NSA Reviews | Glassdoor

NSA Reviews

Updated May 15, 2017
103 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

3.8
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
NSA Director Admiral Michael S. Rogers
Admiral Michael S. Rogers
34 Ratings

103 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

Pros
  • Good work life balance since you can't take anything out of the SCIF to work at home (in 17 reviews)

  • Excellent Agency that provides great benefits (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • The NSA pays competitively but often the salary does not reflect the extremely high cost of living at certain locations, namely the D (in 4 reviews)

  • Good Old Boy System, Bad Management (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Solid company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cryptologic Linguist in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Cryptologic Linguist in San Antonio, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The NSA is a very diverse working environment that provides individuals the ability to work on a variety of different projects as well as the freedom to explore tools and new ways to find pertinent information for the agency and its numerous missions.

    Cons

    The NSA lacks a certain structure and uniformity within its work sections. While it is to be expected that because of the work that is performed it is difficult to standardize its structure, it can be overwhelmingly chaotic at times where it takes away from productivity unnecessarily.

    Advice to Management

    It would be extremely helpful if people were viewed as a whole and how they will fit within the agency and their mission as opposed to hiring a person based off of who they are solely as an individual. How people interact with each other is a big part of production and the quality of production in a work center.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Technical leader"

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

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

    Pros

    Challenging work,good people, great benefits

    Cons

    Part of a large government bureaucracy. Continuous security clearance requirements.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Great Place to Work if You Like Structure"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intelligence Analyst in Fort Meade, MD
    Former Employee - Intelligence Analyst in Fort Meade, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    interesting work including good "behind the scenes" look for current events geeks, job security, okay pay and great benefits, good work-life balance, lots of different things you can do in the NSA, managers are not great but don't micromanage you.

    Cons

    More bureaucracy than many care for (although it could be a lot worse), and the Security organization is just plain weird and slightly dangerous.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - COMPUTER ANALYST/MANAGER in Evans, GA
    Current Employee - COMPUTER ANALYST/MANAGER in Evans, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent working environment and very professional.

    Cons

    actually no cons at all


  6. "member"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO

    I worked at NSA (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Very challenging and exciting work environment. Job potential internally can keep anyone excited.

    Cons

    Camaraderie among employees started to become less and less until sometimes it appears non-existent.


  7. "Senior Enlisted Leader for Data Network Technologies"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Leader/Manager in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Leader/Manager in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great opportunities to learn and grow.
    Flexibility to manage personnel.
    Outstanding work environment.

    Cons

    Reorganization has been a struggle. Seemed to "put the cart before the horse".

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work!


  8. "Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Electrical Engineer in Hampton, VA
    Former Employee - Electrical Engineer in Hampton, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at NSA (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good environment to work in

    Cons

    Have to have security clearance

    Advice to Management

    Encourage employees to keep abreast of technology


  9. "Language analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Pashto Dari Language Analyst in Leesburg, VA
    Former Employee - Pashto Dari Language Analyst in Leesburg, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at NSA (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The first and the only reason was that I could help my country in my native language analysis which they had a great need at that time.

    Cons

    Besides the decrease in their need The distance to travel to my job and stay there for three nights a week was getting too much.

    Advice to Management

    I do not think I can advise the management, instead I can say that I had never worked under such a nice management in my life.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Mid-career Engineer At A Crossroad"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Hardware/Software Design Engineer in Fort Meade, MD
    Current Employee - Hardware/Software Design Engineer in Fort Meade, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Time off: nearly 6.5 weeks off per year including sick and annual leave, plus 10 federal holidays once you been with the government for 3 years.
    - Experience: easy to explore other office missions and move once you are hired.
    - Work/life Balance: the combination of time off and most offices not pressuring engineers for deadlines results in a very nice work/life balance.

    Cons

    Environment: many office spaces are dull and out-of-date often with no natural light. Check your cell phones at the door. Many employees feel disconnected from the world with no internet at their desk. I should note there is an on-going effort to provide internet access to most employees. Also, often there is no maintained common kitchenette for refrigeration, washing dishes and heating food leading to unsanitary conditions.

    Promotions: for junior engineers it usually isn't too difficult to get promoted. But, for middle and late career engineers and who want to continue to stay technical and develop the promotion criteria does not favor this path. Personally, I've watched engineers and business majors pursuing management and contract support get promoted much quicker to the higher grades. This is my biggest gripe, leaving me questioning whether I want to continue to work at the NSA.

    Advice to Management

    Create a technical track that rewards good developers as much as those in the management/business track.

    Simply update the office environments.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Good mission, but military environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Baltimore, MD
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Baltimore, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Mission can be worthwhile depending on the specific office. Different view of politics and national security issues.

    Cons

    Harassment, unresponsive HR, military vs civilian conflict. Isolation from friends, family, courses of redress and modern technologies.

    Advice to Management

    Treat people fairly, including women, minorities, civilians and enlisted. Give everyone a desk. People who leave for a tolerable environment are not unpatriotic.


Showing 103 of 117 reviews
Reset Filters