(Please Do Not Apply Until You Have Read This Entire Job Advertisement)
Would you like to spend next summer developing real-world technical solutions and/or working in an operational foreign intelligence collection-related assignment to acquire data critical to the security of our country? Does the prospect of applying your computer, technical, analytic, mathematical, engineering, data science, social science, communication, problem solving, and/or critical thinking skills to the National Security Agency's Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) mission intrigue you? Are you a currently enrolled college freshman, sophomore, junior or a senior intending to pursue a Master's degree in the same major as your undergraduate studies? If you answered -yes- to these questions, you could be one of the next Signals Intelligence Collection Program (SICP) summer interns in spring of 2021 directly supporting the United States Intelligence Community.
About the Program
NSA's SICP provides outstanding college students the opportunity to support NSA as a salaried intern during their college summers. The SICP has traditionally selected college students pursuing computer science, computer engineering, or related STEM degrees who would work on projects involving the development, production and modification of tools, software applications and/or hardware. The SICP now also looks for students who are computer savvy but may not be overly focused in a technical curriculum who, nevertheless, have the ability to apply their learning and skills to assist in technical development or operational scenarios. Students will have the opportunity to leverage their skills to support the development of collection strategies across a vast architecture, implement mission initiatives in accordance with lawful compliance, manage collection tasks, and understand critical mission data flows. SICP interns are mentored by experienced SIGINT professionals who conduct SIGINT collection operations and/or build and modify state-of-the-art collection capabilities. SICP interns will also have the opportunity to discover various career paths they could pursue in the future as full-time NSA employees. Finally, the friendships and networks SICP interns build during their tour can last a lifetime.
This "earn while you learn" opportunity provides hands-on, real-world work experience on projects and operational assignments are based on a student's: learning, skills and experience; faculty/employer recommendations; extracurricular activities; and academic achievement. SICP Interns are hired into a temporary appointment status for a total of no more than 12 weeks. The SICP traditionally runs from the end of May through mid-August. Competition to become a SICP intern starts with each student submitting a complete, precise and informative application packet (See below). Returning interns from previous years must submit new employment and security applications.
Student applications will be evaluated based on the various projects or assignments requirements submitted by the sponsoring NSA organizations. Depending on the type of project/assignment for which you are considered, learning and proficiency in a number of technical disciplines plus your interview results will be evaluated during this selection process. The list below contains examples of some of the skills that could be required, depending on the project/assignment for which he intern is selected:
- Web development experience using such tools as: HTML, CSS, PHP, etc.;
- Engineering skills involving Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) development, Hardware Descriptive Language (HDL) syntax, VHDL, or Verilog experience, Digital Logic Design and Verification (State Machines, Pipelining, Test Benches, etc.), etc.;
- Programming on Linux OS, Windows, OS X , Android, iOS, etc.;
- Basic experience with repository source control systems such as SVN, GIT, Beanstalk, etc.
- Knowledge of Refactoring Analytics;
- Data Analytics and algorithm development; use of Apache Hadoop/Pig; statistical modeling; datamining/analysis; network modeling; and similar tools for big data;
- Familiarization with Cloud, Containerization and Big Data Technologies using tools such as AWS, Ansible, MS Azure, Puppet, Docker, Kubernetes, etc.
- Working knowledge and competencies in telecommunications, computers, networks, and the internet;
- Computer skills (some programming) w/Political Science, International Relations, Area Studies, Geospatial Studies, Telecommunications, Economics, etc.;
- Understanding of digital networking analysis and tools such as IPv6, HTTP, TCP/IP, CCNA Certs, etc.;
- Radio frequency and waveform analysis knowledge and experience as well as SDR and GNU learning;
- Database development and storage using such tools such as SQL, MySQL, MongoDB, Oracle, RDL, etc.;
- Mathematics competencies in areas such as Algebra, Number Theory, Calculus, Probability, Logic, Applied Mathematics, Data Science, etc.;
- Cyber Security tools and applications experience for example, Wireshark, VMware, Kali Linux, etc., Reverse engineering and computer forensics knowledge and experience;
- Understanding of data flow diagrams; familiarization with system engineering processes; using tools such as Camero and Kibana;
- High Performance Computing (HPC) analytic and software skills and experience.
