WASHINGTON ― The field of opportunity for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates continues to grow thanks to the FBI’s increased recruitment efforts.

Special Agent Avatar Lefevre runs a cyber-skills recruitment unit within the FBI’s Human Resources Division. For him, the digital landscape will be the setting for future bouts with terrorism, espionage and crime, thus necessitating the need for exceptional STEM-based employees across the whole of the bureau.

“If the FBI doesn’t recruit and train the best qualified people in the STEM fields, our adversaries will undoubtedly gain an advantage” Lefevre states. “And that applies not just for special agents, but also analysts, engineers and a variety of scientists and other professionals who help solve crimes through the analysis of DNA, fingerprints, trace evidence and other cutting-edge methods.”

Nonetheless, the FBI will have to compete with the private sector, which usually pays more, for sought-after STEM employees. Yet Lefevre believes said employees will able to experience the direct impact of their work in a manner unique to the bureau.

“You are going to see people’s lives saved,” Lefevre stated. “You are to going to see money being returned to victims of fraud. You are going to see the mitigation of terror attacks. And you are going to know that you played a vital part in all of that because of the skills you brought to the table.”

Furthermore, the bureau is going beyond simply recruiting from colleges and has actually started to zero-in on the high-school level in order to make young people more aware of the opportunities the FBI provides. Lefevre subsequently hopes that this will impel young people to be more careful in the manner in which they conduct themselves, in both cyberspace and beyond.

“Because of the bureau’s exacting security clearance process, young people have to be aware that their actions now will have a bearing on their ability to gain government employment later.”