The National Security Agency (NSA) is open to employees from diverse educational backgrounds, even those as unique as music theory, for cryptanalysis roles. Employees like Cynthia, a highly educated musician, found her path redirected towards the NSA after the events of 9/11.


The seemingly unlikely relationship between music theory and mathematics has been a subject of academic study for years. NSA employees like Cynthia and Joseph C., a jazz saxophonist and deputy chief of Cryptanalysis, demonstrate that a background in music often coincides with a knack for mathematical and technical tasks.


Studies have indicated that musicians often exhibit more complex brain patterning and higher-order executive functioning. This can contribute to their success in fields like mathematics. Elise F., an NSA development specialist, links her proficiency in math to her understanding of music’s inherent mathematical structure.


The NSA encourages this blend of skills within their workforce. Even boasting an a cappella group, the Cryptones, consisting of mathematician singers. The NSA is always open to new talent.  Link


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