I wanted to ask for everyone's opininons. I've been recruiting highly cleared IT personnel for 9 years. I've had FSOs tell me I need to get cleared (I've also been through the FSO training, although years ago, but never got cleared). Do you think having a clearance is a good thing to have when working in the industry/area?
I was in the industry for several years, never needed one, and I was often dealing with candidates with Lifestyle Polys. A clearance could be very necessary depending on the facility you may be working at. Otherwise, you can be a very effective recruiter in the defense/intel world without one IMO.
Having a clearance doesn't hurt and will open some doors for you, but of course you will need an employer/government agency to sponsor you for one.
I think depending on the types of organizations that you want to work for/with, it can add some value. I would personally do it if I could continue doing my job at the same time, but probably not if I had to wait on a "bench" until it comes through. Clearance approval timeframes vary widely depending on agencies.