Fort Meade, Maryland
Fort Gordon, Georgia
San Antonio, Texas
Pay Plan: GG, Grade: 07/1 to 14/10
Open: 2022-09-09, Close: 2022-09-30
NSA’s Linguists, known as Multidisciplined Language Analysts (MDLAs), are expected to take an inclusive approach to problem solving and mission accomplishment by frequently engaging with partners, enablers, and customers across the Intelligence Community.
NSA MDLAs are hired into the Language Analysis Development Program (LADP) or, in the case of MDLAs with extensive experience in Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), directly into positions supporting an analytic mission office.
The LADP, which lasts up to three years, is designed to provide an intensive, accelerated opportunity to acquire the unique technical skills and experience needed to successfully apply knowledge and analytic ability to the SIGINT mission and help MDLAs achieve core analytic competencies in accordance with the Cryptologic Training System Training Standard and the MDLA competencies framework. The program includes 4-5 operational tours in a variety of offices, interspersed with formal classroom and computer-based training. These on-the-job operational tours are primarily focused on analyzing foreign language materials within the framework of the two main SIGINT disciplines of intelligence analysis – SIGINT reporting and SIGINT development.
Multidisciplined Language Analysts are at the forefront of carrying out NSA’s SIGINT mission, and they do so in a variety of ways. MDLAs:
– Offer U.S. policymakers and military leaders a window into the foreign language world of intelligence targets by analyzing, transcribing, and translating key information
– Research and understand foreign intelligence targets, how they operate, and how they fit in the larger geo-political context
– Apply new techniques and develop creative solutions to address analytic problems such as synthesizing large volumes of data and disparate sources of information
– Demonstrate a firm understanding of the communications environment and technology trends of foreign intelligence targets
– Craft written and oral assessments of foreign intelligence that provide unique insights into target intentions unavailable from other intelligence disciplines
– Work independently and collaborate effectively (both within NSA and with other analysts in the Intelligence Community) in research, analysis, and reporting
As a language analyst, you will use your passion for foreign language and strong oral communication, written communication, and critical thinking skills to research, translate, transcribe, report, and analyze foreign intelligence. Your foreign language and English skills will provide key decision makers with a complete and accurate picture of the context within which the decision is being made (i.e. provide an understanding of the nuance, context, cultural overtones, and dialect in which the communication occurred). Another way to use your foreign language skills at NSA is to work as a scientific linguist. Scientific linguists support the mission by designing, developing, evaluating, and/or integrating products to enhance the understanding of mission critical foreign languages or materials by applying linguistic knowledge (e.g. syntax, morphology, phonetics, semantics) to address operational problems.
The qualifications listed are the minimum acceptable to be considered for the position.
Relevant experience can be either: performing professional work in the language, such as military, teaching, and analysis, OR non-language work in a field such as intelligence analysis, international relations, security studies, intelligence studies, journalism, law, STEM fields (e.g., computer science, chemistry, space or weapons systems, or cyber), and other topics relevant to NSA mission.
Applicant must have a minimum language proficiency of Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) level 2/2 in reading and listening in the target language for which the applicant is being considered, OR be selected for placement in and commit to the Agency’s intensive language training (acquisition or enhancement) programs. Selection for these programs is done in collaboration with the Language Analysis Skill Community and Development Programs, and is intended for use with hard-to-fill or critical languages.
Minimum ILR proficiency levels for the intensive language training programs are as follows (education and experience requirements above also apply):
Applicants for the enhancement program in unique or critical languages must have either
(a) a minimum language proficiency equal to a combined score of ILR Level 1/1 (for example: 0+/1+, 2/0, where 0+=.5, 1 = 1, 1+ = 1.5, 2 = 2) in the target language for which the applicant is being considered AND a minimum language proficiency of ILR Level 2/2 in a non-target language;
(b) a minimum language proficiency of ILR Level 1/1 in the target language for which the applicant is being considered AND a minimum score of 110 on the DLAB.
Applicants being considered for the acquisition program must have either
(a) a minimum language proficiency of ILR Level 2/2 in any world language other than English;
(b) a minimum score of 110 on the DLAB.
Entry is with a Bachelor’s degree and no experience. A high school diploma or GED plus 4 years of relevant experience, or an Associate’s degree plus 2 years of relevant experience may be considered. A degree in any field is acceptable.
Entry is with a Bachelor’s degree plus 3 years of relevant experience, or a Master’s degree plus 1 year of relevant experience or a Doctoral degree and no experience. A high school diploma or GED plus 7 years of relevant experience, or an Associate’s degree plus 5 years of relevant experience may be considered. A degree in any field is acceptable.
Entry is with a Bachelor’s degree plus 6 years of relevant experience, or a Master’s degree plus 4 years of relevant experience or a Doctoral degree plus 2 years of relevant experience. A high school diploma or GED plus 10 years of relevant experience, or an Associate’s degree plus 8 years of relevant experience may be considered. A degree in any field is acceptable.
The ideal candidate is intellectually curious, has a desire for continual learning, and is:
– Proficient (reading and listening) in one or more critical foreign languages, including Chinese, Persian Farsi, Sudanese Arabic, Russian, Ukrainian, and other languages as missions and needs evolve, and/or the lower-density languages Somali (with Maay Maay), Amharic (with Tigrinya or Oromo), Swahili (with Luo or Kinyarwanda), French (with Lingala or Bambara), Hausa (with Fulani, Kanuri, or Tamashek), Urdu, Punjabi, and Pashto
– Well organized and able to handle multiple assignments
– A strong written and oral communicator
– Able to synthesize information to solve complex problems
– Able to provide timely and accurate customer service
Coursework, knowledge, and experience in one or more of the following is desired:
– Target development
– Social network analysis
– Metadata analysis
– Research methodology
– Topical or Regional studies relevant to national security
– Quantitative/Statistical analysis
– Data modeling, mining, or science
– Cyber security
– Computer science or networking
Relevant Internships, extracurricular activities, and/or foreign study are also considered.
Prior military without a degree but with language analysis cryptologic experience will be considered.
In most cases, Experienced Level Language Analysts at NSA will have substantial experience in one or more of the following areas:
– Performing language quality control;
– Serving as an established Subject Matter Expert (SME);
– Authoring and releasing reports;
– Mentoring, coaching, and leading other Language Analysts;
– Ensuring the technical health of the mission;
– Mastering and coaching others on the use of a variety of internal tools;
– Testing at Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) 3/3 levels for one or more mission languages; and
– Displaying a broad knowledge of the Intelligence Community and how various elements work together to prosecute mission.
**NOTE: If you are selected to process further, you will be required to complete an online interview and take the Defense Language Proficiency Test which measures language proficiency and/or the Defense Language Aptitude Battery which measures potential for learning a foreign language. Invitations and instructions for the online interview and scheduling for the language test will be emailed to you. Please check your Spam folder just in case these emails landed there instead of your Inbox. You will be required to test within two months of receiving the language test email as this information will be used as part of the selection decision.
Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule
Salary offers are based on candidates’ education level and years of experience relevant to the position and also take into account information provided by the hiring manager/organization regarding the work level for the position. Salary range varies by location and work level. This position may be available at multiple locations: Maryland, Texas, Georgia, Utah, Colorado, Hawaii
Salary Range: $44,740 – $164,102 (Entry/Developmental, Full Performance, Senior levels)
On-the-job training, internal NSA courses, and external training will be made available based on the need and experience of the selectee.
Monday – Friday, with basic 8hr/day work requirements between 0600 and 1800 (flexible).
How to apply
U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants. 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.
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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.
(U) 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.