Science & Technology FAQs

We receive regular inquiries about working in the Directorate of Science & Technology (DS&T). Below are some of the most frequently asked questions. For a look at all our FAQs*, visit the full website.

1. What is the mission of the Directorate of Science and Technology (DS&T)?
The mission of the DS&T is to attack national intelligence problems with effective targeting, bold technology and superb tradecraft. The DS&T creates, adapts, develops, and operates technical collection systems and applies enabling technologies to the collection, processing, and analysis of information.


2. How does the DS&T fit into the Agency?
The DS&T is one of four major components whose employees carry out the CIA's mission. The DS&T brings technical power and expertise to clandestine collection and analysis on the most pressing intelligence problems. While other parts of the Agency take the lead in analysis, operations, and administration, the DS&T provides the advanced technical means to enable the intelligence process.


3. Who leads the DS&T?
The CIA's Director for Science and Technology leads the directorate. The DS&T is the technical adviser to the Director/Central Intelligence Agency and provides oversight for DS&T activities.


4. What personal qualifications do I need to apply for employment in the DS&T?
The DS&T needs a broad range of technical skills to support its activities, including information technology, engineering, and physical sciences. Most entry-level positions require a bachelor's degree; however, the DS&T also hires candidates with advanced degrees or work experience to fill our full-performance and expert-level positions. You must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen to qualify for employment. You must also successfully complete a medical examination, polygraph interview, and an extensive background investigation.


5. Will I receive special training for my job?
You will receive general training about the Agency's mission, policies, and administrative processes, as well as any specialized training your job requires. Employees are sponsored for job-related, training courses and conferences.


6. Will I be allowed to register patents for inventions and publish professional papers, if the case arises?
Yes. There are, of course, both security and proprietary restrictions which might apply and which are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The DS&T encourages professional affiliation and allows its employees the broadest professional growth and recognition possible.


7. What are the standard work hours?
Although many DS&T employees work five, eight-hour days, there are many other work schedules available. Flextime is permitted in many offices. Work schedules are defined by the requirements of the office and of each job.


8. Will I be located at the Headquarters building?
The DS&T has work sites within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, the continental United States, and abroad. Your particular assignment will dictate your precise work location. When applying for employment, the hiring representative will discuss these options with you.


9. Will travel be required on my job?
Travel varies by assignments. Occasional travel called Temporary Duty (TDY) is required at times, as well as rotational assignments. The travel may be within the continental United States or abroad. Certainly, employees may apply for assignments that require frequent travel, if desired. When applying for employment, the hiring representative will discuss these options with you.

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