As we have seen our economy change we have heard of some employers like Amazon, Walmart, InstaCart and others hiring a massive amount of people to fulfill demand. These are all critical jobs during this time but there are some other employers who are hiring whose jobs and need for good people are just as critical. On March 25, 2020 the Intelligence Community held a virtual career fair where ten government agencies were looking for talented and dedicated individuals to work for our country’s national and homeland security. These ten agencies are still hiring so let’s take a look at each and their hiring needs:
The Central Intelligence Agency is probably the most well-known because of their high profile in American culture through television shows and movies that depict CIA officers in action.
The CIA’s Directorate of Analysis is hiring intelligence analysts including in the fields of cyber threat; economics; leadership; military; politics; science, technology and weapons and more. Under the Directorate of Operations the agency is hiring for operations officers, collection management officers, staff operations officers, language officers and more. Now intelligence analysts and officers working on operations are oftentimes the most popular and most sought-after positions but the CIA is also hiring administrative specialists, accountants, business people, cyber experts, engineers, human resource specialists, librarians, individuals in the arts and publishing, mechanics, training specialists, truck drivers, warehouse packers and so many other positions. You can find all of these positions at the CIA Career Opportunities page on their website (https://www.cia.gov/careers/opportunities/cia-jobs/index.html).
Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA): This is one of the newest agencies around but in actuality, it has been around for around 50 years in different forms. DCSA, as it states on its website, “is the security agency in the federal government dedicated to protecting America’s trusted workforce and trusted workspaces — real or virtual. DCSA joins two essential missions: Personnel Vetting and Critical Technology Protection, supported by Counterintelligence and Training, Education and Certification functions. DCSA services over 100 federal entities, oversees 10,000 cleared companies, and conducts approximately 2 million background investigations each year.”
DCSA is looking for background adjudicators, background investigators, counterintelligence professionals, industrial security policy specialists, industrial security representatives, information system security professionals, insider threat professionals, personnel security specialists and Center for Development of Security Excellence professionals who provide security education, training, and professionalization products and services to security professionals. You can find more information on these opportunities and how to apply here (https://www.dcsa.mil/Careers/).
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Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is currently having what is called a Hiring Event seeking a large number of people in various career fields including: intelligence analysts, international affairs specialists, information technology specialists, candidates with technical expertise/experience in the science and technology fields, human resource specialists, security specialists, auditors, financial and acquisition specialists, congressional liaisons, public affairs specialists, writers/editors, librarians, administrative specialists, program managers, engineers, architects, building managers, facility operations specialists, safety/occupational health officers, emergency management specialists and so much more.
The hiring event is for external applicants so that means they are looking for talent among members of the public. Military members, contractors and DIA employees on a temporary/term appointment are eligible to apply if qualified for the positions.
DIA usually does Hiring Events each year and it’s a great way to get into the intelligence community. This year they are planning to do interviews with selected candidates in July/August 2020 in the National Capital Region; however, due to the pandemic their plans may change. You can find out more about DIA careers and how to apply here (https://www.dia.mil/Careers-Internships/).
The current DIA Hiring Event positions close on April 12, 2020.
Department of Homeland Security – Office of Intelligence and Analysis (DHS I&A) usually hires for intelligence analysts or similarly titled position of intelligence research specialist. The agency also runs special centers where they have hiring needs. Under their Homeland Identities, Targeting and Exploitation Center (HITEC) they are looking for people to fill identities analyst, targeting analyst, digital forensic analyst, document and media exploitation (DOMEX) watch analyst (24×7 shift operations), and executive assistant/administrative officer positions. Most positions for DHS can be found on USAJOBS but you can also find more information here (https://www.dhs.gov/homeland-security-careers).
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA): Some may see DEA and wonder why it could be considered a part of the intelligence community. Most federal law enforcement agencies now have intelligence units or departments and DEA is no exception. According to the agency website, “The DEA Intelligence Program helps initiate new investigations of major drug organizations, strengthens ongoing ones and subsequent prosecutions, develops information that leads to seizures and arrests, and provides policy makers with drug trend information upon which programmatic decisions can be based.” DEA hires intelligence research specialists who use their analytical skills and insights to combat drug trafficking and transnational organized crime. DEA also hires special agents and diversion investigators and people who do forensics. You can find out more about these opportunities here (https://www.dea.gov/careers).
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National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has been around for many years and was previously known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA). As GPS and mapping technology progressed, NGA did the same and changed their name. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency delivers “world-class geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) that provides a decisive advantage to policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals and first responders.” NGA hires intelligence analysts oftentimes focused on maritime or geospatial analysis, in addition to other analyst positions. You will also find administrative, accounting, cyber and other support positions being hired for at NGA. You can find more about NGA careers here (https://www.nga.mil/Careers/Pages/default.aspx).
