National Security Agency
Happiness rating is 73 out of 100
4.1 out of 5 stars.
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4.0Work-Life Balance

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Based on 75 survey responses
What people like
  • Fair pay for job
  • Ability to learn new things
  • Clear sense of purpose

Zero fun to be had here, but the job has maximum impact on the world at large

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No flexibility, extremely long hours (even for an 8-hour shift), maximum stress, minimum appreciation from your peers. Satisfaction must come from within or you will hate this place.
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Pésimo el trabajó de oficina de la compañía

El trabajó que hacen en la oficina para atender a sus empleados es pésimo y el salario no pasa de 11 la hora
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Stepping Stone

Job should be used as a stepping stone. Not many people I know use this as a career. It was poor management who do what the office thinks is best regardless of how the officers feel. Some days are cool while others are spent following people around to unlock doors. If you don’t mind being security and having a job that’s not mentally stimulating, this is it. You’re not rewarded for work but rather who likes you. A lot of things need changed here, don’t see it happening.
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The great pleasure of working for the federal government.

The job is very people friendly, I worked with people from all parts of the country. I looked forward to coming to work every day. The job has a plethora of opportunities.
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Great benefits and opportunity to expand expertise but terrible management

There are different cultures there and some great offices who sincerely value their employees and some really bad ones where people are considered the least important and treated as disposable servants. Definitely recommend working there for an experience like no other with the type of work but be sure to work in an office with a positive reputation and leave those without it!
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A huge labyrinthine place that can crush your spirit like a giant does an insect

Many talented people leave the NSA because of the bureaucracy. Many sociopathic people stay to play games in management. Many stay and ossify in their jobs, they tend to call themselves worker bees. In recent years the body of employees adopted a hive-mind approach, and if you don't go along, it's not good. You would think an intelligence agency would encourage independent thought, but you would be wrong. Very difficult to get promoted. Even more difficult to move a project or idea from creation to fruition.
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Government job, lower pay, time sheets, security clearance required

Lots of bureaucracy and politics. Easy to stick around as long as your security clearance is maintained.Low pay for technical skills compared to industry.Contractors are paid lots to meet the short comings of government technology
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Great Opportunities for Education

The NSA is a great place to work for people who value continued education. The internal training pipelines are strong and engaging. The agency also supports their employees academic goals at the university level with ample funding. The culture at NSAH is fantastic. When you're working the job, you realize how important it is. Folks at the NSA tend to be liberal, open-minded, cultured, and thoughtful. The reputation it has doesn't match the reality -- intel communities are great places to be.
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It's a great job but it's what you make of it

The NSA has some of the nation's most intelligent people. I have seen several different mission sets full of some of the brightest minds I've seen. That being said, it's not for everyone. The work is very fast paced and it's very much so a sink or swim kind of environment.
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It feels great to come tonwork every day

I learn something new just about every day. Working with a mix of employees, contractors, and military of every branch makes work fun and interesting.

Pros

Flexible schedule

Cons

not enough TDY missions, as advertised
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Family and favorites only succeed

Good old boys club. If you’re not a favorite, forget your future. It’s all about the mission and they couldn’t care less about the employee. Don’t get sick or develop health issues. They will fight you to the end and eventually force you out. There is nobody there for the employee, it’s all about work.

Pros

Pay

Cons

Management & culture
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It's okay

Depending on your team and upper level management the job can be cool. But there is no flexibility to work from home at all. All in all my experience was okay.
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Gov Job

An organization in continuous transition. IT outsourced and cyber has renamed old disciplines confusing things further. Pockets of useful work but not for a career.

Pros

A job

Cons

Fear, micro-management
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The Good

I enjoyed my employment I am would recommend anyone in the job field or looking for a new career to apply for the national security agency is a great place to grow and retire.

Pros

Company flexibility

Cons

None
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Make your hours

Flexiable schedule. You are allowed to work certian hours based on your section. Office spaces are very nice and suitable for long hours if you most work them.
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Good first job

This was my first job out of college, and I don’t have many complaints. I had a lot of great experiences during my time here and wouldn’t want it any other way! Of course, working for the government has it’s downsides - and this is no exception. Promotions are hard to come by, especially if you are in a “support” role. The base salary is okay, but could be better for the Maryland area. Unfortunately, most leaders here fall into the role and do not receive much training, which leads to issues and tensions. The plus sides of working here are some of the benefits they offer, interesting roles, and great experience.

Pros

Benefits, casual dress code, work life balance

Cons

Promotions are hard to come by, management
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Management/leadership has no clue how to be good leaders

True leadership doesn't exist at this agency, they are afraid someone will get a head of them (rice bowlers), No leadership skills. Racism/sexism still exist, EEO exist because it is mandated by law but doesn't work. More than 52% female employees with less than 5% female promotions. Yes, you can make good money and benefits working here but, there are so many negative, spiteful, lying people in senior positions they suck all the good air out of the room. You can't even go home and feel good about yourself even when you know you're doing good things. This agency could fire half it's employees and they wouldn't even miss them, too much overlap, nepotism, and waste of government money.

