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Insider's Guide to Homeland Security Jobs

Insider's Guide to Homeland Security Jobs

Kyle Stone |

August 10, 2008

Which Agencies and Departments Are Hiring?

Department of Homeland Security

Since 2003, the new Department has brought together 22 entities with critical homeland security missions, and for the first time provided us with a single federal department whose primary mission is to maintain the security of the US as a geopolitical nation. Responsible for many specific initiatives and effective in streamlining relations between the federal government and local and state governments, the DHS has created widespread change to the National Defense Strategy of the United States.

National Security Agency

The National Security Agency (NSA) is rapidly hiring experienced professionals, college seniors, and even high school graduates in multiple career areas. Unlike other federal agencies, the NSA is an Excepted Service Agency: this means that the NSA has more flexibility when it comes to creating jobs, recruiting, and hiring, since all three actions are completed within the NSA’s own human resources system. This means more flexibility for you, too.

NSA is increasing its partnerships with industry and academia… expanding its research and development, and aggressively recruiting and hiring cryptologic professionals.

These changes are revolutionizing the Agency’s capability to produce foreign signals intelligence and protect sensitive government communications in a digital age. These changes give warfighters and policymakers real-time insight into the adversary’s mindset. These changes ensure that NSA’s capabilities will continue to prevent conflict, shorten wars, and save lives.

Department of Defense

The Department of Defense contributes to homeland security through its military missions overseas, homeland defense, and support to civil authorities. Ongoing military operations abroad have reduced the terrorist threat against the United States.

There are three circumstances under which the Department would be involved in improving security at home:

1. In extraordinary circumstances, the Department would conduct military missions such as combat air patrols or maritime defense operations. The Department would take the lead in defending the people and the territory of our country, supported by other agencies.

2. Second, the Department of Defense would be involved during emergencies such as responding to an attack or to forest fires, floods, tornadoes, or other catastrophes. In these circumstances, the Department may be asked to act quickly to provide capabilities that other agencies do not have.

3. Finally, the Department of Defense would also take part in “limited scope” missions where other agencies have the lead – for example, security at a special event like the recent Olympics.

White House Office of Homeland Security

Even after the Department of Homeland Security was created, the White House Office of Homeland Security continues to play a key role advising the President and coordinating the interagency process. It will continue to work with the Office of Management and Budget to develop and defend homeland security budget proposals.

Other Federal Departments and Agencies

Many other government departments and agencies support homeland security as part of their overall mission.

The Attorney General, as America’s chief law enforcement officer, will lead our Nation’s law enforcement effort to detect, prevent, and investigate terrorist activity within the United States.

The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection and Agricultural Research Services have important homeland security responsibilities for preventing agroterrorism.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, both part of the Department of Health and Human Services, provide critical expertise and resources related to bioterrorism.

Several other federal entities have significant counterterrorism intelligence responsibilities, including the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center and the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division and Criminal Intelligence Section.

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