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Intelligence Studies Prepares Students for Intelligence Jobs

In 2009, CNNMoney.com ranked intelligence analysts as having the 9th best job in America. People with these intelligence jobs gave their work “A’s” for personal satisfaction, benefit to society, and future growth. The two drawbacks were not being able to vent about your job outside work and high stress. If you can keep a secret and work well under pressure, however; this exciting and potentially lucrative career may be just right for you.

Intelligence analysts that work for the federal government gather and analyze data to aid in the creation of military strategies and national policies. People with foreign language skills are highly sought after, as are those with military experience. As with most intelligence jobs , a security clearance is required. More specifically, a few of the tasks you can expect to perform as an intelligence analyst within the intelligence community include :

  • Predicting future terrorist activity using analyses of intelligence data.
  • Designing, using, or maintaining databases, such as geographic information systems (GIS) mapping.
  • Preparing written reports and presentations based on research, collection, and analysis of intelligence data.
  • Evaluating information that was gathered using tools such as aerial photographs or radar equipment.
  • Developing defense strategies using intelligence.
  • Validating known intelligence with data from other sources.

Intelligence jobs in analysis are not only found with the federal government. Many state, county, and city law enforcement agencies also hire intelligence analysts to help solve crimes. These professionals perform tasks that are related more to crime than national security. Some examples are:

  • Establishing criminal profiles to aid in connecting criminal organizations with their members.
  • Evaluating communication records, such as telephone calls, to determine the size and location of criminal groups and members.
  • Analyzing and correlating information from a variety of resources, such as law enforcement databases.
  • Linking suspects to criminal organizations or events to determine activities and interrelationships.
  • Studying the assets of criminal suspects to determine the flow of money from or to targeted groups.
  • Interviewing, interrogating, or interacting with witnesses or crime suspects to collect human intelligence.

If these work activities do not appeal to you, there are many other intelligence jobs available at the 17 different agencies and departments that make up the intelligence community, as well as law enforcement. There are also hundreds of companies that have contracts to perform various intelligence jobs . Other main categories of careers in intelligence include science and technology, intelligence collection, information technology, acquisitions and financial management, and security.

Even though there is such a variety of intelligence jobs , they all share common skills and ideology. For this reason, an intelligence studies degree can greatly increase your job prospects regardless of which intelligence career you are pursuing. Depending on where you are in your career and what your end goal is, colleges offer intelligence studies programs at all degree levels. Some schools even offer the convenience of online learning so that you can earn a degree at home according to your schedule.

Many intelligence studies programs also allow you to choose emphasis areas so you can tailor your degree to a particular intelligence career. Examples of possible subjects are collection management, intel operations, analysis, and counterterrorism. The majority of intelligence studies degrees, however, have core components that they share. For instance, expect to learn about the history of intelligence, the intelligence cycle, and how to write an intelligence report.

Intelligence jobs may seem out of reach to a lot of people, but with the right education, you will gain the confidence and knowledge to enter the intelligence industry and succeed. An intelligence studies degree can provide you with a solid foundation to build a rewarding career in intelligence. One day you too can have one of the best jobs in America.