STEM in Public Service

FBI Recruiting Technical Talent for Many Roles

Graphic that represents the FBI's STEM program.

Whether it’s cracking codes, halting hackers, or finding forensic evidence, the FBI uses science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to keep the American people safe in nearly every investigation, every day.

“Our workforce tracks down hackers and finds kidnapped children,” said Special Agent Avatar LeFevre, who leads the FBI’s efforts to recruit cyber talent. “It’s hard to imagine another career in the STEM field where you would see those kinds of real-world impacts of your work.”

The FBI is working to hire 900 special agents, many of whom will need to have STEM-related skill sets to conduct technology-focused investigations now and in the future.

LeFevre and his team conduct outreach to STEM-focused college students and other potential employees whose skills match the FBI’s needs. With the Bureau’s ever-increasing cyber mission, and the fact that nearly every crime has some technology component, the FBI is hiring investigators with technology and other related skills.

“Many engineers, computer scientists, and other technical professionals don’t realize we want to hire them, but we do,” LeFevre said. “They still think of FBI special agents as police officers and lawyers like the old days. But once we explain we’re looking for great people from all backgrounds, especially science and tech, potential recruits are more receptive to our message.”

Special agent recruits must be able to meet the qualifications, including the ability to obtain a security clearance and pass a physical fitness test.

“Many engineers, computer scientists, and other technical professionals don’t realize we want to hire them, but we do.”

Avatar LeFevre, special agent, FBI Human Resources Division

While the Bureau is currently focused on recruiting new agents, there are numerous other opportunities in the FBI for innovative STEM professionals, such as computer scientists, biologists, chemists, IT project managers, and mathematicians.

“You can serve in the FBI and not be an agent,” LeFevre said. “If you don’t see yourself running, learning firearms, and going through the FBI Academy at Quantico, we still have a place for you if you have the right skills and can pass the background check.”

Whatever role they may apply for in the FBI, LeFevre encourages young people considering a career in FBI service to avoid any disqualifying behaviors, such as violations of the FBI’s employment drug policy.

“Although government cannot compete with the private sector in compensation for these sought-after professionals, the FBI offers a mission like no other and the opportunity to serve the public. Our employees see the results of their work every day, right in their own communities,” he said.