assist in recruiting. NGA could also take advantage of generic aptitude tests administered by various testing services. Individuals scoring highly on skills or native ability suited to spatial reasoning, geography, or image interpretation could easily be referred by the testing services to NGA as possible recruits.


The fourth task of the committee was to suggest ways to build the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure an adequate U.S. supply of geospatial intelligence experts over the next 20 years. To address the task, the committee identified a menu of NGA actions of varying scope and complexity, including the following:

•   Establish research centers (UARCs, centers of excellence, virtual centers) to gather experts from different fields and/or organizations to work on issues critical to NGA.

•   Establish research partnerships between private companies and universities and/or government agencies to support technological innovation.

•   Sponsor university efforts to develop core curricula and academic support infrastructure (e.g., journals, conferences) needed to advance the emerging areas.

•   Expand the Vector Study Program to enhance employee skills in core areas and add new skills in emergmg areas.

•   Institute periodic external reviews of the N GA College to ensure the quality of the curriculum and instructors.

•   Send employees to short courses at professional society meetings and fund university professors to develop short courses in areas of interest to NGA.

•   Increase the agency’s visibility to potential job applicants by organizing sessions at professional conferences and establishing a social media site with career information.

•   Seek qualified candidates by using career aptitude tests or by engaging students in interesting problem-solving exercises at recruiting events.

The examples above illustrate the variety of mechanisms that can be used to ensure the future availability of geospatial intelligence expertise. Some mechanisms would build expertise in the long term (e.g., UARCs, research partnerships with industry, curriculum development, academic support infrastructure), while others could provide more immediate gains (e.g., Vector Study Program expansion, virtual centers, professional society workshops and short courses, recruitment efforts). Most mechanisms would be relatively inexpensive to implement (e.g., virtual centers, curriculum development, recruiting efforts), while some could require substantial investment, depending on size and scope (e.g., UARCs, Vector Study Program expansion, centers of excellence). The need is greatest for the emerging areas, which have the potential to improve geospatial intelligence, but which currently produce few graduates and which lack the academic infrastructure to develop quickly. However, these mechanisms could also be used to build other areas of interest to NGA, such as core areas for which the pool of qualified applicants is small and shrinking (cartography, photogrammetry). Getting involved with education and training programs would also provide opportunities for NGA to influence the development of fields it relies on to carry out its mission.

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