioned in the old Executive Order, which you can find linked somewhere around the site). How many finalists they choose depends on what agencies say each year about their hiring needs in terms of PMF. Since that number doesn't vary wildly from year to year, my guess (with no information whatsoever) is we'll see a finalist pool of 600-1000. In short, a greater applicant pool means yes, probably greater competition.

    Good luck!

  3. I'm looking to apply this year and wondering about the start of the application date. If application period starts later, I'm assuming everything else in the schedule shifts.

    It's almost middle of Sept and not a peep.

  4. It's hard to tell. I haven't seen a date yet that they will start taking applications, or what the deadline will be to submit, but in the past there was some buffer between the application period and the deadline for schools to submit their nominations. It wasn't much, though. The past may not be much of a guide this time around, considering the changes to the program.