CIA Reviews | Glassdoor

CIA Reviews

Updated November 9, 2017
64 reviews

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64 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Part of Something Greater, Serve the Nation, Great Benefits that get better as time goes on, Smart people to work with (in 5 reviews)

  • Interesting work, high impact, passionate colleagues, travel and training opportunities (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Long hours, work is sometimes tedious (in 4 reviews)

  • Working in a classified environment can affect work efficiency and personal life (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (9)

    "Amazing Work, Poor Culture"

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

    I worked at CIA full-time

    Pros

    Some of the smartest, most dedicated people you'll ever work with. There's nothing like the sense of accomplishment you get when something you did has real impact. The work itself is extremely important and endlessly fascinating.

    Cons

    It's a big, clunky bureaucracy. There's a sense "competitive martyrdom"--i.e. the sense that the more of your personal life you sacrifice, the more committed you are. There's really no allowance for a family life. The Agency and the mission come first. Everything else is expected to be a distant second.

    Advice to Management

    HR needs to be re-built from scratch. The Agency as a whole also needs to adapt to the reality that employees have a life outside of work and that is important to keep them performing well. Additionally, the pay system needs to be scrapped. The current system pushes everyone to the middle because there is no pay for performance or benefit for taking on more responsibility.


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Deputy Director Talent Development"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Deputy Director in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Deputy Director in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CIA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Incredible mission, most talented workforce, satisfying careers

    Cons

    Need for secrecy prevents real story from being told to the public

    Advice to Management

    Never change a winning strategy - keep on modernizing

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Analyst intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great environment to be surrounding by hard working and intelligent people. Learned something new everyday and was thrilling to be part of such important matters

    Cons

    Very intense, long hours, difficult to maintain social life. All in all not the correct lifestyle for me but works for some people

    Advice to Management

    Hard to give advice to the entire United States government. Very cool to work directly with high ranking officials


  4. "Program Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Program Management in Herndon, VA
    Former Employee - Senior Program Management in Herndon, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at CIA (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great Learning Experience and exposure to many types of technology

    Cons

    Limited Growth Potential for long term employees

    Advice to Management

    None


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Jaded and Burnt Out"

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

    Pros

    Great mission tackling the most pressing national security challenges. Great training and ability to manage early and often in your career if that is what you want.

    Cons

    Terrible management, completely drowning in bureaucratic red-tape to the detriment to the mission. Too many egos and one giant popularity contest.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the good 'ol boys club who protect each other and continue to act unethically to the detriment of the mission and the workforce.


  6. Helpful (12)

    "Contacting Officer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CIA full-time

    Pros

    Competitive salaries, moving expense reimbursement, access to a variety of education/ training programs, and probably the best benefits out of any other place in the country.

    Cons

    Relocation to the Washington DC area is mandatory. VERY lengthy pre-employment and clearance process. The clearance must be obtained every 5 years.

    Advice to Management

    X X X X X X X X X X X X X


  7. Helpful (21)

    "Not Just a Job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Core Collector in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Core Collector in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at CIA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    CIA is an organization with strong integrity that offers challenging work, domestic and overseas travel, attracts a high-caliber workforce, and provides an opportunity to serve and protect our national security.

    Cons

    The high cost of living plus the ever-increasing traffic in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area create huge burdens for anyone just starting their CIA career. Think carefully about whether you can afford living in the DC area when considering a career in government.

    Advice to Management

    As with any workplace, there are good leaders and poor leaders at the CIA. Have a great boss and you will have a great tour or assignment; have a poor boss and it can or will be miserable. CIA should perform more peer reviews at lower levels of management and give weight to the results when considering promotions and advancement to the next level.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Management Officer"

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

    I worked at CIA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Interesting work, wonderful colleagues, travel opportunities

    Cons

    Security restrictions sometimes made for a less than spontaneous personal life but everything always worked out in the end.

    Advice to Management

    Wow. I think Management needs to read the annual feedback surveys that employees fill out and where possible implement some of those ideas. Listen.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "federal employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Director and Deputy Director in Herndon, VA
    Former Employee - Director and Deputy Director in Herndon, VA

    I worked at CIA (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, excellent working environment

    Cons

    Long hours, work is sometimes tedious


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Mr"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Intelligence Officer in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Technical Intelligence Officer in McLean, VA
    Recommends

    I worked at CIA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Positive Contribution to the Everyday Operations of CIA

    Cons

    Work never sees the light of day

    Advice to Management

    Keep Plugging Away


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