The past year has been an exciting one in the world of government contracting and security clearance processing. From security clearance reform and congressional inquiry to government shutdowns and security clearance investigation scandals, there was a lot of news worth noting. Here are the articles that most captured reader interest in 2013.

1. What is a Public Trust Clearance?

 Are all security clearances created equal? Does every sensitive government position require a security clearance including full background investigation? No, and that’s why this article rose to the top of this year’s list. Inquiring minds wanting to know all about positions of public trust need look no further.

2. OPM Revises Clearance Questions for New Drug Laws in Colorado, Washington

Recreational drug use may have become legal in heavy defense contracting state Colorado today, but OPM published new clarification in security clearance applications noting that drug use or illegal activity which falls under federal laws must still be reported. (So, if you were thinking of giving Mary Jane a try while possessing an active federal security clearance, think again. And for all of those students now considering a spring break in the mountains – your locally legal drug use will still need to be listed on your SF86).

3. Five High-Paying Skills for Cleared Job Seekers

You have a security clearance, but you also need the right skills to land a high-paying job. Here’s a round up of some of the skills offering the highest pay.

4. How to Keep Your Security Clearance Active

Don’t let your security clearance expire. Just because you have received a security clearance does not mean you have the ability to maintain it. Here’s an overview of what to be aware of when it comes to financial distress and personal conduct, and how to report these issues to your security officer.

5. Air Force to Suspend Investigations Into Cleared Airmen

Sequestration slowed the security clearance process, and for the Air Force suspended parts of it completely. In a cost-saving measure the Air Force opted to suspend renewal investigations for top secret clearance holders. At the time, Air Force spokespersons staunchly defended the decision, noting that negative findings rarely came out of reinvestigations. With new scrutiny of the clearance process, however, the spotlight is on making reinvestigations more effective.

6. Top Five Cities for Veterans to Find Jobs

For veterans looking for jobs, this list of top five cities is a great place to start. Make geography a part of your job search strategy to get the best results.

7. 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the United States Secret Service

 What high-level and sensitive U.S. agency can boast it’s never had a traitor in its midst? Proudly, the U.S. Secret Service. Despite recent scandals, this agency has largely had a record above reproach, with historic links to other intelligence agencies.

8. Top Five Cities for Cybersecurity Jobs

If you have the skills, there are a number of cybersecurity job opportunities out there. Find out which cities have the greatest number of opportunities.

9. Ten Military Unit Mottos You Might Not Know

More than seventy percent of the registered job seekers on ClearanceJobs.com are veterans. In addition to their interest in great job search and career advice, it’s always nice to check out a little military history/esprit de corps. This round-up of military unit mottos offers just that.

10. What is a NACI Clearance?

If you’re applying for a public trust position, you may be wondering what is a NACI – it’s actually the background investigation required for positions of public trust.

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