CIA
3.7 of 5 24 reviews
www.cia.gov Washington, DC

CIA Reviews

Updated Apr 10, 2014

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3.7 24 reviews

                             

67% Approve of the CEO

CIA Acting Director Michael J. Morell

Michael J. Morell

(3 ratings)

63% of employees recommend this company to a friend
24 Employee Reviews
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3 people found this helpful  

Positive working environment.

Intelligence Analyst (Current Employee)
McLean, VA

I have been working at CIA full-time for more than a year

ProsStable pay, easily the most fascinating work content in the world, proximity to key decision-makers, relevance to substantive academic/extra-professional interests, emphasis on training and professional development.

ConsRestrictive information environment, clear hierarchy of professional promotion and advancement, limited exposure to relevant extra-professional opportunities, due to security restrictions. Additionally, up-front expectation of long-term career commitment limits exposure/motivation to pursue professional opportunities in distinct sectors.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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4 people found this helpful  

Interesting, but you can't tell anyone about it.

Analyst Student Trainee (Intern) (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at CIA

ProsAt the CIA, you feel like you do work that actually makes a difference. They have a structured training program and hold different classes and seminars at least once a week, usually at the main headquarters. Because there are so many employees, there are groups and clubs within the organization for special interests such as Mandarin practice. Their salary is competitive and you are surrounded by hard-working, good people.

ConsYou have to lie to almost everyone about what you do for a living or how your day was at work. You cannot have friends from certain countries. If you will be staying in the same house/room with a non-US citizen, you must report it and have it approved in advanced.

Advice to Senior ManagementOrganize the recruitment stage better and communicate more with those you're recruiting. Develop more social programs for the interns. Hold more events in offices other than headquarters.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Glorified journalist.

Senior Analyst (Current Employee)
Bethesda, MD

I have been working at CIA

ProsServing your country.
Relative job security.
Good stepping stone for international relations majors to other analyst jobs.
D.C. Area is a great place to work and network

ConsMost intelligence is open source( newspapers) so it's not as glamorous as its made out to be
Office politics
No one will read what you compile

Advice to Senior ManagementImprove intelligence sharing protocol.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

Excellent experience, great career, great mission, superb opportunity to serve the nation.

Deputy Group Director (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at CIA

ProsMeaningful mission.
Rewards if one works hard, does well, and is a little lucky.
Meeting phenomenal people who put mission and country before self and money.

ConsPoor management at senior levels is not recognized and corrected.
Constant reorganization and movement of people.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to the work force - ask questions of the work force.

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5 people found this helpful  

good for tenure, opportunities to move around, flex schedule; not great with advancement or longterm work-life balance

Analyst (Current Employee)
McLean, VA

I have been working at CIA

Proschallenging, interesting, motivating work with chances to transfer internally over a career to try whatever you're interested in. lots of enthusiastic young people make for an invigorating team in most areas. management officially supports flexible schedules, professional growth through academic or personal research or language training, some chances to travel depending on your work. pay seems good at the starting levels for recent college/graduate school hires, but promises of rapid advancement are contingent on long hours and taking on high-profile but limited projects in many offices.

ConsHiring overload of the past decade means lots of talented young people fighting for management recognition to gain promotion to higher grades, limited number of experienced "senior" mentors to teach all the new people. Senior members of teams and offices have their pick of projects, travel, and high-level rotations. Management overwhelmed by their workload makes it a tough career path although offers better chances of promotion. Short-term they support balance and flexibility but long-term being in the office less hours or at "off" hours means less recognition, like most places.

Advice to Senior ManagementMore consistent recognition of staff's efforts, knowledge building, an long-term goals would help make them feel they're not hired only to get the job done today with little interest in next year.

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8 people found this helpful  

Behind the Times and Slow to Catch Up

Senior Analyst (Current Employee)
McLean, VA

I have been working at CIA

Pros--Job security, especially in an uncertain economy
--Great benefits, including pension with employer contributions
--Good work/life balance
--Opportunities to do different jobs and kinds of work, including living and working overseas
--Training and travel opportunities
--Well-educated and smart colleagues

Cons--Mediocre and unprofessional management
--Bureaucratic mindset among analysts and managers
--Obsession with "chasing the news" and little focus on real analysis
--Satisfied with mediocre written products
--Closed-minded and unwilling to consider new and different ideas
--A good ten years behind the times in utilizing new technologies and processes for the general workforce

Advice to Senior Management--Stop rewarding and promoting managers who only care about looking good to their seniors and reward and promote managers who strive to develop their analysts
--Train analysts to be generalists first and specialists second; too many analysts are so focused on the trees that they don't see the forest, which probably will result in another big intelligence failure

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9 people found this helpful  

A fun place to be, but don't make it a career.

Intelligence Analyst (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at CIA

ProsAbsolutely a sense of mission with some really motivated people. Some very cool jobs available. You feel your job is very important, and that you're really doing something that matters. Absolutely no chance of getting fired unless you do something horrible like racially or sexually harass someone. If you want a 30-year employers with many different types of jobs, CIA is great.

ConsMany levels of management are almost uniformly awful. All levels of employees are constantly sent to BS training courses. Managers seem to spend half their time in management training courses which are clearly counter productive. Bureaucracy as expected of any federal government agency.

The absolute worst thing for me was that the best and the worst employees were treated exactly the same in many cases. Same salary, same job titles, same seniority. Need a way to weed out horrible employees.

Advice to Senior ManagementLearn how to WEED OUT bad managers (and bad employees). Since nobody is ever, EVER fired, it seems as if the employees who suck at their jobs become managers. Upper management in my experience was mostly professional and competent. Team level and middle managers were very mixed--some good, some REALLY bad. Management is not the place for passive aggressive introverts with poor people skills.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

Great sense of mission, with some neat opportunities available, but bureaucracy is a drag.

Intelligence Analyst (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at CIA

ProsStable job. Great sense of mission. Get to know some cool stuff. Some great opportunities to do exciting things. Stable salary increases with annual COLA.

ConsGiant bureaucracy. Bad middle management. Career sometimes driven by external events (world affairs). Can miss opportunities to do cool stuff because of bureaucratic obstacles.

Advice to Senior ManagementPromote people and dispense opportunities more on merit rather than time served to improve morale.

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only one problem i ran into involving g h w bush

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at CIA

Prosi finally feel that i am amongst my peers

Consnot enough face to face time with real human beings only this lousy computer

Advice to Senior Managementi started out as a seaman recruit and am now a rear admiral lower half so never ever overlook and be prejudgemental

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1 person found this helpful  

Too demanding

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at CIA as an intern

ProsPrestigious I guess, but not glam

ConsToo little pay, too much demand to change lifestyle

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at CIA reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for CIA CEO Michael J. Morell. All 24 reviews posted anonymously by CIA employees.