I started a job a bit more than a year ago, and about 2 months in I begun my TS/SCI clearance process. I applied to a Masters program 6 months afterward. I found out I got accepted a few months after applying, around March or so. I was going to give my two weeks notice (I'm an at will employee) very soon to start my Masters, but my clearance just came through. Now I'm not sure what to do, as I feel leaving only a month after receiving a clearance is unethical.
Some notes and my thoughts:
- I am a software engineer. 99.9% of this job is unclassified, I don't even really understand why I was required to get my clearance. So during the past year and a half I have been able to contribute to the project with no problems. It's not like I sat around doing nothing while getting paid.
- I felt at first it doesn't matter if I leave because it's a similar situation to leaving after getting a bonus, and the clearance investigation only costs about $5000. But the clearance process took me almost 9 months, and I feel that is not fair to the company. I heard from coworkers that a big part of a clearance is ethics and character, and if I wanted to get a clearance again in the future this might not fare well.
- I do not want to get a masters while working, many people have suggested that but it's not something I am interested in. I have already been accepted to an in-person (well... hybrid due to COVID-19) program.
- Yes, I can reapply next year but would like to avoid that if possible, as I have been trying to get my masters for 4 years now but every year there is something new that prevents me from getting it.
- The school is a few thousand miles away from the job, so working while going to school is not possible