National Security Agency Reviews | Glassdoor

National Security Agency Reviews

Updated February 14, 2019
143 reviews

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3.7
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General Paul M. Nakasone
3 Ratings

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 18 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
  • "There are no cons at working there" (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 (6)

    "Great mission, with organizational/management effectiveness on an upswing"

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

    I worked at National Security Agency full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I retired after 35+ years, and the biggest plus that entire time was the missions that I supported to improve our nation's security posture. The psychological advantages of being able to directly influence the advantages of our troops overrode most of the negatives that came along with working for a very large agency with standard 10-year re-organizations. Terrific benefits and travel opportunities, and I never had any real complaints regarding promotions or pay.

    Cons

    Hard to lay any blame, given the perpetual headaches involved in being not only under-funded, but also haphazardly funded (due to ill-effects of annual Continuing Resolution confusion), but it always seemed that management was a half-step behind in addressing glaring problems. Again, tough to lay blame.

    Advice to Management

    COMMUNICATE MORE AT EVERY LEVEL (this was improving over my last one and a half years). I just can't say enough about the benefit to the workforce of sharing relevant knowledge and news as soon as it is available.


  2. Helpful (36)

    "NSA is Exceptional Employer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Manager in Columbia, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at National Security Agency full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    In-house training, financial support-continuing graduate education; flexible work schedules; emphasizes work-life balance; serve our Country!' travel opportunities CONUS and OCONUS; flexible in-house job vacancy program enabling employee upward mobility regardless of current pay-grade; highly educated work-force; learning opportunities are constant; can tailor your career with your changing interests and family needs; all your fellow employees are law-abiding citizens who've undergone security reviews; motivated atmosphere; exciting work; you learn about what's going on in the world

    Cons

    You have to live without your smart phone by your side. However, there are internet cafe locations with secure phone storage that allow you to access your phone on your break.

    Advice to Management

    Addiction is rampant in our society. Do not throw out those highly qualified employees who happen to fall victim to alcohol or prescription medication addiction and who also seek and/or are living in a recovery lifestyle. Also, keep being the great leaders you are!! Get us through this difficult time in U.S. history!! We are with you!!

  3. "Current SIGINT analyst at NSA"

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

    I have been working at National Security Agency full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible work hours, good benefits

    Cons

    low ceiling for many job openings


  4. "It's what you make of it."

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

    I have been working at National Security Agency full-time

    Pros

    Tons of opportunity to grow
    Meaningful mission

    Cons

    Moves at the speed of government


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Poor people skills"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Officer in Fort Meade, MD
    Former Employee - Staff Officer in Fort Meade, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at National Security Agency part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Best reasons - a sense of mission; jobs you can't find in the corporate world

    Cons

    Very poor people management; a strongly conservative culture of "no"; lack of interest in innovation; poor systems to support employees; a lot of lousy workspaces

    Advice to Management

    Look elsewhere in the IC at how they treat their people, like CIA, NGA, NRO, etc. You can do better.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Deputy Office Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fort George G Meade, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fort George G Meade, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at National Security Agency full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Fairly stable. Can move around within the agency to different jobs.

    Cons

    You are subject to a lot of scrutiny especially as you get in the higher ranks. You are not free to travel anywhere you choose and you have to be careful with whom you associate with.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more attention to how employees are evaluated, protected etc. Fear is not a way to lead.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Intel Analyst"

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

    I have been working at National Security Agency full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Do/see/learn some really cool things while helping to protect your country. You can meet some really smart, hardworking, and innovative souls in many offices. There is also no end to the variety of positions a smart analyst can take over a long career. You can easily reinvent yourself every so many years to stay fresh.

    Cons

    Too big of a bureaucracy. Slow to innovate. For every hard worker, there are a couple of slugs just slinking around making a paycheck.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of clock-punchers.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Great at training, awful at retaining"

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

    I have been working at National Security Agency (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Best first job you'll ever have

    Cons

    Security, compensation, location, parking, morale

    Advice to Management

    Listen to PTs


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at National Security Agency full-time

    Pros

    Very friendly to those in the military

    Cons

    Very impervious to new changes.


  10. Helpful (7)

    "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 National Security Agency 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.