Linguist / Language Analyst - Entry to Experienced Level
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.
Based on skill level and experience, NSA MDLAs are considered for either the Language Analysis Development Program (LADP), or the Cross-Training (language acquisition or language enhancement) Program which allows development of Chinese, Russian and Persian Farsi language expertise to support NSA mission; 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.
Cross-Training Program (Language Enhancement or Acquisition):
The Language Analysis Cross Training Program is designed to cross-train individuals in the acquisition of another language which is critically needed to fulfill NSA's mission. Optimally qualified candidates will have already demonstrated the ability to attain advanced proficiency in a foreign language as an adult learner. After successful completion of the Cross-Training program, most graduates will enter the Language Analysis Development Program (LADP), which lasts up to three years.
MDLAs are at the forefront of carrying out NSA's SIGINT mission, and they do so in a variety of ways:
- 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