NSA

www.nsa.gov

NSA Reviews

Updated January 4, 2015
Updated January 4, 2015
32 Reviews
3.4
32 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
NSA Director General Keith B. Alexander
General Keith B. Alexander
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great hours, great work-life balance, and interesting projects. Poor job satisfaction.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Management
    Former Employee - Project Management

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

    Pros

    - work-life-balance
    - benefits
    - locations
    - community environment

    Cons

    - job satisfaction
    - you tend to feel like a government slug
    - not being able to discuss your job out side of work

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Government at its worst...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Unique mission, occasionally intellectually stimulating, diverse workforce, travel opportunities, career changes available and encouraged if you're not happy with your current tract.

    Cons

    Terrible pay for anyone that doesn't play "the game", few promotions, fewer awards, little recognition, poor moral (and declining since 2009), bad management, inefficient government processes, dirty politics (internal and from executive), death by a million cuts from just a generally lousy working environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop paying attention to the GS 13+ and listen to your 12's and lower. They do the work. Put leadership through leadership training and take care of your work horses. Find a way to enable the removal of bad apples - too much red tape prohibits the removal of non-performers that drag the rest of the organizations down.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Meaningful work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Signals Analyst
    Current Employee - Signals Analyst

    I have been working at NSA as an intern (more than a year)

    Pros

    The Atmosphere is more relaxed than one would expect.
    There are plenty of opportunities to grow.
    Professional Leadership who know are good at their jobs appears to me the norm more often than the exception.

    Cons

    Learn as you go, very fast paced so you really need to be able to hit the ground running.
    Schedules tend to fluctuate a lot, flexibility is a must.
    Had to share desk space.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    I had a great time with the company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Police Officer in Fort Meade, MD
    Former Employee - Police Officer in Fort Meade, MD

    I worked at NSA full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are a lot of opportunities here

    Cons

    Some of the senior management could be better.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Cyber Analyst/IT

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at NSA

    Pros

    Excellent place to work and grow professionally if you are one of the "special" ones (applied to most of the technical fields).

    Cons

    Politics, lots of back stabbing, old boys club in desirable offices, if you are not ex-military, hard to get promoted, if you are not in a career development program - your career is dead, certain groups (College alumni, ex-military, by age, etc) take care of their friends - College degrees and certifications does nothing special for your career, pass a certain age - your career is dead, promotions and assignments are given out by who likes you or what you can do to help them get promoted.

  7.  

    Employed at NSA for one tour of duty 3 years

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Fort George G Meade, MD
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Fort George G Meade, MD

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

    Pros

    Pay and job security. Professional personnel. All the personnel I worked with are very technical and good doing performing their duties.

    Cons

    The agency is very big and can be challenging to navigate finding contacts to support your task. However, when you do find contacts to support your tasks, you do received excellent support.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fantastic mission, horrendous (mis)management, decrepit facilities, still hard to leave.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at NSA full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    At the NSA, the authorities and diversity of work are unparalleled. The NSA employs some of the brightest, most creative computer scientists, engineers, and analysts in the world. Although promotions are slow and are not usually linked to year-to-year performance, advancement is a real option, and after the initial years the pay is decent.

    Cons

    The management. The lack of parking. The decrepit facilities. The location. The political fallout from recent events.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pretend to value employees.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great experience to close out a military career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Team Chief in Fort Meade, MD
    Current Employee - Team Chief in Fort Meade, MD

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

    Pros

    The organization has an exceptionally complex and challenging mission, that spans a huge array of opportunities including Signals Intelligence, Information Assurance, Research (more PhD mathematicians than anywhere else in the world), Technology, Logistics, and a huge array of support and enabling functions. Despite the characterization by the media, they continue to operate legally, with supervision by all three branches of government, and I am just as proud to have been part of the team here as I was to be in the 82nd Airborne, the Ranger Regiment, or any other assignment I had in 16 years prior to coming to the NSA. The jobs here and the locations are so diverse that one can literally do a career reinvention, numerous times, and stay under their employ.

    Cons

    Like any large organization, there are always challenges with lack of agility and layers of management (I use that word conspicuously instead of leadership) that may be excessive. Younger employees earlier in their career may find working there tough in high expense areas as the wage scale is more modest early in one's career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I've shared it all to them internally! Listen to the Director - accountability and leadership are where everything starts - success...or failure.

    Recommends
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    DOD

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Columbia, MD

    I worked at NSA full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Job security, excellent time-off. Mission impact. Education benefits are great (full reimbursement, time-off). Entry-level pay is closer to equality.

    Cons

    Process and management inhibit mission. Pay does not match market (as low as 60% of what you can get as a contractor).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay normality vs contractors. More words to meet review minimum...

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Leaves alot to be desired but has so much potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fort Meade, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fort Meade, MD

    I worked at NSA (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Benefits, pay is pretty decent, great place for folks with a technical background

    Cons

    "Office politics", little room for growth/advancement, management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put more effort into Employee Morale and learn more about interpersonal and communication skills

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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