What It Takes To Join The Cia

There are more than “spy games” going on in the Central Intelligence Agency. A career in the CIA could have you doing any number of activities, and not everything will be about espionage and covert actions. The mission of the CIA is to provide foreign intelligence for national security to the President and senior US policymakers. To achieve this, the CIA has specialists in numerous fields, ranging from clandestine operations to mechanical engineering. The CIA has employees from all fields of study and backgrounds to collect and provide intelligence that consumers need. The CIA offers career options into five major categories, each of which has many different possibilities and application requirements (most require at least a bachelor’s degree in a national security related field and, quite often, a master’s degree or higher is preferred).

The career options are as follows: analytical positions, clandestine service, language positions, scientist, engineer and technology positions and support services.

No matter what career path is chosen, an extensive knowledge of the world of intelligence, high academic standing, and a relevant background in strategic security issues will likely help you be better prepared when applying to the CIA. This article will provide a quick look into two of these career paths, and what will be beneficial for you to know for a successful career in the CIA.

Analytical Positions: Once intelligence is collected someone has to analyze and put into context the importance of that intelligence. An analyst for the CIA will evaluate information from many sources and will have to determine what information is reliable. It is the job of the analyst to perform meaningful assessments of this intelligence to pass along to government officials. Trained Intelligence Analysts must possess advanced critical thinking and analytical problem solving skills along with a keen knowledge of their subject matter. Some of the analyst positions for the CIA are in counterterrorism, counterintelligence and intelligence collection. A background in any one these subject matters would be invaluable to a career in the CIA.

Clandestine Service: The CIA’s clandestine service provides the intelligence needed by U.S. policymakers to protect national security interests. One must complete a 12-month Clandestine Service Training (CST) Program to begin their career as a field-based Core Collector for the CIA. Core Collector’s will partake in all aspects of clandestine operations while performing their overseas assignments. Knowledge in intelligence collection, intelligence operations and counterintelligence will provide the background needed to be successful in the CIA’s clandestine service.

Just about every employment opportunity at the CIA requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree. In order to prepare for what it takes to be involved with the CIA, knowledge within the intelligence community will benefit anyone interested in pursuing a career with the CIA. While much of the work that the CIA and other intelligence agencies do is conducted behind closed doors, there are many aspects of the CIA that you can learn about through open sources to help you understand how our nation collects, analyzes, and uses intelligence to protect and preserve its interests.

Introduced here were just two roles in the CIA workforce, the diversity of work offered by the CIA is virtually endless.