The are a variety of government positions that require a mathematics degree. In particular, the National Security Agency (NSA) is the largest employer of mathematicians in the United States, and perhaps the world. Among other things, the NSA needs mathematicians to help create and break codes, analyze intelligence data, and perform signal analysis. The NSA looks for intelligent and imaginative thinkers who can contribute original ideas to the solution of many of our nation’s most difficult problems. They hire people with a variety of technical degrees at all levels (undergraduate and graduate), and the pay and work conditions are often extremely good.
The National Security Agency (NSA) is the central producer and manager of signals intelligence for the United States. Estimated to be the largest of U.S. intelligence organizations in terms of personnel and budget, the NSA operates under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense and reports to the Director of National Intelligence.
The NSA is primarily tasked with global monitoring, collection, decoding, translation and analysis of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes. The agency is authorized to accomplish its mission through clandestine means, among which is physically bugging electronic systems and allegedly engaging in sabotage through subversive software. The NSA is also responsible for the protection of U.S. government communications and information systems. Due to the organization’s secrecy, NSA is at times explained to stand for “No Such Agency” or “Never Say Anything”.
While the CIA serves as the national coordinator for human intelligence (HUMINT), the NSA is tasked with coordination and deconfliction of national SIGINT missions across the intelligence community, with all other government establishments being prevented by law from engaging in such activities without the approval of the Defense Secretary following consultations with the NSA. As part of these streamlining responsibilities, the agency has a co-located organization called the Central Security Service, which was created to facilitate cooperation between NSA and other U.S. military cryptanalysis components.