(My undergrad research assistant, McKenzie Rowland, and I are in the process of updating a series of posts I did back in 2009 called "How To Get A Job In Intelligence". As part of her research, she took a detailed look at the career websites of all of the US national security intelligence organizations. Her very useful analysis and comments are below.)
When searching for a job in intelligence, one of the first places many people look is USAJobs.gov. This site lists many postings for a number of agencies and features an advanced job search tool that allows you to filter and refine results.
While USAJobs makes the search process much more straightforward, it should not be the be-all and end-all for job hunting within intelligence agencies. There are plenty of other alternative search engines and sites to consider, such as agency websites, when searching for intelligence-related careers, many of which yield more favorable results.
The matrix below displays yesterday's search results for the word “analyst” on both the websites of members of the Intelligence Community and the USAJobs section for that intelligence organization (Note: These search results are not indicative of the complete availability of jobs for either the organizations listed or for USAJobs. Furthermore, results may change over time.).
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA): While the DIA’s general job postings do overlap to an extent with USAJobs, the DIA Jobs site lists several positions that USAJobs does not. DIA’s job site also gives very detailed information for each individual posting, such as the “job family,” which allows you to quickly sort through positions relevant to you.
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA): For the NGA, it is more advantageous to search for open positions on their website. Similar to the DIA, many of the jobs listed here are not available on USAJobs, so it is important to visit NGA’s career page to avoid missing out on potentially relevant job postings.
National Security Agency (NSA): For the NSA, you are almost certainly better off searching for jobs through this agency’s job site, as USAJobs does not list any positions for this agency.
Category 2 Sites
Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI): The ODNI lists job vacancies directly on their page, but applicants are redirected to USAJobs for the majority of available positions. (Investigative Analysis is an exception here, as you can only apply for this job through ODNI’s recruitment office.) USAJobs does, however, list a couple of analyst positions that the ODNI’s job site does not.
Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence: When you search and apply for a job on DOE’s site, you’re almost immediately redirected to USAJobs. While the DOE has a job searching page with detailed descriptions of each position, I’ve found that you are actually better off searching USAJobs for open positions. Upon searching for “analyst” on DOE’s site, I discovered that many of the analyst jobs were already filled, and that USAJobs seems to filter these available positions better than DOE. For more information on the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, you can visit their website here.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Intelligence and Analysis: When searching within the DHS main site for jobs, it redirects you to their section on the USAJobs site, dhs.usajobs.gov. You do, however, have the ability to narrow down your search by skill, component, or location on DHS’ site before you are redirected to USAJobs. For more information on the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, you can visit their website here.
Department of State (DOS), Intelligence and Research: While the DOS career page offers information about positions such as foreign and civil service officers, all actual job searches must be conducted through USAJobs. For more information on the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, you can visit their website here.
Department of Treasury (DOT), Office of Intelligence and Analysis: For the DOT, all job searches are redirected to the USAJobs section for DOT, treasury.usajobs.gov. The site does, however, give links to the career pages of the 10 bureaus and services under the DOT. For more information on the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, you can visit their website here.
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA): For the DEA, all job searches and applications must be conducted through USAJobs at dea.usajobs.gov. If you’re having any trouble setting up your USAJobs account or have questions regarding careers with the DEA, this career page includes ample support and information on the application process.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): The FBI website is useful if you’d like to learn more about careers within the FBI before you apply, and also contains a link to a page specifically for interns and college students. When applying for a job on their page, however, FBI Jobs redirects you the Bureau’s USAJobs section, fbi.usajobs.gov, which solely displays results for postings from the FBI. This is particularly convenient for when you actually want to search for a specific position within the FBI instead of just finding information about it, as FBI.gov does not have a search engine tool of its own.
U.S. Air Force (USAF), Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance: Currently, there are no actual applications available on the Air Force’s site, but their career page does provide useful information on different jobs and duties within the Air Force. In this case, it is most beneficial to search USAJobs for openings. For more information on Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, you can visit their website here.
U.S. Army, Army Military Intelligence: The Army’s Career Management page is designed for both enlisted and civilian individuals searching for a job in the Army. Civilian career opportunities are posted on USAJobs, which you can search for using armycivilianservice.usajobs.gov. For more information on Army Military Intelligence, you can visit their website here.
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Coast Guard Intelligence: For reserve and enlisted careers within the Coast Guard, you can search within the site for recruiters and available positions near you. When applying for civilian careers, however, the site redirects you to a page on USAJobs of results for the Coast Guard. But before applying for actual positions, you may want to take a look at the Coast Guard’s career page that gives descriptions of all job types. For more information on Coast Guard Intelligence, you can visit their website here.
U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), Marine Corps Intelligence Activity: Similar to the Army’s career page, civilian positions are not listed directly on the Marine Corps’ site, and USAJobs provides the most filtered search results for specific openings. For more information on the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, you can visit their website here.
U.S. Navy, Naval Intelligence: While no job searching tool exists on the Navy’s career page and searches are conducted solely through USAJobs, the Navy’s career page provides very detailed information on the many different disciplines and career paths you can choose. For information on the Office of Naval Intelligence, you can visit their website here.
Category 3 Sites
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): The CIA’s career site doesn’t list specific job postings and does not have any positions posted on USAJobs. To apply for a job, you must fill out an online application through their site once you’ve found the type of job you’re interested in. You then create an account, add that job to your “job cart” (limit 4 jobs, and your account terminates within 3 days, so act fast!) and begin the application process. If you don’t really know what you’re looking for, though, the Job Fit Tool matches you with potential career paths based on a series of questions and can provide a good starting point for searching.
National Reconnaissance Office (NRO): The NRO is an exception to the other job search tools within agency sites. Due to the nature of this organization, the careers page only contains links to the career pages of the agencies that collectively make up the NRO; their website suggests that you take a look at those websites instead.
Last Bit Of Advice...
All in all, USAJobs can be highly useful for many intelligence job searches, but it shouldn’t always be used as the primary job search engine--explore your other options!