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National Security Agency | Fort Meade, MD
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Job Description

Cryptanalysis is one of the core technical disciplines necessary for the NSA to accomplish its mission and provide critical intelligence to the nation's leaders. In an ever-changing global environment, the need for Cryptanalysts will remain constant. Traditionally, Cryptanalysis is the art and science of solving cryptograms (writings in cipher or code) or cryptographic systems (devices for enciphering and deciphering) through analysis without prior knowledge of the encryption method. In a code, a word or phrase is replaced with another word, number, or symbol. In a cipher, each letter is replaced with another letter, number or symbol. Using known techniques and imagination, a Cryptanalyst systematically identifies basic elements in a cipher code that may lead to its solution. Modern Cryptanalysis includes analysis of any type of hidden information, whether a traditional cipher or a telecommunication protocol. ANSWERING THE TOUGH QUESTIONS: Cryptanalysts utilize mathematics, computer programming, engineering, and language skills as well as new technologies and creativity to solve tomorrow's problems today. That's why the NSA is looking for people who are intelligent and imaginative, and who can contribute original ideas to the solution of complex challenges. Cryptanalysts must communicate clearly, concentrate long and hard on difficult problems, and not be discouraged if success is elusive. No specific major is targeted for Cryptanalysis; the NSA hires people with technical and non-technical degrees, ranging from mathematics to music, engineering to history, and computer programming to chemistry. LEARNING THAT NEVER ENDS: Extensive in-house classroom and on-the-job training is offered to both new hires and experienced employees as part of their continuing career development. Applicants for Cryptanalysis are placed in the Cryptanalysis Intern Program (CAIP), which is designed to produce professional Cryptanalysts. CAIP participants attend formal classes, receive technical training from experienced Cryptanalysts, and rotate to various job assignments throughout the NSA. Job-related courses at local universities and through private industry are funded; some employees qualify for programs, which provide for part-time or full-time college study, while continuing to receive a full salary. WHERE YOU GO FROM HERE: Cryptanalysts can stay within the Cryptanalysis career field or branch out into other skill fields. Some cryptanalysts also choose to develop skills and receive professional certifications in other technical disciplines, such as intelligence analysis, computer science, or information security. With ongoing training and experience, the cryptanalyst can progress to the highest levels of the NSA employment in either management or technical positions. And the NSA's high power workstations and supercomputers allow its cryptanalysts to develop many of their own hardware and software tools for analytic tasks.



[To apply for this program, click on Apply Online and select View Job Posting/Apply for Job. Under Job Categories select Cryptanalysis and click on the Search button. Add Cryptanalysis to Job Basket and click on Apply for Jobs in Basket. Follow directions as prompted.]

U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants. A security clearance must be granted prior to employment and you will be required to undergo extensive pre-employment processing. This includes: aptitude testing; an interview with a psychologist and a security interview conducted with the aid of a polygraph; and a personnel interview. The final stage of processing will be successful completion of a background investigation.

Reasonable accommodations 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.

The NSA is committed to cultural diversity in its workplace.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer


About National Security Agency

Company Description

The National Security Agency (NSA) is a world leader in the protection and exploitation of intelligence. We gather and analyze foreign signals intelligence to produce vital information for U.S. policymakers and warfighters. And we protect American intelligence from the ever-listening ears of our adversaries, giving our Nation a decisive edge.

Company History

NSA was established on November 4, 1952, by order of President Harry Truman. This decision followed the Nation's important work in breaking German and Japanese codes during WWII, which contributed to Allied success against the German U-Boat threat in the North Atlantic and victory at the Battle of Midway in the Pacific, and other contributions. President Truman's decision to establish NSA followed several studies on how best to continue this codebreaking work in the post-war era.

Mission & Values

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service leads the community in delivering responsive, reliable, effective, and expert Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance products and services, and enables Network Warfare operations to gain a decisive information advantage for the Nation and our allies under all circumstances.

Working Here

At the Nation's top cryptologic organization, you can work with the best and the brightest, using your intelligence to solve some of the Nation's most difficult challenges. Your solutions can play a major role in shaping the course of world history. Expanding your intelligence is a priority at NSA. As an NSA employee, you will have the opportunity to enhance your competency in your career field through a variety of educational and training programs. Our National Cryptologic School addresses the professional and technical development of NSA employees and provides the unique training needed by both the NSA workforce and several elements throughout the Department of Defense. We also sponsor employees for undergraduate and graduate level study at the Nation's top universities and colleges.

Hiring Information

NSA is looking for people who are intelligent and imaginative critical thinkers who can contribute innovative ideas to solve our most difficult challenges. NSA currently has exciting career opportunities available in the following fields: Computer/Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Foreign Language, Intelligence Analysis, Cryptanalysis, Signals Analysis, Business Management, Finance/Accounting, Co-op, Internship, and Scholarship Programs, and more.


In addition to working with advanced technology and making a difference in the world, you'll enjoy an incredible benefits package, paid time off, health and life insurance, competitive pay, flexible work hours, moving assistance, and much more.


Today's job marketplace is competitive. To get a step ahead you need to gain practical experience before you graduate. Come work with the top professionals in your field at NSA. Our internships, co-op program, scholarships, and work study programs will help you to develop and shape your career well before your studies are through.

Take a look at the programs we offer for each educational level:

High School
  • Work Study Programs
    High School Work Study Program
  • Scholarships
    • Stokes Educational Scholarship Program

  • Internships
    • Computer Science Intern Program (CSIP)
    • Cryptologic Access Summer Intern Program (CAP)
    • Director's Summer Program (DSP)
    • Summer Intern Program for Information Assurance (SIP/IA)
    • Installation & Logistics (I&L) Intern Program
    • Intelligence Analysis Summer Program
    • Cryptanalysis and Exploitation Services Summer Program (CES SP)
    • Semester Intern Program for Science and Technology (SIP/ST)
    • Summer Language Program
    • Co-operative Education Program
    • Scholarships
      • Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP)
      • Stokes Educational Scholarship Program
      • The SMART Program
    • Internships
      Computer Science Intern Program (CSIP)
      Graduate Mathematics Program (GMP)
      Summer Intern Program for Information Assurance (SIP/IA)
    • Summer Language Program
    • Summer Program for Operations Research Technology (SPORT)

  • Scholarships
    The National Physical Science Consortium (NPSC)
    The SMART Program