How do I Become an Intelligence Analyst?

To become an intelligence analyst, you must complete four steps: postsecondary education, a background check, references, and a job interview. An intelligence analyst is in charge of reviewing the data and reports that intelligence field agents submit. They use this information to put events in context and create intelligence analysis reports. These reports are used government security agencies and defense departments to help them choose a strategic direction.

This type of work provides the most satisfaction to people who enjoy working independently, are interested in current events, and are knowledgeable about world history, religion, and tribal relationships. Almost all intelligence analysts work in offices, relying on data delivered via video, radio, or written reports. Other analysts are the only ones with whom you can interact. Because the work is classified, many people’s social circles are limited to those in the intelligence community. Long hours are required, and depending on the situation, weekends and evenings may be required.

To become an intelligence analyst, you must first complete a post-secondary education. For this type of job, a bachelor’s degree is required, with the vast majority of employers preferring a master’s degree. Intelligence training is not required; instead, candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in history, world politics, geography, or a related field. The analyst’s job is to put the activities of other countries and their people into context.

Intelligence analysts work for either the government or private international security firms. Criminal, political, family, and psychological background checks are all required as part of the application process to become an intelligence analyst. It’s worth noting that random drug tests, which look for both legal and illegal drugs, have become a standard part of the application process.

If you’re applying for a job as an intelligence analyst, double-check your resume and cover letter for any grammar or spelling errors. There must be a minimum of three professional and personal references. All three references will be contacted and will be asked to complete a detailed questionnaire. Request permission from your references ahead of time so they can prepare.

Most intelligence agencies conduct at least two rounds of interviews during the hiring process. The first round is a preliminary interview with the human resources staff. They’ve prepared a standard set of questions and are looking for detailed, succinct answers. Remember that everything you say will be recorded and analyzed. The second stage begins only after any psychological or mental fitness tests have been completed. The section manager and another analyst are the subjects of this interview.