CIA Reviews

Updated Apr 29, 2021

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3.8
77%
Recommend to a Friend
CIA Director William Burns (no image)
William Burns
0 Rating
Pros
  • "Part of Something Greater, Serve the Nation, Great Benefits that get better as time goes on, Smart people to work with(in 6 reviews)

  • "Good benefits, excellent working environment(in 5 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Very intense, long hours, difficult to maintain social life(in 6 reviews)

  • "Salary doesn’t keep pace with private sector(in 5 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Fantastic people, mission and culture

      Feb 28, 2021 - Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) in Oakton, VA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Fast paced, exciting, unique experiences. Ability to travel Government benefits (pension, leave) Great exposure to futurism, trends, power makers

      Cons

      Stress, work-life trade offs Low pay for specialists compared to industry

      5 people found this review helpful
    2. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 8 years

      Fantastic Place to Work!

      Mar 1, 2019 - IT Project Manager in Arlington, VA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Meaningful mission, learning environment, dedicated workforce, varied requirements, team atmosphere.

      Cons

      Washington DC is exciting place to live but housing costs are high. Security Clearance takes quite a bit of time.

      Continue reading
      120 people found this review helpful
    3. 3.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      It fine overall

      Apr 29, 2021 - Manager 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Travel and some amazing experiences

      Cons

      It’s a massive government bureaucracy and all that entails

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    4. 1.0
      Current Employee, more than 8 years

      James bond, bourne, mission impossible is not exactly what it is.

      Nov 7, 2020 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Federal benefits. Fantastisch training. Learning about people. You are convinced you are a rockstar day 1.

      Cons

      You are underwhelmed with only hanging out with agency colleagues and will at some point fornicate with one another. Not everyone is out for each others back, remember you are taught to be resourceful... picture being in a room with ivy league kids with little grit and who try to out fox you. Learning about people with cool toys comes at a price, you have no privacy, and the most powerful Gov now has your story laundry. And that is power. The higher up you're able to make it the less positions there are. Think about this, what will that mean for you?. You are convinced you are like a movie star but...your not. You write, upload and do plethora of paper work f you're into high speed stuff go 1811 or go join the military and be a para military cutout. This is more about sitting and waiting. Yes mormonism is real. Like being congratualted but with awards you can't keep or have? Go ahead, but dont ask for pity when you are dissatisfied with the path you've chosen. If you like IT work as a contractor, same cool toys, same clearance, and you are still making connects and have endless exit opportunities, but to get a clearance you need military or alphabet soup exp.

      Continue reading
      11 people found this review helpful
    5. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Until the Agency is restructured from top to bottom, don't bother.

      Mar 5, 2021 - Cyber Security Analyst, Insider Threat Analyst in Washington, DC
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Some interesting work is being done, not that you can talk about it. The idea of working at the CIA seems more exciting than when you actually work there. You can serve your country and make an impact, but you won't be able to talk about it and the good feelings won't last.