- Sound writing and interpersonal communication learning and skills;
- Problem-solving and critical thinking skills that support actively and competently conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.
Of course, not all of these skills are required for each candidate, but they are provided to give applicants a flavor of the competences that can be necessary to successfully complete the various projects/assignments available.
While the majority of positions available are at Ft Meade, MD, we have a few available positions at our sites in Colorado and Utah. If you are interested in positions at either of those locations, please ensure you reflect that in your resume.
*Program may be subject to change.*
Salary - Interns are paid a competitive salary commensurate with their education level.
Benefits - Interns will:
- Receive annual leave, sick leave, time-off for morale building activities and paid federal holidays during the internship;
- Be permitted to participate in agency-wide extracurricular programs;
- Be eligible for round-trip air fare to and from school or privately-owned vehicle (POV) mileage reimbursement up to the cost of a government-issued airline ticket if they attend schools beyond a 75 mile radius of their assigned facility; and,
- Be eligible to request subsidized housing accommodations if their school is located beyond a 75 mile radius their assigned facility.
Note: Daily transportation to and from work is neither provided nor reimbursed. Students participating in the program are highly encouraged to bring their POV. Carpooling with other students MAY be available but is NOT guaranteed.
Work Schedule- Interns generally work Monday to Friday, eight hours per day. Flexible work schedules and credit hours are available.
Join students from across the country and lend your knowledge to national security in one of NSA's over 25 summer internship programs. These 12 week paid programs run from May/June to August/September. The Signals Intelligence Collections Program (SICP) is open to undergraduate freshman, sophomores or juniors (at time of application). The SICP internship is looking for college students pursuing computer science, computer engineering, or related STEM degrees who would work on projects involving the development, production and modification of tools, software applications and/or hardware.
To be accepted into the SICP, candidates must:
- Be a U.S. citizen;
- Be eligible to be granted a TS/SCI/TK security clearance after successfully completing a background investigation that includes passing a Full-Scope Polygraph and a Psychological Evaluation;
- Preferred cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for all college work completed;
- Be a currently enrolled college freshman, sophomore or junior at time of application. Those entering their Senior year at time of application cannot be considered unless they are immediately entering graduate school in the fall of 2021 pursuing the same major;
- Be available for operational and technical interviews and other applicable processing, both in-person and via telephone/internet, between the months of November 2020 and March 2021;
- Be pursuing a major in fields related to Computer Science, Electrical and/or Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Data Science, Physics or Information Systems; or fields such as Political Science, Area Studies, International Relations, History, Telecommunications, etc., along with a minor in computer science or having demonstrated some computer programming competence.
- Prior SIGINT experience gained through the military or prior internships are regarded as desirable but not mandatory.
- Should you not fit the profile above or cannot commit to submitting an entire application package, we strongly encourage you to apply to a better fitting intern program other than the SICP.
To be considered for the Signals Intelligence Collection Program, you must submit a complete application package between 01 September and 31 October 2020. Any part of the required application documentation not received by the closing date will result in the application being closed-out. The application package consists of:
- An Online Resume on the NSA.gov Website:
- Press on the "Job Search/Apply" Tab at the top of the page.
- Select "National Security Agency."
- To apply, click the arrow next to the words, "Ready to Apply?"
- In the search box, type keywords "Signals Intelligence Collection Program."
- Click on "Search" and select "Signals Intelligence Collection Program." Click "Apply" and follow the directions as prompted. Make sure you hit save at the end of each section.
- Resume Objective (DO NOT LEAVE BLANK):
- Provide your motivation for applying to the SICP relative to your future professional, personal, and academic goals. Make a case as to why this program will be good for you how NSA can benefit as well, especially in a long-term investment.
- Work Experience:
- There's no need to enter "Unemployed" for the present as it is assumed your are a full-time college student, unless are also working;
- Your past and current work experience employment (including volunteer work); and,
- Your extracurricular and school activities relevant to this internship.
- High School and College Education History:
- Enter your high school education information requested in the template;
- Current college/university, current major(s), minors, expected degree and graduation date, cumulative GPA and hours of credit earned.
- Previous degrees, college/university attended, major, graduation date, overall GPA (if applicable);
- If completing undergraduate degree in May 2021 and immediately pursuing graduate school, include your university information, projected degree and projected graduation date. (The candidate must provide proof of admittance before starting as an intern on the SICP.)
