With the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) moving to Fort Meade, Fort Meade, will have an estimate growth of 22,000 new jobs on the installation during the next 5-7 years, and with The Obama Administration hiring over 270,000 Federal employees over the next three years, most of these jobs will require a security clearance.
These jobs will become available in varying fields, and encompass all types of skills sets. The war on cyber crime has been declared, but our country is facing a shortage of professionals holding valid security clearances, Unfortunately, you cannot obtain a security clearance for yourself or for your company.
Your company has to be sponsored by the Government or another cleared defense contractor. Your current or prospective employer has to do this for you But, by preparing and understanding the process so you will be ready to apply for the jobs you seek to fill.
To help you understand a few of the most asked security questions, I have listed some of the most common asked questions.
Q: What is a security clearance?
A: A security clearance is a determination by the United States government that a person or company is eligible for access to classified information. There are two types of clearances: Personnel Security Clearances (individual) and Facility Security Clearance (company).
Q: What is SCI?
A: SCI is the abbreviation for Sensitive Compartmented Information. The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) establishes standards to govern access to SCI.
Q: What are the different levels of a security clearance?
A: There are three security clearance levels: Confidential, Secret and Top Secret. Top Secret Clearance
Top Secret level clearance covers information that reasonably could cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security if disclosed to unauthorized sources.
Secret Clearance Secret level clearance covers information that reasonably could cause serious damage to the national security if disclosed to unauthorized sources.
Confidential Clearance Confidential level clearance covers information that reasonably could cause damage to the national security if disclosed to unauthorized sources.
Remember; A security clearance is a privilege and not a right.
The award of a security clearance does not give you access to classified information in and of itself. You must have a Need to Know the specific classified data that is given access to. As you read this article, and as you participate in the process of seeking a security or facility clearance you may have doubts on how to respond to the questions being asked of you while processing for a security clearance, just remember, Mark Twain said "When in doubt, tell the truth”.
Diane Griffin President/CEO Security First & Assoc.
Author: Everything you need to know about the security clearance process, but are afraid to ask.