US Department of State hiring again

MrAgentMrAgent Posts: 1,301Member
Just saw this from one of my friends who works for the Dept of State.

Announcement No: IMS-2014-0010
Position Title: Foreign Service Information Management Specialist
Open Period: July 30, 2014 – August 27, 2014
Series/Grade: FP – 2880 05
Salary: $43,378 - $63,702
Promotion Potential: Senior Foreign Service
Duty Locations: MANY Vacancies Throughout the World, WW
For More Information: HR/REE, 202-203-5160, [email protected]



Information Management Specialist - U.S. Department of State
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Comments

  • da_vatoda_vato Posts: 445Member
    Is your friend an IMS?

    I submitted for this job the last time it was opened. I made it past the QEP portion and will be going to DC in a few days to do the Oral assessment portion. Here's hoping...
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,736Mod Mod
    That salary tho icon_sad.gif
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: eJPT, Learning: Linux/CLI, Git, Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eJPT, eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python), eLearnSecurity PTSv3
  • colemiccolemic Posts: 1,559Member
    Keep us in the loop on how it goes, always wanted to know how the process plays out.
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • colemiccolemic Posts: 1,559Member
    JoJoCal19 wrote: »
    That salary tho icon_sad.gif

    Plus COLA. Plus housing. Plus federal bennies. Probably a little less than civ side in the end, but travel! adventure! is worth a lot to some. (like me)
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • MrAgentMrAgent Posts: 1,301Member
    da_vato wrote: »
    Is your friend an IMS?

    I submitted for this job the last time it was opened. I made it past the QEP portion and will be going to DC in a few days to do the Oral assessment portion. Here's hoping...

    I actually have a couple of friends who are both IMS.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,736Mod Mod
    colemic wrote: »
    Plus COLA. Plus housing. Plus federal bennies. Probably a little less than civ side in the end, but travel! adventure! is worth a lot to some. (like me)

    Ah, well housing (plus COLA) changes everything haha.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: eJPT, Learning: Linux/CLI, Git, Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eJPT, eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python), eLearnSecurity PTSv3
  • da_vatoda_vato Posts: 445Member
    Right off the batt I am looking at free housing and 17% overseas adjustment. According to there guidlines I will be at the top end of the scale so roughly 73k without any bills plus there is special pays per location like hardship and danger pay.
  • da_vatoda_vato Posts: 445Member
    colemic wrote: »
    Keep us in the loop on how it goes, always wanted to know how the process plays out.

    So far I can tell you this... It takes forever. I think I will probably begin early next year (assuming I make it passed the oral assessment).
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,123Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Last time I applied I got an email saying everything was good and in a few weeks I'd be contacted to move forward. Two weeks later I get an email saying I was missing something (which I wasn't) and that I was dropped from the process.
    WIP:
    Python
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  • NyblizzardNyblizzard Posts: 327Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    @da_vato

    Great to hear you made it to the OA buddy! When I woke up this morning and saw the email my future pretty much flashed before my eyes haha. Let me know how it goes since as you know, I want this for myself probably sometime next year icon_lol.gif
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  • MSP-ITMSP-IT Posts: 752Member
    Having finally completed my B.S. in May, I'm going to try and get an application in by the end of this week.

    Vato, how long was it before you heard back from them for the first time? Did you add any languages that you had experience in? Would it help if I showed that I had some proficiency and interest in a language?
  • da_vatoda_vato Posts: 445Member
    PM me your email and I will send you the question that are asked on the application.

    There are 109 questions on the Application itself, this in addition to the resume submission. A good amount are yes/no questions and then a bunch of essay questions. The resume I created on USAJobs I pretty much cut and paste my CISSP resume as it thoroughly discusses my experience/abilities (no need to worry about length).

    I submitted in March the posting closed APR 9th, and I got word I made it past the QEP process June 18th.

    The thing that I can tell they are after is cultural adaptibility/sensitivity and experience interacting with different cultures. I am sure languages you have proficiency in will help; Interested in, could possibly help too as that shows cultural curiosity.
  • DrethylDrethyl Posts: 121Member
    What should someone out of school expect for a beginning tech job with an associates and a bachelors in network security? I'm going for my security + cert in the next month or two and since I have no experience i'd probably have to take a desktop tech job. Any ideas on salaries? Even $43k starting for the US Gov position seems low.
  • da_vatoda_vato Posts: 445Member
    I am not sure I follow... are you talking in reference to this job?

    If so I would suspect you would be towards the bottom of the scale. Understand about this type of job there are benefits that when totaled up put you even to or better than the general industry. For instance my mortgage is $1500 a month right now. That is $18k a year I no longer have to pay (until I get out). So take $43k + 17% = $50k + housing = $68k (theoretically).

