I’ve heard that no-one can know where you work, or what kind of work you do, in the National Intelligence Community (NIC).

This is mostly false. Yes, there are some agencies where, because of the work they do, you have to keep things secret. But in most of the NIC, you can say where you work and what you do. Like many businesses, people who work in the NIC need to use their discretion when they deal with sensitive information.  

Working at the NIC is like being in a James Bond or Jason Bourne movie.

Unfortunately, no. While there are some pretty cool jobs both in Australia and overseas, and some of the technology we use is cutting-edge, no-one drives around in an Aston Martin or lives the glamorous lifestyle of James Bond. 

A job in the NIC is dangerous.

Definitely not. While a small number of jobs involve deployment to sometimes dangerous parts of the world, we train our people for this. But by far, most roles are like any others in wider government or the private sector. And NIC agencies take work, health and safety very seriously.  

You have to work in Canberra if you want to work in the NIC.

Although the majority of jobs in NIC agencies are in Canberra, some agencies hire people based in other capital cities, regional areas, or around the world. It all depends on the agency and the type of work. If your role is in Canberra, you’ll be living in a vibrant city with lots to do.  

Being an analyst is the only type of job in the NIC.

Definitely not. While some agencies hire analysts, and in some cases lots of analysts, most people who work in the NIC are not analysts. There is a huge diversity of roles in the NIC including roles you’ll find in the private sector, wider government, science and academia. Explore this site to find out more about the wide range of roles in the NIC.  

I have to be a graduate, or someone with an advanced degree, to work in the NIC.

No, you don’t. But it all depends on the type of role. The NIC employs subject matter experts, people with TAFE or industry certifications, people learning on the job, and people who have demonstrated skill sets in a range of areas. That’s the thing about the NIC, it’s incredibly diverse! 

I have to get a security clearance to work in the NIC.

Yes, you do need a security clearance to work in the NIC. The level will depend on the agency and type of work you do, but expect to undergo a process to the highest level. You don’t need a clearance before you apply for a job. You'll complete the security clearance process if a job offer is made to you.  

You can’t do important national security work and have family or work flexibility at the same time.

This is not true. All agencies have their own workplace agreements and most make sure their employees have a healthy work-life balance and flexible working arrangements where possible. 

Work at the NIC takes place in departmental or agency silos and there’s limited opportunity for external engagement.

The NIC includes 10 agencies, each with its own legislation and mandate. A key reason the NIC was formed was so it would operate as an ‘intelligence enterprise’ and agencies collaborate with each other all the time. You’ll have lots of opportunity to interact with colleagues from across the community. In fact, there are roles in the NIC to support just that. And, if you want to move across agencies or try out another role in another agency, it’s all possible.