National Security Agency

Signals Intelligence Collection Program (43351631)
Location: Fort Meade, Maryland - United States
Posted: 11/25/2017

Signals Intelligence Collection Program

Responsibilities Would you like to spend your summer working on technical projects and/or in an operational collection-related assignments with access to foreign intelligence data critical to the security of our country? Does the prospect of applying your computer, technical, analytic, social science, communication, problem solving, and/or critical thinking skills to the National Security Agency's Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) missions pique your interest? Will you be a college Freshman, Sophomore or Junior at the beginning of the Fall 2017 Semester? If you answered 'yes' to these questions, you could be one of the next Signals Intelligence Collection Program (SICP) summer interns to join the NSA team in the summer of 2018. As a SICP intern, you will work to directly support the United States Intelligence Community, national-level customers and our armed forces operating around the globe. NSA's SICP provides thriving, TS/SCI-cleared college students the opportunity to support the SIGINT service as a salaried intern during the summer following their freshmen, sophomore, and/or junior years. The SICP has traditionally selected college students pursuing computer science-related degrees who completed projects involving the development and production of tools, software applications and/or hardware. The SICP now also looks for students are savvy with a computer but are not overly focused on a technical curriculum and can apply their learning and skills that assist in technical development. Students also leverage those skills to support the development of collection strategies across a vast architecture, implement mission targeting and lawful compliance, manage collection tasks and understand critical mission data flows. All of this work is done in response to high priority national and tactical foreign intelligence requirements. SICP interns are mentored by experienced SIGINT professionals who conduct SIGINT collection operations and/or build state-of-the-art capabilities. Some SICP interns will have the opportunity to enhance their computer science and engineering knowledge and skills. Others will sharpen their analytic, problem solving, research, critical thinking and other talents to solve real world collection challenges. Students leave the SICP having gained a whole new appreciation for the value and utility of their field of study. SICP interns will also have the opportunity to discover various career paths they could perhaps pursue in the future as full-time NSA employees. Finally, the friendships and networks SICP interns build during their tour may last a lifetime. Those pursuing computer science or engineering-related majors have in the past been assigned to SICP capabilities development projects, but now could also be assigned to hybrid development/operational assignments. Mathematics or Physics majors with a CS-related minor or second major are also welcome to apply for technical projects. Computer competence is essential for any student being considered for the SICP. We also have a need for students majoring in social sciences such as History, International Relations, Political Science, Economics, Area Studies, Telecommunications and others required by the sponsoring organizations, along with computer competence for operational collection management, SIGINT development, and collection analysis assignments while supporting development projects. This "earn while you learn" opportunity provides exceptional college students a hands-on, real-world work experience during a salaried summer internship. SICP intern selection, projects and operational assignments are predicated on a student's: learning, skills and experience; faculty/employer recommendations; extra-curricular activities; and academic achievement. This rigorous 12-week program challenges high achieving students to: devise strategies; find solutions to complex challenges; design and write computer programs; test hardware and software; build and secure websites; analyze and display data; discern the best methods of collection; develop accesses; analyze and conclude results, and/or develop processing techniques that satisfy foreign intelligence requirements. SICP Interns are hired in a temporary appointment status for a total of no more than 12 weeks. They are expected to work all 12 weeks. The SICP runs from the end of May through the middle of August. Competition to become a SICP intern starts with each student submitting a complete, precise and informative application packet. Returning interns from previous years must submit new employment and security applications. SICP applications are accepted from 01 September to 15 November. Student applications will be evaluated against the projects or assignments requirements submitted by sponsoring organizations. Depending which type of project/assignment you fit best, proficiency in several of the areas listed below plus your interview responses will be evaluated during the selection process: - Programming languages skills and experience such as C, C++, Java, etc.; - Scripting language experience in Python, Perl, JavaScript, etc.; - Programming on and use of the Linux OS and other platforms; - Average knowledge and competence in communications, computers, networks and the internet; - Learning in subject areas that allow for understanding how and why actual foreign intelligence targets do business, socialize, and communicate. Some of these areas include but are not limited to: History, Political Science, International Relations, Economics, Area Studies, Telecommunications and others depending on the position requirements; - Understanding of networking fundamentals such as IPv6, HTTP, TCP/IP, CCNA Certs, etc.; - Examples of completed software development projects; - Database development and storage using such tools as SQL, MySQL, Big Data, etc.; - Mathematics competencies in areas such as Algebra, Number Theory, Calculus, Probability, Logic, Applied Mathematics, etc.; - Hardware programming and development experience; - Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) experience; - Reverse engineering and computer forensics knowledge and experience; - Problem-solving skills; - Cyber security tools and applications experience for example, Wireshark, VMware, Kali Linux, etc.; - Apache Hadoop and similar tools; - Web development experience using: HTML, CSS, PHP, etc.; - High Performance Computing (HPC), aka super computers, analytic and software skills. - Writing and interpersonal communication learning and skills; - Critical thinking skills that support actively and competently conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. Qualifications In order to be considered for SICP, each applicant MUST fit the following profile: - Be a U.S. citizen; - Be eligible to be granted a TS/SCI TK security clearance and successfully complete a background investigation that includes passing a Full-Scope Polygraph; - Must have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for all college work completed; - Be a currently enrolled college Freshman, Sophomore or Junior at time of application. Those entering their Senior year at time of application cannot be considered unless they are immediately entering graduate school in the fall of 2018 pursuing the same major; - Be available for operational and technical interviews and other applicable processing, both in-person and via telephone, between the months of December 2017 and March 2018; - Be pursuing a major in fields such as Computer Science, Electrical and/or Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Data Science or Information Systems; or fields such as Political Science, Area Studies, International Relations, History, etc., along with having demonstrated computer competence. Prior SIGINT experience gained through the military or prior internships are regarded as desirable but not mandatory. Should you not fit the profile above, we strongly encourage you to apply to a better fitting intern program other than the SICP. Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule - Are paid a competitive salary commensurate with their education level (GS Washington-Baltimore location pay scale); - Work a Monday-to-Friday eight hour per day schedule; - Receive annual leave, sick leave, time-off for morale building activities and paid federal holidays during the internship; - Can participate in agency-wide extracurricular programs; - Are eligible for round-trip airfare to and from school or privately-owned vehicle (POV) mileage reimbursement up to the cost of a government-issued airline ticket if they attend schools beyond a 75 mile radius of the facility to which they are assigned; and, - Can request subsidized housing accommodations if their school is located beyond a 75 mile radius of the facility to which they are assigned. Note: Daily transportation to and from work is neither provided nor reimbursed. Students participating in the program are highly encouraged to bring their POV. Carpooling with other students MAY be available but NOT guaranteed. How To Apply - External To be considered, you must submit a complete application package that includes: - A completed online resume-builder on the NSA unclassified website. Current college information must be included in that resume using you projected graduation date as the degree effective date. A more-traditional resume can be sent separately to; - Two (2) recent (i.e., 2017) letters of recommendation (LORs) from faculty members or relevant employers who can speak directly to your technical background, academic performance and other relative attributes; and, - Transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended through the current academic year, to include transferred or AP credits to be sent to email. It is extremely important to meet the above requirement for the four documents, as most applicants eliminated from the selection process in the past were missing one or two pieces of the required documentation. Your application will be closed-out if we do not receive all four documents. It is up to you to ensure that the SICP Program Management Team has received all of the required documentation by the application deadline. To submit the online application, you must use our resume builder application tool - you cannot upload a resume. For step-by-step instructions on how to complete the application, please refer to the application guide at, click Job Search/Apply, and look under the Need Help section. It is absolutely imperative that complete application packages (i.e., Application resume using the NSA online resume builder (See above), a current transcript(s) covering all completed college work, and two recent LORs) arrive on/or before November 15th. Any required parts of the application received after the deadline, as well as incomplete packages, will not be considered and your application will be closed out. IMPORTANT: When applying online, you must submit your resume by completing the online resume builder. Please email all other required documentation to It is up to the applicant to ensure that the SICP program management team has received your complete documentation by the deadline date. Transcripts: Official Transcripts may be issued directly by the Registrar, or issued to you by the Registrar, and then sent with your application materials. Only originals via post, photocopies of originals via post, scanned copies of originals via e-mail (PDF format only) will be accepted. If your Registrar is capable of directly sending electronic transcripts, you are asked to have them sent directly to you and then e-mailed (PDF) to us as an attachment by you. You should not send hyperlinks for transcripts that are only accessible via a website or text versions thereof. We may ask for additional transcripts after the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 Semesters end depending on your progress in the selection process. Letters of Recommendation (LOR): Two recent LORs are required and must have been written and signed in 2017 on an institutions' official letterhead.' If you applied last year (2016), you must provide two new LORs. Keep in mind that you should identify and engage with professors and/or former bosses you intend to leverage for LORs as soon as possible, preferably as soon as you complete reading this announcement. While we know many students are portrayed as 'outstanding' in the LORs, we are looking for examples and magnification of learning, skills, experience, and capabilities. The more we know about you, the better your chances. Authors may e-mail LORs directly to However, the applicant should check that they have been received by the SICP team by the deadline. Applications to the SICP are incomplete without the complete required documentation. If you have applied to multiple positions, you MUST follow the instructions for each one posting and sending your requested documents to each program separately. Documents cannot be shared between programs. Again, it is up to you, the applicant, to ensure that the SICP team has received the required documentation by the deadline date. Questions If you have general questions about the Signals Intelligence Collection Program, please call 1-866-NSA-HIRE. You may also e-mail or call 443-479-3864 for specific SICP questions. PLEASE NOTE: U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants. Reasonable accommodations are provided to applicants with disabilities during the application and hiring process where appropriate. NSA is an equal opportunity employer and abides by applicable employment laws and regulations. All applicants and employees are subject to random drug testing in accordance with Executive Order 12564. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a security background investigation and polygraph. This position is a Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) position in the Excepted Service under 10 U.S.C. 1601. DoD Components with DCIPS positions apply Veterans' Preference to eligible candidates as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 USC, in accordance with the procedures provided in DoD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 2005, DCIPS Employment and Placement. If you are a veteran claiming veterans' preference, as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 U.S.C., you may be asked to submit documents verifying your eligibility. DCIPS Disclaimer The National Security Agency (NSA) is part of the DoD Intelligence Community Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). All positions in the NSA are in the Excepted Services under 10 United States Codes (USC) 1601 appointment authority.

Additional Requirments / Information

Job Capacity:Employee (full-time)
Minimum Education Level:See Job Description
Visa Sponsorship: No
Related Industries:Other

The National Security Agency (NSA) is a world leader in signals intelligence and information assurance. We carry out some of the nation’s most important and sensitive intelligence activities to secure information superiority for America and its allies.

We have two primary missions. Our information assurance mission is the defense: it protects U.S. information by preventing foreign adversaries from gaining access to our information systems. Our signals intelligence mission is the offense: collecting foreign signals and producing intelligence to give U.S. policy makers and warfighters the decision advantage. NSA also enables network warfare operations to defeat terrorists and their organizations at home and abroad, consistent with U.S. laws and the protection of privacy and civil liberties.

As the nation’s top cryptologic organization, we employ the best and the brightest, who use their intelligence to solve some of the nation’s most difficult challenges. We are a world-class cyber center, the largest employer of mathematicians in the country, as well as a national leader in foreign language analysis and research.

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