NSA Reviews | Glassdoor

NSA Reviews

Updated May 1, 2018
132 reviews

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3.4
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NSA Director Admiral Michael S. Rogers
Admiral Michael S. Rogers
48 Ratings

132 Employee Reviews

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

  • "Talented people to work wit; with an in-house school and money for outside classes - lots of opportunities to get better at what you do" (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "Getting the necessary red tape cut in order to start a project can be a pain" (in 4 reviews)

  • "The massive bureaucracy present in any large organization is also a part of the NSA" (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (2)

    "Great place to make a difference -- easy to have ideas heard"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chief Strategy and Innovation in Fort Meade, MD
    Current Employee - Chief Strategy and Innovation in Fort Meade, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Talented people to work wit; with an in-house school and money for outside classes - lots of opportunities to get better at what you do. No need to change jobs to get a promotion or a raise. Lots of opportunity to travel if you like that. No need (and no ability) to check email or phone for messages on your off-time. Internal intranet and collaboration tools are a life-saver in getting things done.

    Cons

    It's a big place, working on teams helps, but there is a lot to learn about how the place works.

    Advice to Management

    Your work to evolve management is helpful -- don't forget to support them too. Keep funding classes and conferences etc. It keeps us flowing with fresh ideas and gives us space in our minds to be creative.


  2. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at NSA full-time

    Pros

    Very friendly to those in the military

    Cons

    Very impervious to new changes.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "You'll do a whole lot of nada"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Support Staff
    Current Employee - Support Staff
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at NSA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You get to learn interesting history, visitors are enthusiastic.

    Cons

    No one who works here is a musuem or library professional, or even a professional historian, so there's little to learn from coworkers. If you aren't an agency employee, you're given busy work, if you're lucky, or absolutely nothing. So, so boring. Agency employees pretty much ignore the rest of us, which is rude and demoralizing.

    Advice to Management

    Hire people from outside the agency with professional experience in museums, libraries, and/or history.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Government Bureacracy and Security Create Harsh Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at NSA full-time

    Pros

    Lots of learning. Moving between jobs is encouraged so lots of diversity. Tons of smart people.

    Cons

    Security is tough and can be antagonistic.
    Silicon Handcuffs are real. (The notion that working there puts you further and further behind the technology curve which makes it harder to leave.)
    Promotion (advancements) are super heard to come by.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your people more


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Very Negative Experience"

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

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

    Pros

    It looks great on paper, opportunities to move around and little perks such as MBA time, etc.

    Cons

    Parking. I don't know why they just won't build a parking garage. Instead they force you to wake up at unreasonable hours in the morning just to find decent parking. The people that have the power to fix the parking issue are effected the least because they get executive parking. Therefore, the parking issue will never be resolved.
    Recruitment. Long story short, the recruiter LIED to me about my position and job duties. My second day on the job I was very confused why I was working in a completely different department. When I brought this up to management I was told I'm stuck for the next two years. This was not unique just to me. Many people across the entire agency where lied to and misled about where they were working. My advice to anyone going into the agency is to get everything in writing about their job position and job duties. I was very unhappy where they placed me. It was a very monotonous job.
    Management. Management is a joke there. They will literally let a 4th grader be a manager. They force employees into management positions "to grow" and "to get promoted." I was stuck with a very inexperienced manager and who let the entire team fall apart. I have never seen so much turnover in my life. Just on my team alone three people quit before I did. When I put in my resignation three other people did at the same time. That tells you a lot. High turnover was not just on my team, but the whole organization. I don't trust management with at all from the person that was my direct supervisor all the way up to upper management. I told my direct supervisor about an issue and she basically told me to ignore it. I ignored it per her directions and the issue got worse. Upper management got involved thus, leading to nearly the entire team resigning.
    Money. Salary is low compared to other agencies.
    Environment. You're working in a closed off environment with no access to the outside world. I in particular worked in a small, dark office with no windows. I also talked to management about the working conditions and was told it's a privilege to have windows.
    Coworkers. Well two in particular, were ignorant borderline racist. I heard many comments from them but was too afraid to speak up because they were the "favorites." I honestly felt bullied.
    Promotions. You have to apply for a promotion every year and it's a very small chance you'll get promoted. It's not about what you do or how well you do it, it's about how liked you are and how well you can write.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to management: When an employee presents you with an issue, listen. Don't tell them to ignore it like it's not a big deal. Upper management, keep things confidential. I do not trust upper management because NOTHING was kept confidential. Also hold bad employees accountable for their actions. There were employees known for bad attitudes or constantly making mistakes. Instead of correcting them, we were told to change our approach.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great overall Experience I enjoy my job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I have been working at NSA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    great minds
    campus transportation is great

    Cons

    traffic in the surrounding area


  7. "No complaints other than parking."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cryptologic Linguist in Fort Meade, MD
    Former Employee - Cryptologic Linguist in Fort Meade, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Everyone is respectful and willing to mentor.

    Cons

    Parking is pretty atrocious if you don't work swing or flexible hours; but at least you get your daily walk in.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Toxic Leader in J1"

    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

    I worked at NSA full-time

    Pros

    The overall agency is a great facility overall. Many nice areas for employees.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, I worked for a terrible manager of people. Toxic leadership like this should be addressed and eliminated. The turnover is unbelievable because of one person. This could be a great place to work but until something changes it won't be.

    Advice to Management

    Find new leadership that knows how to treat employees well and respects their value. Evaluate the turn over rate.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Well it's government"

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

    I worked at NSA full-time

    Pros

    Extremely stable job - the joke is that they won't fire you even if you do nothing, they'll just promote you. I would definitely recommend the NSA if you are a math major or if you work in any department other than business.

    Cons

    Business is not the NSA's strongsuit

    Advice to Management

    The Contract Management Development program is extremely poorly run. Attrition was extremely high - the program needs to be completely re-examined.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Not Recommended"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great Mission
    Good Benefits
    Good Work / Life Balance and Separation
    Development Programs

    Cons

    Poor salaries compared to industry
    Poor work environment
    Horrible IT services
    Endless bureaucracy
    New security initiatives make it virtually impossible to get work done


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