Pros

the pay and benefits and a few good people

Cons

lack of real leadership and a lot of mean people
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Good career choice

Good place overall to work Good money snd many opportunities to go overseas Good advancement possibilities Currently overall management ok but not great
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There are not many positives aside from obtaining a clearance.

I will start this by saying, treat this as getting your foot in the door, and that's it. You owe a 5 year commitment to this department. If you make to the 5 year mark, you can start to look for jobs within the agency.Next, you will not be kicking down doors, or serving warrants. Think of yourself as Force Protection, or armed security with police powers. If you are looking for high speed chases and a typical police experience, this is NOT it.This job is great for kids just of out college. Aside from that, it was pretty abysmal. Supervisors across the board were horrific. Most of the front office was literally dragged there 10+ years ago by another member of the upper echelon management at the time and they've been in the same place since. Creating a sense of stagnancy throughout the department.With that being said, it should not come as a surprise that the department can't hold anyone longer five years. It's always hemorrhaging at rates that it cannot sustain. There was an apparent feeling that the officers were not appreciated in the slightest. The department prided it self on letting officers speak out and let their troubles be known to supervision, but when it comes down to it, they are generally not helpful and nothing gets resolved. It seems the people who often spoke out in defense of the officers always feared for retaliation from the supervision. Thus leading to the point where no one said anything anymore.There was a time at this department that you were unable to even have your cellphone on your person. You would be written up for being caught with one. - 

Pros

5 years to get a good job. The pay is decent as well.

Cons

Miserable environment. Toxicity starting from the top. No incentives to stay.
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Lateral officers go elsewhere.

I was sold a bill of goods when I joined this agency. My experience included specialized police training. When I interviewed, the sergeant told me I would be a valued resource and I'd become a supervisor and promoted very quickly with my time and experience as a police officer outside of this agency. That was a lie. The police here have no respect or value for officers who have spent time doing actual police work. A quote from a current sergeant was "It doesn't matter what you did, you're here now." Great leadership. I did my duties, signed up for extra responsibilities, volunteered for over 400 hours of overtime in the last fiscal year because we can't keep people to man posts anymore, I even moved my family for this agency and another lie was told to me. Myself, as well as many other officers have been passed over because we weren't "competitive" enough with the civilian workers. When you keep someone at an Entry Level grade when they have more time and experience than most of your low level sergeants and half of your command staff, it's a pretty morale and motivation killing thing. If I knew half of what I knew before I took this job, I would not have done it. Go anywhere else but this agency. They do not care about their officers and it will never change.

Pros

Clearance

Cons

Everything
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Decent First Job, Horrible Afterwards

When I was a Co-op student at Fort Meade, I participated in four rotations. Out of the four offices, I only loved the third office (Summer 2016). In fact, I was asked by my managers there to work an extra two weeks or so (might've been a month from what I remember) due to how much we got along. The fourth office (Summer 2017) was alright, but not much work was available to work on and there was an office romance going on with one of my mentors and a co-worker of his (they were already living together, but there was too much PDA going on in the office). The first two offices (Spring and Fall 2015) were terrible due to how abusive the managers were. If a manager disliked you, they would yell at you and admonish you whenever they got the chance. One of the mentors even smacked me on the back of the head after he assumed that I "was smoking weed" (I hardly got any sleep that night due to my commutes being 2.5 hours in the morning and 3.5 hours in the evening). As far as I know, he went unpunished (besides a smack on the wrist) due to the fact that I was a Co-op student. The other thing that I noticed when working at Fort Meade was that a lot of the office workers held disdain towards contractors. If you were a contractor (or a part-time employee), information important to your work was often withheld from you and you were treated like a 2nd class citizen. Xenophobia is definitely a problem that's rampant at Fort Meade. However, my 3rd office didn't have that problem due to the fact that the leaders there were actually mature human beings that didn't try to backstab you at any - 

Pros

Vacation Time, Decent Job Experience, Knowledge of Who to be and Who to not be Through Experience

Cons

Xenophobia (Contractors and Interns/Co-ops are HATED here), Immaturity, Lack of Progression Unless if you knew Someone
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Overall rating

Based on 261 reviews

Ratings by category

4.0 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
4.1 out of 5 stars for Compensation/Benefits
4.1 out of 5 stars for Job Security/Advancement
3.5 out of 5 stars for Management
3.7 out of 5 stars for Culture

Ratings from women

3.8
InHerSight Score
3.7Personal Development
4.1Career Opportunities
3.8Family Support
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