      Cons

      The Agency is stuck in a way of operating that reflects a 20 century mindset. They will never, ever be able to change until their is a mandatory reduction in force of both leadership and management, minorities are put into leadership positions and management positions at an equal or greater amount than their white counterparts throughout the entire Agency. This would take an act of Congress and Executive Orders to restructure the Agency from the top down. A majority of the management at this Agency are secret white nationalists or white christian nationalists and silent supporters of far-right extremist ideologies (QAnon, ProudBois, OathKeepers and so on) that encouraged or in part directly involved in inciting others to violence on January 6 2021. The day President Obama was elected POTUS, a government employee working at this Agency stood on their desk and hung a noose from the ceiling panel. You'd think that this employee would be removed from his position of public trust but they are still working there today and were protected by management, “in the interest of national security”… This is the Agency that holds the most sensitive national secrets (and has proven time and again that they cannot secure them from being leaked - Vault 7) and is run by a cabal of both white nationalists and white christian nationalists whose only goal is to ensure they remain in power. If you are working there now, just take a look at your management chain from the directorate level on down to the chief level if you doubt this review. Observe the personalities of those managers and you'll see that they all look and act the same. They will say that they act a certain way in the interest of national security but it's a cleverly disguised ruse to maintain power, access to classified databases and persist with their designs for Agency control that give them added visibility into domestic affairs to further draw conspiratorial thinking from and prop-up white culture. These government employees abuse their position of trust by leaking information to conspiracy theory hosts like Alex Jones of InfoWars (who has publicly acknowledged receiving classified information from government employees) to continue spreading disinformation. Forward thinking managers do not last here. The leadership wants blind allegiance and 'acts' like they care about programs such as Agency Modernization, but they don't. Leadership and management pay lip service to initiatives like Agency Modernization and play along with as well as wait out Democratic administration on issues like information stove-piping. Once the White House flips to Republican control, the CIA reinstitute information stove-piping policies. The CIA is supposed to report to the DNI, but the DNI has no authority over the CIA to enforce -anything-. Government employees at the CIA consider the DNI to be a joke and often brag about how the DNI “cannot force us to do anything”. These same government employees end up being placed (through Joint Duty Assignments - JDA’s) to other Agencies within the IC, under cover to monitor and report on contractors and government employees that might pose national security risks. These under cover employees are almost always white (think and act like their white management and leadership) and cherry pick information they provide to their contacts back at the Agency. When these under cover employees send their reports back, they make up a story and fabricate lies about minority contractors or government employees. Contractors beware. If you are an Engineer, you are considered “a dime a dozen”. If you have specialized skills, you will be treated slightly better until you are of no use. This could mean working very long hours simply as an expectation of the position even though you weren’t told before taking the job. The government already knows what you’re making and will not care one bit if they work you literally to the point of physical or mental exhaustion since they are salty about not making as much them. Work life balance does not exist here. In order to work at this Agency a TS/SCI with FSP is required but you will come to regret using it the longer you were here. The culture of paranoia is real. Contractors rotate from one organization to another in large part due to incompetent government management that care more about their career ambitions than the mission. Government management that is over 90% white. Their Cyber Incident Response Team (CIRT) is an organization where careers go to die. The entire Cyber Security Group (CSG) that CIRT falls under is mismanaged and provides no significant value to the Agency but management doesn't care about that because they are told to keep the status quo which involves hiring and firing employees at a unprescedented rate. To the current CIA leadership, check the numbers and verify my comments. CSG is also a layover for problem government employees, on their way out by choice or otherwise. CSG produces garbage reporting on cyber activity (with no attribution or justification), and incomplete data from their tools (ArcSight, and Jira) which are outdated and do not work or integrate with other tools because the management does not want to hire somebody to fix the tools. Multiple IG investigation have been launched that identified clear instances of fraud waste and abuse (equipment and software sitting in storage for years after being bought), non-compliance with DoD security practices (failing multiple security assessments), and employee harassment claims being filed (management bullying, retaliation and intentionally sabotaging employees best efforts). The leadership breeds toxicity from the top down. Do not consider staying beyond more than 6 months, you’ll regret it. Any progress you think you’re making is an illusion. The Insider Threat team known as Knowledge Management Division (KMD) used to have an important mission but has been bastardized by inept and incompetent leadership after 2015. After 2015, inept and incompetent leadership transferred from CSG to KMD. ManTech has controlled the contract for over a decade and largely employs the group of contractors that have become complacent and unwilling to adapt. Hearing