How to Become an Intelligence Analyst

Intelligence analysts are people who work for certain government organizations such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the National Security Agency (NSA). What they ultimately do is research and collect information from varying sources and identify what is relevant and important data. The subject of the material can vary, some can work on fighting terrorism while others work on public interest and safety.
Since being an intelligence analyst is basically a research job, it is important that the individual enjoys research. If not the process can become arduous and boring. Some people may wonder why not all resources are devoted into eliminating all immediate threats. The point of an intelligence analyst is to find and prepare, and hopefully prevent future threats that can occur against the public or the country. While there can be moments of excitement, essentially the day to day of an intelligence analyst is quiet and the work is done in an office building.
In order to begin a career as an intelligence analyst, it is important to have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also prefer that the potential employee have some experience and skills in certain areas such as cryptology, intelligence collection, or military service. While it is preferable, it doesn’t always mean it’s necessary. It is also important that the individual be proficient in computers and certain programs since these programs are always used. Another important requirement that an intelligence analyst needs to have is that he or she needs to be a United States citizen with the ability to pass a background investigation.
Another important skill to have is the ability to communicate and write well. While some intelligence analysts don’t have to come up with written reports, it is still important to be able to form an argument with the information found. This argument should be able to stand against scrutiny and criticism. It won’t matter how critical a person’s thinking skills are if they can’t write it down and demonstrate it. So it will be vital to take writing courses that will improve writing skills.
Films and movies may glamourize the life of an intelligence analyst, but it still is an extremely important career. Without analysts, current threats can’t be stopped and potential future threats may never even be detected. Those who love research, assessing information, and compiling an argument with the data gathered may find this career to be an ideal one.
Sources:
1. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3021.06
2. http://matthewburton.org/become-an-intelligence-analyst/

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