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Information AnalysisInformation plays a crucial role in America's security. Professionals in this sector called information analysts and investigators collect and interpret information that involves threats to homeland security. After information is collected from a variety of sources, it must be categorized and prioritized in order to become useful information for homeland security defense and countermeasures. Several agencies employ these professionals including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Secret Service, Federal Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health, among others. A diverse range of skills and talents are required involving information technology and services; foreign languages; medical and environmental safety; and management security. Examples of some occupations include analytical chemist, cartographer, cryptanalyst, imagery analyst and regional analyst.
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For jobs requiring access to sensitive or classified materials, applicants must undergo a background investigation in order to obtain a security clearance. This investigation covers an individual's criminal, credit and employment history, as well as other records.
Advancement for most workers in the federal government is currently based on a system of occupational pay levels, or 'grades', although more departments and agencies are being granted waivers to utilize different pay and promotion strategies.
Workers typically enter the federal civil service at the starting grade for an occupation and begin a 'career ladder' of promotions until they reach the full-performance grade for that occupation.