certain contractors say, “that’s not how we do things here,” is all too common. The members of Team 3 have held onto this contract with an iron grip and are only interested in presenting scalps to leadership / management so that they can secure contract renewal (and their jobs) year after year -at any cost-. Team 3 members have stacked bodies so high, their is truly no telling how many others they have sacrificed to retain their position of authority. Government employees have commented that Team 3 contrators, “literally have the entire Insider Threat program under their total and undisputed control with no checks and balances in place.” Team 3 oversees every other team (analysts, engineers, data processing, data outreach, software development, counterterrorism, ITAC - monitoring tool, etc.) within KMD. They are responsible for watching the employee population but spend more time trying to find ways to justify stories that fit a particular narrative of a case against an employee. Team 3 is the public face of the Insider Threat organization and refers to themselves as “the Gold standard” of the IC for Insider Threat but they follow their own rules and report to nobody. An analyst might find one indication of suspicious behavior that alone represents no significant security risk to the Agency, but Team 3 will literally make-up a story why that person is a security risk or claim they’re not suitable to maintain a security clearance, or provide flimsy evidence justifying their position (that would never hold up in a court of law). They might “submit” to a security assessment, but intentionally redirect assessors and omit information that would raise significant red flags to security assessors. When Team 3 makes a decision, nobody, not even government employees can countermand that decision. KMD and particularly Team 3 exist to keep the population growth of the Agency under control and secure the positions of white nationalists and white christian nationalists at the Agency. CIA leadership - check out the current demographics of the entire KMD group, verify my comments. The mentality at the CIA is that they are the single most important Agency to ever exist and that will ever exist in the IC because they have a direct line to the POTUS, and run the Presidential Daily Briefs (PDB). This air of superiority bleeds into every nook and cranny of the Agency. The type of people that supported Trump blindly, rioted, lead an insurrection at the Capitol are currently working in corners of the CIA with access to such sensitive national security information that they pose a grave and immediate threat to the country as whole and are likely responsible for coordinating the events of January 6 2021. These people will not be investigated because they know how to evade detection. Don't take my word for it. Research how much effort the CIA spends on inclusion and diversity. Check out their hiring practices - personality types they seek, age groups they target, LGTBQ+ Agency representation, minority outreach, employee retention and employee satisfaction (that aren’t pumped with false data). You’ll know changes are being made when the management and leadership of the CIA changes from all white to representing a tapestry that reflects the demographic make-up of the entire United States, don’t hold your breath otherwise. Undiagnosed psychotics, psychopaths and sycophants obsessed with power, the accumulation of and centralization of power are responsible for protecting the United States from threats both foreign and domestic… how about that… Bottom line up front is, don’t bother with this Agency as a contractor or government employee. They don’t deserve you, you won’t enjoy it, they will suck the decency and love out of your very being with their paranoid delusions and conspiracy thinking, negatively impact your mental health and you might become suicidal if you stay here for any length of time. Remember, the leadership and management is all white and likely white nationalists, white christian nationalists or both. They don’t want you there either and until they’re forced to GTFO it’s not a place you want to be. Enjoy your life and save yourself the headache of working for a house of mirrors, it really is not worth it.

      Continue reading
      9 people found this review helpful
    6. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 10 years

      Experience of a Lifetime!

      Dec 4, 2020 - Senior Intelligence Officer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      1. The joy of protecting the US; 2. Serving something greater than yourself; 3. International travel and experience; 4. Tight knit brotherhood/sisterhood; 5. Excellent benefits.

      Cons

      1. Long hours; 2. Sometimes you have to work with people that should have left years ago.

      Continue reading
      4 people found this review helpful
    7. 5.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Great Organization

      Jan 20, 2021 - Clandestine Service Trainee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great Mission. Best people you'll ever work with/for.

      Cons

      Not family friendly until much later in your career

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    8. 5.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Great place to Work

      Jan 16, 2021 - Financial Analyst in McLean, VA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great learning experience no regrets

      Cons

      None, it was really great

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    9. 4.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Great

      Dec 7, 2020 - Prefer Not to Say in Kansas City, MO
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Never a dull moment, fun

      Cons

      Scary at times, have to keep secret

      1 person found this review helpful
    10. 1.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      It sucks

      Feb 10, 2021 - Software Developer in Los Angeles, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      get to destroy other countries

      Cons

      bad food in the cafeteria

      1 person found this review helpful
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