Don’t Let Your Security Clearance Expire!
Having a security clearance can provide you with a range of benefits. If you plan on working with the federal government, it’s a necessity. The level of difficulty for obtaining a clearance depends on how sensitive the information you’re getting access to is.
There are four security clearance types:
- Interim Security Clearance
- Confidential Security Clearance
- Secret Security Clearance
- Top Secret Security Clearance
On top of that, there are two categories of highly classified information:
- Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI)
- Special Access Programs (SAPs)
These cover top secret information. The information has an even higher level of risk than the regular top secret security information. These are additional clearances that you attain on top of your current security clearance. These aren’t common and are only provided to an extremely limited amount of people.
As the level of security gets higher, the amount of time you need to have your background reviewed gets shorter. For example, you need to get your Confidential Security Clearance reviewed every 15 years, but for a Top Secret Security Clearance, it’s every 5 years.
If you’re in the military, you probably already have a security clearance of some level. If you’re a veteran and switching back into civilian life, don’t let it expire! Be sure to keep it up to date by taking “cleared” positions with companies or government agencies. This way, your job helps you maintain your security clearance. Some companies will pay more if a candidate has a security clearance and will look for candidates that have one.
Having a security clearance in the IT industry can be very beneficial. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Access to More Hiring OpportunitiesObviously, not everyone has a security clearance. But, there are certain positions that won’t take anyone that doesn’t have one. There are I.T. positions in government entities and they want cleared I.T. professionals. If you do your job well AND have a security clearance, companies will want you. The demand is so high that there are organizations that are dedicated to connecting cleared I.T. professionals to a variety of companies and agencies.
- Higher SalaryThere is actually a low supply of cleared I.T. candidates compared to the demand. Companies want candidates that have security clearances and will pay more to have you. Salary rates also go up as your level of security clearance increases. As some people would say, with great power comes great responsibility.
- Once You Have One, You Can Access the OthersOnce you have one clearance, it gives you easier access to higher levels of security clearance. If you choose to pursue and obtain higher clearances, this opens doors to more job opportunities and higher pay.
If you still don’t have a security clearance, don’t fret! You just have to push through the process of getting your first clearance and you’ll be in the door. Just be sure to not let it expire and keep using it in whatever job you are doing. Having a security clearance certainly helps especially if you want a career in information technology.