Building some of the world's most advanced aircraft systems.
Future Technical Leaders
Northrop Grumman's technical rotation program for STEM graduate students and those working on post doctorates
Program Overview for STEM Graduates
Future Technical Leaders (FTLs) is a highly selective rotational program at Northrop Grumman that is strategically designed to accelerate the development for elite technical leaders. It provides professional development and networking opportunities for top STEM graduate students and those working on post doctorates. The program leverages experiences and relationships to grow careers while making significant technical and business contributions for the company. Both external candidates and current employees are eligible to apply.Learn More
Specialized Training and Development
Future Technical Leader participants, also referred to as FTLs, attend special training and development forums throughout the three-year program. These forums are designed to enhance participants’ experiences and knowledge in preparation of becoming a leader in the company. Other development opportunities include conferences, certifications and special projects that align and contribute to enterprise strategies.
Networking and Executive Visibility
The program is designed to provide an in-depth knowledge of the company, as well as opportunities to network as a cohort and meet previous FTLs and leaders from across the enterprise. The program’s ability to provide enterprise-wide leadership visibility is an important consideration in all components of the program.
Mentoring and One-on-One
FTLs’ success in the program is important to the company. There is a robust network of support beyond the FTL functional manager including a technical advocate and a mentor on each rotational assignment. Northrop Grumman will help FTLs identify someone who will guide and support the FTL’s personal and professional development. The goal is that each relationship will continue beyond the program.
Opportunities to Rotate
Experiencing a variety of assignments, locations and teams enables FTLs to develop and learn different technical and mission areas. Participants are strongly encouraged to embrace diverse rotations, both geographically and professionally. Relocation assistance is provided for every assignment that meets Internal Revenue Service rules.
Meet Northrop Grumman FTLs
A Message from our FTL Technical Champion
"After completing my PhD, I was looking at a variety of potential career options. One of the main reasons I selected Northrop Grumman was the opportunity to participate in the Future Technical Leaders program. Today, I see FTL alums occupying leadership positions across the company. They are driving our business by serving in technical leadership roles on our programs and captures, defining our technology strategy, innovating our future products and services, and managing our stellar technical talent."
Jonathan | Director, Disruptive Concepts & Technologies | Class of 2010
Frequently Asked Questions
Scroll through the below to find answers to our most received questions
Who is eligible for the program?
Graduate students and those working on post-doctorate degrees with STEM focus including traditional curriculums such as computer engineering, mathematics and physics disciplines as well as biology, statistics and other related scientific or engineering fields.
What is expected of a Future Technical Leader?
Northrop Grumman expects FTLs to be curious and have a strong desire to learn in addition to demonstrating effective leadership skills. FTLs establish relationships and absorb new concepts quickly. FTLs are innovative thinkers and bring new ideas to the organization to lead solutions to complex problems.
What is Final Placement?
At the conclusion of the third rotation, Northrop Grumman will identify post-graduation placement opportunities anywhere within the company that align with their interests, including technology, geographic locations, mission focus and career goals.
What areas of study are preferred for the FTL program?
Northrop Grumman looks for well-rounded students that display leadership and focus in STEM fields. These can range from traditional engineering in aeronautical, computer or electrical fields to sciences including physics, chemistry and biology to non-traditional areas like neuroscience and statistics.
When does hiring begin?
Most external candidates are evaluated in the fall. In early spring, the company hosts a second interview event.
Why is demonstrated leadership a requirement for the program?
Northrop Grumman recognizes that our people set us apart from our competitors. By having candidates that are well-rounded in both knowledge and capability, an environment is created that can develop and deliver top-tier mission critical, sustainable performance to our customers.
Why does Northrop Grumman have the FTL program?
The company depends on FTLs to be forward thinkers, accelerated learners and strong leaders with a passion for accepting challenges. FTLs are a valued, reliable resource for the company and are often called upon by leaders to solve some of the nation’s most complex problems. Through these experiences, FTLs contribute to the mission, advance the company’s technical capabilities, drive business results, and discover future roles leading to a long, exciting career at Northrop Grumman. FTLs continue to contribute high performance after graduation and hold senior technical and executive leadership roles within the company.
How does the program find rotations?
To maximize each participant's experience and growth in the program, FTLs rotate through a variety of assignments. Northrop Grumman will assist the FTLs in identifying projects that will provide individual career opportunities to make a positive impact to their professional growth and the company. Working on a broad scope of projects will ensure thorough training in a variety of technologies and businesses, and soft skill enhancements, such as presentation skills and leadership.
Can FTLs rotate internationally?
The company’s portfolio is diverse. Though the FTL program is domestic, there are many programs that require travel both domestically and internationally. The international travel would depend on the selected rotation.
How is the FTL experience different than other Northrop Grumman hires?
Northrop Grumman has multiple ways to be hired into the company, all of which provide a strong focus on professional development. This program is strategically designed to accelerate the growth of elite technical leaders. FTLs have immediate access to a nation-wide network, gain exposure to executive leadership and are introduced to a broad span of mentors with expertise in a diverse set of disciplines. This robust community is dedicated to supporting FTLs and cultivating an environment that enables extraordinary performance leading to accelerated professional progression. The FTL experience is enhanced with geographically dispersed experiences, conference attendance funding and elevated learning that includes technical, business and leadership components.
What We Do
Northrop Grumman is a pioneering company. We design, develop, build and support some of the world’s most advanced products, from cutting-edge aircraft and next-generation spacecraft to unrivaled cyber security systems and all-seeing radars.
Providing security by preventing cyber attacks, securing military communications, and much more.
Developing critical logistics and sustainment and modernization services for everything from America’s emergency services.
Creating naval systems that can map the deepest depths of the ocean and cultivating anti-submarine systems and advanced electronic warfare.
Pushing the boundaries of possible in space to provide unrivaled capabilities in strategic defense, secure communications, robust missile warnings, and advanced space situational awareness.
Why Join Northrop Grumman?
Northrop Grumman employees are Defining Possible every day through science, technology and engineering. We are 95,000 people – with careers in all areas: air, cyber, land, sea and space – working as one to defend and define the future.
Many sites have 9/80 days, telework and flexible scheduling options, plus generous paid time off. Indeed named Northrop Grumman a top 10 company for work/life balance in 2018.
Who We Are
Ranked on DiversityInc's annual list of Top 50 Companies for Diversity since 2010, we recruit top talent with traditional and non-traditional backgrounds to ensure our teams are skilled, focused and innovative.
We have 95,000 employees in all 50 states in the US and 21 countries worldwide.
We offer an array of benefits to give you the support you need, including matching 401K, tuition assistance, health insurance and wellness options, coaching, mentoring and more.
In the Community
From the environment to STEM education to philanthropy, we're committed to the community. We encourage and enable our employees to volunteer in meaningful activities with lasting impact.
Our employees’ commitment to quality combined with our leadership’s commitment to workplace environment and diversity has resulted in many significant accolades.