“The Willy Wonka golden ticket.”

According to the video below from, that’s how Mark Zaid, a national security attorney in Washington, D.C., describes a security clearance. “It opens incredible doors that otherwise would never be opened, and they typically have a bigger pot of gold at the end of the rainbow than non-cleared positions.”

Those open doors lead to great careers in national defense, cybersecurity, intelligence, criminal investigations and international relations. Americans with security clearances lead critical missions in protecting our country, pioneer advanced technologies and function at the heart of U.S. government operations all over the world.

And the opportunities don’t end there...

Obtaining a security clearance, however, takes time and discipline. The best way to start earning that “golden ticket” is to learn about the process and requirements now.