The National Security Agency (NSA) has been recruiting high school students for work study programs. They give students jobs during the school year and set them up in programs that guarantee full time jobs at the NSA when they get out of college. CNN did a profile of three recent high school graduates who take part in the work study program. According to CNN there are over 150 high school students in the program.
According to the NSA website they are looking for, "High school seniors who plan to major in computer science or computer/electrical engineering."
The students all have top secret security clearance and cannot talk about the work they do. One of the students interviewed only said she works "somewhat in cyber." The NSA is notorious for collecting people’s private and sensitive information.
The NSA has been struggling to recruit new employees, competing with flashy high paying Silicon Valley jobs and losing much of the public’s trust after Edward Snowden’s document leaks in 2013. Snowden’s leaks revealed massive surveillance programs run by the NSA that invade American’s privacy.
An NSA recruiter interviewed by CNN said, "We want to get them in and get them hooked early to the mission so they can have a long career here. There’s more emphasis now on student programs than I think there’s ever been to try to get them when they’re young. Get them hooked young."
Other intelligence agencies have similar programs, but the NSA seems to have the most extensive programs for high school students.
Dave DeCamp is assistant editor at Antiwar.com and a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn NY, focusing on US foreign policy and wars. He is on Twitter at @decampdave.