NSA Named "Ideal Employer"

Diane King, Career TV: College students may not know what's going on at the National Security Agency, but they think the work that's being done is cool enough to rank the highly classified government agency as a hot place to work.

The NSA's primary mission is intelligence gathering and intelligence protection. A cryptologic organization that deals in code making and code breaking. The total employee count is classified, but government recruiters hint the agency is possibly the largest employer of mathematicians in the United States.

NSA recruiter Jennifer Dooley says she wants to see something more than just a basic resume.

Jennifer Dooley - NSA Recruiter: "Well, if I'm at a career fair and I'm talking to someone face-to-face, I really want to get to know the person beyond your resume. So a candidate really should have their 5-second spiel about who they are and how to sell themselves. And, I look for someone who has passion and interest in public service. Someone that's humble and hungry, because that's what our government needs, and this is exactly what NSA needs."

Diane King: For each candidate, the NSA has to do what's called a top secret special intelligence clearance. The average time for this process is three to six months, and can take as much as a year.

Robert Franco - Language Recruiter: "When you start getting into the Web site, when you look at what this agency does, it's very intriguing. I wanted to be a part of that. I applied. Did well in the interview. Went through the security processing, and I'm standing here today. You get to be part of something bigger than yourself. You get to go home at the end of the day knowing that the work that you do ... directly affects keeping the United States free ... safe ... free from things like terrorist attacks. How awesome is that? To be part of that?"

Diane King: Entry-level salaries for certain positions can range anywhere from the mid-thirties up to just shy of $52,000 a year. If you want to get your foot in the door early, the NSA does accept college students for summer positions, but they are subject to the same level of security screening.

Keep in mind that if you want a job with the NSA you must be a U.S. citizen.

The last tip the recruiters gave is don't be afraid to call or e-mail them. Recruiters also say to check with your career center, they may very well be on your campus. And despite what TV will tell you, Dooley says they are visible. To find out more about job opportunities with the NSA, just follow the links right here on our site.

For Career TV, I'm Diane King

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