In a story written by Victor Godinez of the Dallas Morning News and copyrighted by Knight Ridder News Service, Mr. Godinez suggests that in the Post 9/11 era “there's a ferocious demand for technology workers with federal security clearance.” A check of one of the geospatial industry's most recognizable employer's in the federal government, The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, confirms this fact. Jobs that are currently being advertised such as one for an “Imagery Intelligence Analyst" and another for "Supervisory Geospatial Intelligence," both jobs require "top secret" clearance.
The hitch of course is obtaining the clearance. The jobs at NGA indicate that it could take up to one year to receive the necessary clearance. And according to Mr. Godinez, "there's a one- to two-year backlog of applicants for security clearance, and only workers who are hired and sponsored by an employer that does classified work can get them." But, as with the jobs at the NGA, U.S. citizenship is required and some personal information may have to be surrendered via polygraph and drug testing.
So, be prepared to have your professional and personal matters scrutinized for one of these plum jobs. According to the Godinez article, " For the highest levels of clearance, there's no such thing as personal privacy," says Burt Heacock, a partner with staffing firm Paul-Tittle Search Group in McLean, Va. "You've got billions of dollars of new technology projects that have been approved and funded in the last couple of years," he said. "Most of that federal IT spending goes into the defense and homeland security areas, and a lot of those projects require security clearance."
So, how do you get it? Start by going to the website of the Office of Personnel Management to obtain all the necessary forms.