    $50k with no bills is not a bad deal at all plus understand that their are other pays like hardship and hazardous location pays that also increase your pay. You are pretty much guaranteed to be promoted within 18 months also.
  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I came to post this opening and am glad to see someone beat me to it. I'm a little over 3 years into this my IMS career and loving it. I'm sure you can find a previous thread I started on here when it opened in the past year or two where I answered lots of questions.

    To chime in on the salary, it looks low, but as da_vato pointed out as a total package it's hard to beat. In that 3yrs I've paid off all my debt through a combination of reduced expenditures and SLRP (student loan repayment) while also maxing out my retirements savings.

    Anyone who thinks they might like the somewhat nomadic lifestyle of moving every few years should definitely consider it. It does take about a year to get through the hiring process though.
  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Drethyl wrote: »
    What should someone out of school expect for a beginning tech job with an associates and a bachelors in network security? I'm going for my security + cert in the next month or two and since I have no experience i'd probably have to take a desktop tech job. Any ideas on salaries? Even $43k starting for the US Gov position seems low.

    Expectations will vary greatly depending on where you live. I'm from an area of the US that is among the lowest in cost of living and wages. So, while I was finishing my bachelor's I was working at a help desk making something like $11.50/hr ($23k/yr). Even after graduating, in that area you could only expect to go up to 30-40k/yr starting out.

    So, I basically more than doubled my salary while simultaneously removing all my bills when I got this job. I was an outlier though. Everyone else in my new hire class took a pay cut to get this job because, for them, the lifestyle and other benefits far outweigh it. I'm sure I could get a higher salary now if I wanted to, but the other benefits are far too valuable for me and I doubt I will leave until I retire.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,736Mod Mod
    Is this like the FBI where they tell you where you'll be stationed or can you choose your locations?
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: eJPT, Learning: Linux/CLI, Git, Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eJPT, eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python), eLearnSecurity PTSv3
  • SephStormSephStorm Posts: 1,732Member
    I would love to apply but I'm not sure my USA Jobs resume would make the cut. And that year wait after you apply if you aren't accepted?! Really though I need help making a good USAJobs resume.
  • da_vatoda_vato Posts: 445Member
    SephStorm wrote: »
    I would love to apply but I'm not sure my USA Jobs resume would make the cut. And that year wait after you apply if you aren't accepted?! Really though I need help making a good USAJobs resume.

    Why do you not think it would not make the cut? Do you meet the requirements posted on the page? If its just a matter of you think your resume is not written well enough I would be willing to help.
  • rwmidlrwmidl Senior Member Worldwide AvailabilityPosts: 806Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    To add to what 7lowe said, I've been in the program for 1 year now and love it. It took me almost 2 years to get through the hiring process (didn't make the cut the first time). If you want this career (and it is a great one) you have to really want it. It is a long (and at times frustrating) hiring process.

    For me, I came in at the top of the scale due to being a previous Federal Employee. The salary can seem low, but when you factor in we have no house payment (we sold our home), no car payment, no household bills (we just pay for our personal cell phones, internet and phone for the house) we are coming out ahead. My wife doesn't have to work, and we are able to put away money not only to my savings, but both of my kids 529 and we have a retirement account set up for my wife. We've been afforded the opportunity to travel and visit places we never thought we'd visit or be able to afford to go to.

    If anyone has any questions on the position I'll do my best to answer.
    CISSP | CISM | ACSS | ACIS | MCSA:2008 | MCITP:SA | MCSE:Security | MCSA:Security | Security + | MCTS
  • rwmidlrwmidl Senior Member Worldwide AvailabilityPosts: 806Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    JoJoCal19 wrote: »
    Is this like the FBI where they tell you where you'll be stationed or can you choose your locations?

    Your first two tours are directed tours. You get a list of possible posts, and your rank those. You then meet with your Career Development Officer and explain your ranking. He/she then decides where you go. After your first two tours, you bid on posts along with everyone else in the Department, and the gaining post chooses who they would like.

    I had 13 people in my new-hire class, so we had 13 posts to choose from. I should be getting my bid list for my second tour sometime this winter, so there will be at least 13 posts if not more to choose from and rank.
    CISSP | CISM | ACSS | ACIS | MCSA:2008 | MCITP:SA | MCSE:Security | MCSA:Security | Security + | MCTS
  • NyblizzardNyblizzard Posts: 327Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I love that there are two people posting in this thread who are currently IMS. It's pretty much become my "dream job" over the course of almost exactly a year now, and I hope that I can make it through the process when I officially apply some time next year. I have so many questions that I think I should probably ask in private
    O
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  • typfromdacotypfromdaco Posts: 95Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have seen the posting for this job multiple times and I always click on it and I am intrigued everytime. Since it takes up to a year for the approval process, is it possible to apply for the program a year before I ETS from the Army? Are you able to take family with you on these assignments, and are you moved at the governments expense?