- Job Training:
- You should list relevant college/training courses taken that relate to the field in which you desire to focus your internship; and,
- If you already know your spring 2021 Semester courses that might be relevant to the application, please list them here in addition to your fall 2020 Semester courses.
- Licenses and Certifications:
- List any relevant licenses and certifications you have earned (excluding driver's license); for example, CCNA certification.
- Your relevant foreign languages and whether you have been tested (computer languages should be listed in "Other Professional details").
- Other Professional Details:
- DO NOT INSERT A COVER LETTER HERE - one is not required for the SICP.
- Please provide in bullet format any information about you that you want us to know that is not already captured. Your proficiency levels in any/all computer programming languages, operating systems, specific application(s), network tools and applications, web apps and tools, cloud knowledge, cybersecurity tools, database tools and apps, mathematics disciplines, general computer skill level, and/or any of the social science subjects mentioned above. Other interesting facts about you are also welcome here such as honors, activities, publications, awards, scholarships, competitions, and student teaching or any other capabilities they you have that provide insights about you to better evaluate your application positively.
- Business-type Resume:
- A second business-type resume that highlights: Education details (including GPA); Related Coursework; Technical Skills and level of competence (i.e., Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced); Projects or Competitions; Relevant Work/Volunteer Experience in chronological order; Professional/Honors/Service Organizations; and Extracurricular/Outside Activities.
- Official Transcripts may be issued directly by the Registrar, or issued to you by the Registrar, and then sent with your application materials. Only originals via post, photocopies of originals via post, scanned copies of originals via e-mail (PDF format only) will be accepted. If your Registrar is capable of directly sending electronic transcripts, you are asked to have them sent directly to you and then e-mailed (PDF) to us as an attachment by you. You should not send hyperlinks for transcripts that are only accessible via a website with a password or text versions thereof. We may ask for additional transcripts after the fall 2020 and spring 2021 Semesters end depending on your progress in the selection process.
- Two Recent Letters of Recommendation (LOR):
- Two separate LORs are highly desired and must have been written and signed in 2020 on an institution's/company's official letterhead. If you applied last year's SICP (FY 2020), your existing LORs will suffice. Keep in mind that you should identify and engage with professors and/or former bosses you intend to leverage for LORs as soon as possible, preferably as soon as you complete reading this announcement. While we know many students are portrayed as "outstanding" in the LORs, we are looking for examples and magnification of learning, skills, experience, capabilities and successes. The more we know about you, the better your chances. Authors may e-mail LORs directly to [Click Here to Email Your Resumé].
IMPORTANT: When applying online, you may only submit the online resume by 31 Oct 2020. Please email all other required documentation to [Click Here to Email Your Resumé]. It is absolutely imperative that complete application packages (i.e., Application resume using the NSA online resume builder (See above), a business/college resume, a current transcript(s) covering all completed college work, and two recent LORs) arrive to the SICP Program Management Team (PMT) on/or before October 15th. If you apply to other programs you must separately e-mail your documents to [Click Here to Email Your Resumé]. If these documents are not received by the SICP PMT by 31 October, your application will be closed-out. Documents (including transcripts) will NOT be shared between programs.
If you have specific questions about the Signals Intelligence Collection Program, please contact us at the e-mail address [Click Here to Email Your Resumé] or call 443-654-9302. For questions or concerns with the application/applying, please email [Click Here to Email Your Resumé] or call 410-854-4726 or 1-844-ICHIRES.
U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants. Reasonable accommodations are provided to applicants with disabilities during the application and hiring process where appropriate. NSA is an equal opportunity employer and abides by applicable employment laws and regulations. All applicants and employees are subject to random drug testing in accordance with Executive Order 12564. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a security background investigation and polygraph.
This position is a Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) position in the Excepted Service under 10 U.S.C. 1601. DoD Components with DCIPS positions apply Veterans' Preference to eligible candidates as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 USC, in accordance with the procedures provided in DoD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 2005, DCIPS Employment and Placement. If you are a veteran claiming veterans' preference, as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 U.S.C., you may be asked to submit documents verifying your eligibility.
The National Security Agency (NSA) is part of the DoD Intelligence Community Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). All positions in the NSA are in the Excepted Services under 10 United States Codes (USC) 1601 appointment authority.