Jewish World Review
http://www.jewishworldreview.com | (KRT) Help Wanted: Fight terrorists. Keep white collars clean. Foreign language and computer skills a plus. African-Americans and women especially encouraged. $40K to train, $50K at start.
The real ads don't exactly read like this, but the FBI is hiring and wants you to know it. That is, if you have a college degree, are from 23 to 36 years old and can meet rigorous standards that remain unchanged even with the doors wide open for newcomers.
The 829 agents hired last year were chosen from a pool of about 47,000, about a 1 in 57 chance.
To snare critical skills and achieve diversity, the FBI is using newspaper ads, billboards, radio and TV spots and soon even commercials in theaters.
"We've got a very aggressive national recruitment campaign for the next three months," said Special Agent Jan Saylor, the applicant coordinator for the St. Louis field office.
The goal is to hire 1,300 agents this year - its biggest talent search in many years. After expected retirements, it would bring the ranks to 11,500. The agency hired 962 in 2002.
"This is a real challenge," Saylor said. "We really don't know where we're going to put everybody. It's a difficult task."
Saylor said the top priority goes to applicants proficient in a foreign language, particularly Arabic, Farsi, Pashtu, Urdu, all dialects of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
The next most coveted skill is computer science or some other information technology.
And the FBI is looking for recruits with expertise in accounting, finance, engineering, physical sciences, intelligence gathering, law, law enforcement and the military.
Saylor said the FBI is particularly in need of blacks and women.
"Only 5 percent of our agents are African-Americans, and we should represent the diversity of American public as a whole," she said. About 18 percent of the FBI is female.
The basic qualifications are citizenship, physical fitness, a four-year college degree plus three years of professional work experience. The candidate must be between 23 and 36, and willing to work anywhere in the country.
Those who get accepted receive 17 weeks of training at a beginning salary of more than $40,000, with pay of more than $50,000 after graduation.
Saylor said interested people can find details at www.fbijobs.com on the Internet.
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