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clearance jobs?

 
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I graduated from a no-name university but had put down on my resume that I had held a security clearance. With in two weeks I had an offer for the mid 50's and took it. I have now just been waiting around for my final clearance to come through (I currently just hold an interim.) One guy here who holds a clearance keeps telling me that there are tons of jobs out there for people in our position. I was just wondering if this is true.

He said that some companies had been so quick to offer jobs that it worried him. He was saying that he would go to "clearance only" job fairs and people would ask just general personal questions and the most technical would be "so, you've programmed in Java for about 18 months now?" Based on on such general information they were prepared to offer him jobs-multiple jobs. Is this BS?
 
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You're in a good position. A current US security clearance is a major asset in job hunting. There are entire job boards just for people with clearances. The reasons are the time required to get a clearance, the cost of the process, paid by the employer, and the much lower risk of an employee collecting a salary while getting trained and then not getting a clearance in the end.

Did I understand you correctly that your employer hired you mainly because you once held a clearance, no longer current? How many years was it since you left the last job requiring a clearance?
 
Pat Peg
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It had been years, 4 to 6 I think. They hired a couple of guys who never held one and spent the money to get them cleared.
 
Pat Peg
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Oh Mike,

Do you think you could post some links to some of these search engines you were talking about. I've looked on dice and monster. I also looked on clearencejobs.com but they didn't seem to show to much.
 
Mike Gershman
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Just google "security clearance jobs" and you'll get literally pages of good links.

Did you have prior paid Java experience or was all your Java work in school?
[ July 18, 2005: Message edited by: Mike Gershman ]
 
Pat Peg
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A bit, I worked my last year of school doing Java/Struts stuff. In the begining I was only working about 25 hours a week but after a few months I was working full time and finishing up my degree.
 
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btw how can you get a clearance if you are a starter in the clearance process. I am curious since I will be taking up citizenship very soon.
 
Mike Gershman
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You cannot personally apply for a security clearance. You must get a job requiring a security clearance and then your employer will apply for your clearance and pay for the investigation.

Once you have a security clearance, it can generally be transferred if you change jobs. The very highest security clearances, for intelligence, nuclear and cryptographic work, have special requirements for each government agency, so transferring these clearances is possible but not as simple.
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Mike Gershman:
You cannot personally apply for a security clearance. You must get a job requiring a security clearance and then your employer will apply for your clearance and pay for the investigation.

Once you have a security clearance, it can generally be transferred if you change jobs. The very highest security clearances, for intelligence, nuclear and cryptographic work, have special requirements for each government agency, so transferring these clearances is possible but not as simple.



Can you have your own company and apply for clearance?

Please do not consider the above as funny question, my logic is if all these companies want people with clearance and the only way to get clearance is when a employer sponsors for clearance; when is some one gonna get a clearance??
 
Pat Peg
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You could have your own company and apply for a clearence but I think you'll find yourself in a catch-22. Not all companies can get government contracts, especially ones requiring classified work. There are a number of hoops to jump through. The government will not conduct a background check just because you have the money to pay for it. You have top be in a position that mandates a check. I hope that was clear.
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Pat Peg:
You have top be in a position that mandates a check. I hope that was clear.



this part really sucks.
 
Pat Peg
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I suppose it does if you want a clearance. If you truly want to get into working on classified projects then there are some companies out there that will hire you without one.
I think most people who have them (myself included) originally got them from serving in the military in a position which required it. If service is not for you then I would suggest trying to send a resume to the big defense contractors. At least one guy here got his clearance by working for Lockheed Martin and he never had one before that company. I also know a guy who started his on company and is doing contract work as a sub-contractor to another licensed contractor so he did not have to worry about going through all the requirements and expense to become a contractor. I hope that helps.
 
Mike Gershman
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Well Kishore, I guess you're perfectly OK that only experienced Java programmers can get hired as Java programmers because US employers don't want to invest in freshers but you're upset that only people with existing security clearances can get jobs requiring security clearances because employers don't want to invest in the investigation and maybe see the applicant turned down.

Where you stand depends upon where you sit.
[ July 19, 2005: Message edited by: Mike Gershman ]
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Mike Gershman:
Well Kishore, I guess you're perfectly OK that only experienced Java programmers can get hired as Java programmers because US employers don't want to invest in freshers but you're upset that only people with existing security clearances can get jobs requiring security clearances because employers don't want to invest in the investigation and maybe see the applicant turned down.

Where you stand depends upon where you sit.

[ July 19, 2005: Message edited by: Mike Gershman ]



Well if you are prejudiced against me that is ok with me, because i don't even know who u are who you do
 
Mike Gershman
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Kishore, now that you have vented at me, would you care to explain why it is fair to keep people without previous paid experience out of interviews for programming jobs but unfair ("s--ks") to lock people without previous security clearances out of interviews for programming jobs requiring security clearances.

What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

BTW, since you don't know me, please don't call me prejudiced. You may not like my positions but they are not based on anyone's race, religion, or place of birth. They are solely based on legal immigration status.

I have said repeatedly that I think that every programmer who is already in the US should be offered a green card. I just think that the law should be so strictly enforced for new visa applications that it is far easier for employers to hire entry level US residents then to hire H1B holders.

I think that many employers will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly well qualified newbies become highly productive. The other employers already know this, they just want to game the system to hire below true prevailing wages.
 
