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Work at the National Security Agency

Work at the National Security Agency

Kathryn Troutman /

October 15, 2007

The National Security Agency (NSA) is looking for graduating college seniors, experienced professionals and even high school graduates in a number of career areas. But unlike most other federal agencies, the NSA is an Excepted Service Agency, which means it has the flexibility to create jobs, recruit and hire with its own human resources system that has been designed to fit the agency’s special recruiting needs.

Who Can Apply for Jobs at the NSA?

An NSA representative (who asked to remain nameless because of security concerns) says, “We would consider all applications from US citizens with the required qualifications for our jobs.” The qualifications for specific careers and jobs at NSA are described on the NSA web site under Careers.

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NSA’s core missions are foreign signals intelligence and information assurance in support of both the US military and the government. A large amount of research is also completed at NSA, and there are positions available in various technical as well as nontechnical fields.

Where Are the Jobs?

NSA headquarters are in Fort Meade, Maryland, about 45 minutes from downtown Washington, DC, and 30 minutes from downtown Baltimore. Some jobs may require travel.

What Are the Career Fields?

Acquisition & Business Management
Computer/Electrical Engineering
Computer Science
Foreign Languages
Human Resources
Intelligence Analysis
Occupational Health
Security and Protection
Signals Analysis

What Are Some of the Job Titles?

Acquisition Logistics Specialist
Budget Analyst
Business Manager
Business Technologist
Contracting Specialist
Corporate Acquisition Planning & Oversight Specialist
Cost & Price Analyst
Finance & Accounting Analyst
Finance & Accounting Technician
Manpower Management Analyst
Program Manager
Purchasing Specialist
Resource Programmer

How to Apply

Applying is relatively simple; unlike most other federal job postings, there are no KSAs, narratives, essays, job-specific questions, core questions or examples. Go to the NSA’s web site, and click on Careers. Then click on Apply Online, which allows you to search by both job category and keyword. After checking off specific job titles and putting them in a shopping cart (also fairly unique for a federal online job application system), applicants need to attach an electronic resume and answer employment questions on 13 online pages of the Resume and Job Application system.

After Your Resume Is in the Database

You do not need to return to see if there are new announcements posted, new closing dates or what happened to your application. Your part is complete! The HR staff will select candidates for particular jobs and contact you. It’s in your best interest to keep applying to other jobs.

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