Careers in Geospatial Intelligence

Would you like to be the eyes of the intelligence community? Consider a job in one of the fastest-growing arenas of national security – geospatial intelligence.

Geospatial analysis has existed as long as humans have made and studied maps – but its importance to the intelligence community has skyrocketed in the past several years, with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and drones being increasingly used to both gather intelligence and take down targets.

Careers include federal government positions with agencies such as the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, as well as a variety of contracting positions for analysts, engineers and developers. The common denominator? A TS/SCI security clearance is required for most positions.

Anyone who sails a U.S. ship, flies a U.S. aircraft, makes national policy decisions, fights wars, locates targets, responds to natural disasters, or even navigates with a cellphone relies on NGA.

NGA employs approximately 16,000 civilians, service members and contractors, with more than two-thirds of those working at their new campus at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The remainder of their staff works at the NGA’s facilities in St. Louis, Missouri. Even positions with private contractors will likely be located near these main campuses, and the Washington, D.C. region, in particular.

With the growing use of drones and the United States shifting its focus from the Middle East and into Africa, expect geospatial intelligence careers to grow in the coming years.

If you’ve always been good with maps, have a background in GIS, know how to get the most from your GPS device or Google Earth, this might be the perfect fit for you.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.