Pat Peg
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I have to say that I agree with where Mike is coming from. I think a lot of people do really (rather they will say it or not is another story).
The only reason government exist is to protect its citizens and this goes beyond providing basic fire and police protection. It is a shame and a crime that, while some recent IT grad is standing in the unemployment line in his home town, there is a guy moving through customs on his way to an entry level IT job. As long as there is a disparity between the unemployment numbers of IT grads and other grads then there needs to be a halt to some of this off-shoring and hiring of cheap foreign labor.
I do not intend to anger anyone, my motives are purely selfish but in reality, I expect no difference from my government protecting me then any other citizen of any other country expects from their government. Governments often act in self interest, as they should. Mexico will not allow foreigners to buy land (only lease) to protect their people; likewise, Japan sets high Tariffs on imported finished products like cars while demanding the lowest Tariffs from other government on Japanese products. I think if Indian companies, for example, suddenly found that they could off-shore the contracts that they have gotten from the US to Chinese start-ups for half the cost to do it in house they would. If they also found a pool of competent but cheaper labor in Chinese immigrants then I think you would see a lot of native IT people in India demanding that their government step in and do something to control it and protected their jobs.
We are all the same; we just seek the best for ourselves and our children.
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Mike Gershman:


I have said repeatedly that I think that every programmer who is already in the US should be offered a green card. I just think that the law should be so strictly enforced for new visa applications that it is far easier for employers to hire entry level US residents then to hire H1B holders.



Imagine the backlash present government will get by doing this.
 
Greenhorn
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Very interesting conversation! Back to the original topic ... I had a secret clearence when I was in the US Navy. I got out 19 years ago and haven't ever mentioned it on an application. I had no idea that it might be valuable. What about now? Is 19 years without a clearence job a problem?

On the job availability front, the current US Administration's objective is to protect big business owners, not citizens. I was writing my senators 10 years ago objecting to the policy of importing workers to do jobs I was qualified for and couldn't get a job doing.

On the other hand, just as I would like to be able to earn a living wage, I am sure that Kishore, and many like him, would as well. When the US government allows employers to go offshore to hire the best talent of other countries it hurts the US. It hurts our education system by reducing the investment there, it increases unemployment and lowers the standard of living in this country, eroding the middle class. It also hurts the country the talent is drawn from, intellectual talent is a valuable resource whether it's programming, engineering, medical, etc. The people remaining in these countries recieve little compensation for the loss and their 'would be' middle class leaves their country. The introduction of the middle class citizen has been America's greatest contribution to the world. They drive the economy by creating a demand for products, and they achieve more because they can envision a better future for themselves and their children.

While individuals coming to this country seeking jobs may be better off, the country they leave behind and the US would be better off, as a whole, if governments sought to increase opportunities at home for their most talented resource. Fostering the growth of their own middle class.
 
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Originally posted by Mike Gershman:
would you care to explain why it is fair to keep people without previous paid experience out of interviews for programming jobs but unfair ("s--ks") to lock people without previous security clearances out of interviews for programming jobs requiring security clearances.



He never said it was unfair, only that it wasn't enjoyable. There is a difference between the two. I don't contest for a moment that it's pretty miserable to be replaced by someone half a world away who makes as much in a month as you do in a few days, but there's nothing intrinsically unfair about it. It's a basic economic decision. What is intrinsically unfair is to give someone significant economic rights based on an accident of their birth. If I was born 30 miles farther south I doubt I'd be having this discussion.

You may not like my positions but they are not based on anyone's race, religion, or place of birth. They are solely based on legal immigration status.



Which is based entirely upon a person's place of birth, not his or her skills or abilities. Your entire premise is that experienced foreigners should be kept out of the US in favor of inexperienced, entry-level developers solely on basis of those inexperienced newbies' place of birth.

I think that many employers will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly well qualified newbies become highly productive. The other employers already know this, they just want to game the system to hire below true prevailing wages.



I'm not sure why we need government involvement to cure a market inefficiency. If there are significant competetive advantages to be had by hiring competent, entry-level American programmers and software developers, then I say let smart companies hire them on their own, and eat everyone else's lunch. I think you're starting to see that, as places like Google are hiring and developing some fascinating stuff. Let the big corporations do stupid things - they always do - and let the small companies and startups hire the young American kids. If it's a success, then the big boys will slavishly follow.

Cheers!

Luke
 
Pat Peg
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Originally posted by David M Fairchild:
What about now? Is 19 years without a clearence job a problem?



I don't know if it's a problem. That seems like a long time to me. If you are interested then put it on your resume and find out.
 
Mike Gershman
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I think that Luke and I basically disagree about the proper role of government so we won't agree on job protections or immigration.

A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested.

A protectionist is a free market advocate who was outsourced.
 
Mike Gershman
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David asked:

Is 19 years without a clearence job a problem?


The specialized job sites specify active clearances, but you can always post your resume as Pat suggested.

Also, when I worked in DC, there were certain clearances that you weren't supposed to disclose. Our employee badge color codes only went up to Secret. I don't know if that has changed.
 
Luke Kolin
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Originally posted by Mike Gershman:
A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested. A protectionist is a free market advocate who was outsourced.



I like that one! I need to figure out the reverse.

Cheers!

Luke
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Luke Kolin:


I like that one! I need to figure out the reverse.

Cheers!

Luke



I concur. Good one Mike.
 
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Originally posted by Luke Kolin:

I like that one! I need to figure out the reverse.

Cheers!

Luke



A free market advocate is a protectionist who just started an import-export business.
 
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Building a Better World in your Backyard by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop
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