National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is not the most well-known of the intelligence agencies, but NRO has been around since 1961. The agency website states, “When the United States needs eyes and ears in critical places where no human can reach – be it over the most rugged terrain or through the most hostile territory – it turns to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The NRO is the U.S. government agency in charge of designing, building, launching, and maintaining America’s intelligence satellites. Whether creating the latest innovations in satellite technology, contracting with the most cost-efficient industrial supplier, conducting rigorous launch schedules, or providing the highest-quality products to our customers, we never lose focus on who we are working to protect: our nation and its citizens.” Because the agency is one of the more technical intelligence agencies, owing to its focus on satellites, it is looking for highly technical talent. This talent includes engineers, program managers, acquisition and financial specialists. You can find out more about opportunities with NRO here (https://www.nro.gov/careers/).
National Security Agency (NSA) was once so secretive that it was given the nickname “No Such Agency.” But in recent years, it has been much more public about its mission and work. The National Security Agency/Central Security Service’s (NSA/CSS) mission is to “lead the U.S. government in cryptology that encompasses both signals intelligence (SIGINT) and information assurance (now referred to as cybersecurity) products and services, and enables computer network operations (CNO) in order to gain a decision advantage for the nation and our allies under all circumstances.”
The NSA hires in a wide range of career fields including: intelligence analysis & collection, foreign language analysis, computer science, cyber, engineering and physical sciences, mathematical sciences, business, accounting and budget, inspection, investigation and compliance, security and law enforcement, human resources, education and training, general administrative support and many other career fields. You can find more about NSA career opportunities here (https://www.nsa.gov/careers/).
Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was founded after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and formed by law through the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. It began operating in 2005. By statute, the Director of National Intelligence is the principal intelligence adviser to the President, and determines and manages the National Intelligence Program (NIP) budget of more than $50 billion, the U.S. government’s total intelligence spending aside from military intelligence. ODNI is tasked with integrating the efforts of the 17 elements of the Intelligence Community (IC). ODNI has positions as intelligence analysts as well as financial managers, auditors, attorneys, contractor specialists/officers, communication specialists, inspectors, investigative analysts, investigators, program managers and more. You can find out more about DNI opportunities here (https://www.dni.gov/index.php/careers).
ODNI also uses USAJOBS to post some job announcements.
United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM): The U.S. Army is the biggest military branch of the armed forces and has a very big intelligence operation that many in the public know nothing about. INSCOM executes mission command of operational intelligence and security force, delivering “linguist support and intelligence-related advanced skills training, acquisition support, logistics, communications, and other specialized capabilities in support of Army, Joint, and Coalition Commands and the U.S. Intelligence Community.” INSCOM has opportunities in foreign counterintelligence; cyber counterintelligence; overt human intelligence debriefing; offensive counterintelligence operations; counterintelligence investigations; collection, analysis, and production; target exploitation; counterintelligence force protection source operations/military counterintelligence collections liaison and intelligence support and foreign languages. You can find out more about INSCOM positions here (https://www.inscom.army.mil/Employment.aspx).
These 10 agencies that are hiring are not all of the agencies in the Intelligence Community or all the agencies that have personnel working on intelligence. You can find more intelligence positions by going on USAJOBS and doing a keyword search on “Intelligence.” Another place you can find positions in the IC is a site called Intelligence Careers (https://www.intelligencecareers.gov/). Learn more about the Intelligence Community here (https://www.intel.gov/). This site gives a great deal of information on how the IC works and provides some interesting history about intelligence.
The need for our best and brightest minds working to provide truth to power and identify indicators and warnings to mitigate the risks to our country from these growing threats is more critical now than ever – the war on global and domestic terrorism, the fight against transnational criminal organizations, attacks on our elections, cyber-attacks on businesses and government agencies, espionage from China and Russia, conflicts in the middle east, and many more known and unknown threats.
Keep in mind that these are not quick hire positions. Becoming a member of the Intelligence Community requires going through the long government hiring process, receiving a conditional offer of employment, and then getting through the background investigation and security clearance process. Since the applications require committing some time and effort there is no greater time while we are staying safe and adhering to stay-at-home orders to explore these opportunities and put in a solid application. Our country needs you, not just now but for the future.
Derrick T. Dortch is host of Fed Access on Federal News Network. He is also President of The Diversa Group and President and Senior Career Consultant for National Security & International Affairs (NSIA) Career Services, a company providing career services to individuals interested in and working in the national security and international affairs sectors.