    I was also curious if the work that you do will be directly applicable to the civilian sector, or is the work you perform a niche market that you may not do anywhere else. Thanks for all the input!
    2015 certification goals: [ X] ICND2
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,736Mod Mod
    rwmidl wrote: »
    Your first two tours are directed tours. You get a list of possible posts, and your rank those. You then meet with your Career Development Officer and explain your ranking. He/she then decides where you go. After your first two tours, you bid on posts along with everyone else in the Department, and the gaining post chooses who they would like.

    I had 13 people in my new-hire class, so we had 13 posts to choose from. I should be getting my bid list for my second tour sometime this winter, so there will be at least 13 posts if not more to choose from and rank.

    Thanks for explaining. I looked last night at the DoS list of posts. I have a wife and three small children. I absolutely would not take them to the Middle East. Likewise I would rule out anything in Africa. Are posts over there in play for first timers? How is it handled when people have families?
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: eJPT, Learning: Linux/CLI, Git, Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eJPT, eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python), eLearnSecurity PTSv3
  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Nyblizzard: If you have a question about someting private you don't want to publicly post about then you can PM me. Otherwise, you might as well post it here for the benefit of others as it's not like I'm going to tell you anything privately that I wouldn't say publicly anyway.

    typfromdaco: I would go ahead IF I would be able to make it to DC for the OA if invited. If you get to and pass that then you could go ahead and start the clearance process and get on the register. But, if you wouldn't be able to do that I probably wouldn't bother.

    Families can accompany you at most posts and government does pay. I think most of the work is applicable to civilian sector.

    JoJoCal19: In accepting the job you agree to "World-Wide Availability" and the first two directed tours you are at the mercy of your assignments officer. That being said, the people that make the assignments are reasonable, have a vested interest in making assignments that "work", and do take family situations into consideration. However, I definitely would advise against telling them "I absolutely won't go to X..." as that might backfire on you.

    My daughter was 4 when I joined so I understand your concern. I decided to go ahead with it on the basis that the percentage likelihood of me being assigned somewhere I wouldn't take my family was low enough that it was worth the risk.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,736Mod Mod
    7lowe wrote: »
    JoJoCal19: In accepting the job you agree to "World-Wide Availability" and the first two directed tours you are at the mercy of your assignments officer. That being said, the people that make the assignments are reasonable, have a vested interest in making assignments that "work", and do take family situations into consideration. However, I definitely would advise against telling them "I absolutely won't go to X..." as that might backfire on you.

    My daughter was 4 when I joined so I understand your concern. I decided to go ahead with it on the basis that the percentage likelihood of me being assigned somewhere I wouldn't take my family was low enough that it was worth the risk.

    I wouldn't approach them in the manner of "I absolutely wont", but I would walk rather than take my family to the Middle East or Africa. Having a wife AND three daughters, not only would I not do it, my wife wouldn't let me move them there either. I'm curious, is it like the military where you sign the dotted line and the Gov owns you, or is it on a right to work basis?
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: eJPT, Learning: Linux/CLI, Git, Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eJPT, eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python), eLearnSecurity PTSv3
  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    JoJoCal19 wrote: »
    I'm curious, is it like the military where you sign the dotted line and the Gov owns you, or is it on a right to work basis?

    You can quit any time you want. But, you do sign an agreement that if you quit within a certain time frame that you have to repay certain expenses that they incur in moving you and everything.
  • da_vatoda_vato Posts: 445Member
    typfromdaco,

    I found this write up to be the most useful, this is how I was first introduced to the foreign service. This is a military retiree switching over and covers several issues many of us veterans have.

    The U.S. Foreign Service - Crossing over to a Diplomatic Career - Topic
  • colemiccolemic Posts: 1,559Member
    Foreign Service Officer Benefits - U.S. Department of State - explains how they determine pay scale/step. This is from the officers' guide, but I would imagine it is similar to the process for determining salary for specialists. (Specialist just says determined based on education and work experience; this explains how that is calculated.)
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • da_vatoda_vato Posts: 445Member
    7lowe or rwmidl,

    I have done a significant amount of research about the foreign service yet still have not found information about school for the employee. I know there are some awesome benefits for dependant children. I am also aware there is an incentive program for obtaining and hold certain certifications for professional development but I am curious about formal education.

    I plan to pursue my doctorates in the next year or two and I have just enough GIBill remaining to cover one year. Is there any kind of tuition assistance that the DoS provides for the additional time? Also is there any benefit or incentives to pursuing an advanced degree, like easier to make Senior Foreign Service ranks or anthing like that?
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