There are newer employer reviews for NSA
There are newer employer reviews for NSA

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Helpful (5)

The Big Leagues

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Odenton, MD
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Odenton, MD
Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

I worked at NSA full-time (More than a year)

Pros

The NSA is a true professional organization. Their body of work largly speaks for itself and is the reason that they dominate when funding is appropriated for defense purposes. If you are or want to become an expert in your field of study, the NSA has great opportunities.

Cons

The massive bureaucracy present in any large organization is also a part of the NSA. Paperwork is typically an additional duty of most employees, so be prepared for it. The NSA pays competitively but often the salary does not reflect the extremely high cost of living at certain locations, namely the D.C. Metro Area.

Advice to Management

It's more difficult to operate efficiently if the American people don't trust you. The NSA needs to become as transparent as possible to really get back in the game. Paying for a top-notch PR team wouldn't hurt either.

Other Employee Reviews for NSA

  1. Helpful (8)

    Process driven, not goal driven

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at NSA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Access to world-class technology. A lot of bright people (in the science and technology areas). Interesting problems. Reasonable IT support and very good work life balance.

    Cons

    Very low quality workforce overall. At times NSA employment feels like welfare for ex-military who couldn't get better jobs. Moreover, because there are too many employees, we cannot reward the highest performers with a reasonable salary. Additionally, there is a serious lack of quality leadership at the moment--problems tend to fester for months and years without resolution because people are afraid to make hard decisions. As a result, the workforce is very process driven, not goal driven. People just don't set goals; instead, they tend to want to do the same things day in and day out. Getting stuck in a career rut is desirable for a lot of employees. Definitely not the place a motivated, ambitious young person wants to find themselves.

    Advice to Management

    Reduce the size of the workforce by about a quarter. Weed out stagnation. Push people harder. Seriously overall the financial incentive structures to give meaningful recognition for good work.


  2. Helpful (2)

    It depends.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Fort Meade, MD
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Fort Meade, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NSA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Interesting problem domain. Opportunities for travel. It's also very easy to leave work at work, so work/life balance is pretty good. Educational opportunities exist--go back to school if you can.

    Cons

    Below-market compensation for high-tech careers. Slow advancement for everybody. No cost-of-living adjustments in 2011 or 2012. The federal political gridlock of the time is also eroding morale. Even in the suburbs, rent is pretty expensive. Hit-or-miss parking, depending on building.

    Advice to Management

    In general, try to avoid hit-and-run style management: swooping in on someone once or twice a year to inform them you didn't really need their project in the first place. This tends to breed alienation.


There are newer employer reviews for NSA
There are newer employer reviews for NSA

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