Top intelligence analyst skills needed to get the job.

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Host

What are the top 3 traits or skills every intelligence analyst must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your intelligence analyst expertise?

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Bob in Kansas City, Kansas

79 months ago

- an ability to link, make connections and links of information
- an ability to interpret what the report means
- an ability to write and express themselves in an educated manner
[usually in three key points with a follow up briefing, powerpoint, or in-depth analysis]

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Al in Sierra Vista, Arizona

57 months ago

Host said: What are the top 3 traits or skills every intelligence analyst must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your intelligence analyst expertise?

1. Critical thinking skills - your ability to piece together seemingly unrelated information from multiple sources to make all information 'intelligence.'

2. Strong ability to research information. If you're lazy and don't like research you won't be effective.

3. Strong communication skills. You need to write and speak clearly. If you can't communicate, you can't share the information you've analyzed. An effective analyst also is not afraid to communicate daily with other intelligence professions to build an information structure. Without coordination, again you will be an ineffective analyst.

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IntelCar in New Orleans, Louisiana

51 months ago

1. Critical thinking
2. Research skills (not necessarily certain database proficiencies but the thought process of exploring points/info to the logical point
3. Communication - with the overwhelming emphasis on writing.

All of these are built on the assumption that you are a good computer user.

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-Shirley in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

51 months ago

Wow that is amazing!!! What Universities have a strong school in this field of work?

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Trying to help in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

51 months ago

-Shirley in Baton Rouge, Louisiana said: Wow that is amazing!!! What Universities have a strong school in this field of work?

Well shirley hehe um I believe that Georgetown has a strong school in this field:)

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Wondering in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

51 months ago

Does anyone else know of a great University that works with this field?

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intel analyst nova

51 months ago

University.... are you serious? try the military..... that's how you get the clearance. other requirements completely secondary and useless w/out clearance.

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bob in Alexandria, Virginia

50 months ago

The clearance will trump any education, have two masters from top universities and the first question the recruiters ask me is, "Do you have a clearance?"

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sahm in Dallas, Texas

50 months ago

That is absolutel correct!!!!! It upsets me that people get their money taken by these top universities without understanding that many gov't jobs require a TS clearance and no amount of education in the world matters to a recruiter. YOU MUST HAVE A TOP SECRET CLEARANCE TO BE AN INTELLIGENCE ANALYST.

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DAMIEN in Washington, District of Columbia

50 months ago

AS INTEL ANALYST MYSELF, THE CLEARANCE IS A MUST, BUT I THINK BOB AND SAM ARE REALLY PLACING TO MUCH ON THE MILITARY, AND CLEARANCES A WHOLE, YOU DONT HAVE TO BE IN THE MILITARY TO BE IN INTEL. EDUCATION DOES MATTER, UNLESS YOU ENLIST IN THE MILITARY. DIA, CIA, FBI, ONI, REQUIRE 4YEAR BA, OR BS. AS FAR AS A "FIELD OF EDUCATION" PEOPLE I WORK WITH HAVE EDUCATIONS FROM "MATHEMATICS, TO HOMELAND SECURITY" THERE IS NO SPECIFIC FIELD FOR INTELLIGENCE. AS AN ENTRY LEVEL ASSOCIATE GOVERNMENT JOB WILL START YOUR SECURITY CLEARANCE TS SCI FOR YOU, OR YOU CAN REQUEST ONE WHILE ATTENDING COLLEGE. MAY INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS OFFER THEM, DEPENDING ON WHICH COLLEGE YOU ATTEND. IN SUM, CLEARANCE COMBINED WITH THE RIGHT EDUCATION WILL GET YOU WHER YOU NEED TO GO.

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DAMIEN in Washington, District of Columbia

50 months ago

bob in Alexandria, Virginia said: The clearance will trump any education, have two masters from top universities and the first question the recruiters ask me is, "Do you have a clearance?"

You have to think about the Job you are applying for also. Clearance doesnt trump any education. Because as a civilian you cant be in intel without a degree. You have to have both. if you didnt have 2 masters degree, but you had a clearance, he would have asked you "where is your degree".

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sahm nova

50 months ago

Damien,
You are incorrect. My husband is a GS 14 and 13 credits shy of a bachelors degree. He served 6 years in the military as a 96B, got out, beefed up his resume as a defense contractor making 95K a year and now as a said GS 14 in DC Metro. Nobody cares that he doesn't have his degree. His story can be repeated 1,000 times in this town. Feds and Contractors want former military and contractors won't even look at you without a clearance. It's not impossible in the technical sense to get in the intel field without a clearance, but it is basically impossible in the practical sense. With veterans preference points available in most jobs with the Feds, almost everyone else ends up excluded. These are the facts.

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DAMIEN in Washington, District of Columbia

50 months ago

The part you left out is he has military experience. I WORK AT THE OFFICE OF NAVAL INTELLIGENCE. we have an internship program for 3rd and 4th year college students. my point was you dont NEED military experience to be in intel. I never said it didnt help. and it is almost impossible to get into the intel field, without a TS/SCI Clearance. and i am unclear, what exactly was i incorrect about. this is a quote."AS AN ENTRY LEVEL ASSOCIATE GOVERNMENT JOB WILL START YOUR SECURITY CLEARANCE TS SCI FOR YOU, OR YOU CAN REQUEST ONE WHILE ATTENDING COLLEGE". Your husband wasnt and entry level associate, he had prior experience. and my post was a continuation please read both post before repling. thanks.

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DAMIEN in Washington, District of Columbia

50 months ago

this is another quote, the post you responded to was in reference to college students trying to get into the intel field."EDUCATION DOES MATTER, UNLESS YOU ENLIST IN THE MILITARY" i appreciate military wives(my wife is one). but sometimes they think they know all about the military as if they served.

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Annelle in Alexandria, Virginia

43 months ago

It is possible to get a TS/SCI without going through the military. I am getting my 2nd Master's Degree (1st one doesn't do any good in the intel field b/c it's in education--for all intents and purposes I might as well not have one!) at an excellent school (George Washington University--about 10K per year less than Georgetown). Because I'm a student, I'm eligible for internships. You have to interview for them just like a job, but if you're smart and target the right ones, and you're fortunate enough to GET them (competition is TOUGH!)you too can have a TS/SCI before you finish the 2-year master's program. And then there's always the government loan repayment benefit when you get done.

So, there's ways around the alleged military requirements that people keep touting. Although if the military is for you, go for it. It just wasn't for me--a 36 year old female.

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Damien in Washington, District of Columbia

43 months ago

Annelle, this is what i have been saying all along. You dont need the military to get a TS/SCI, half of the civilian here have absolutely no military experience at all.

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nova virginia

43 months ago

you're right; it's possible to get a ts/sci without getting it through the military. It is also possible to get struck by lightening. even IF you can manage to get the clearance without going in the military, good luck with gov't employment. you will be passed over by anyone with veterans status and disabled veteran's status. With the way the economy is now and for the forseable future, many many people are trying to get in the GS system and vets take priority by law.

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Damien in Washington, District of Columbia

43 months ago

Its not even if you manage? we have 2500 civilian here at ONI(and thats just in one building). who have no military experience at all(lol). Annelle it is managable. we hire new college graduates every week. Although I am in the military I am not blinded by it. Some people have been in the military so long this is all they know. For the people that say "Go through the military"...
"veteran this" "veteran that"....are usually military members who dont know how to be civilians....smh.

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BL in Denver, Colorado

41 months ago

-Shirley in Baton Rouge, Louisiana said: Wow that is amazing!!! What Universities have a strong school in this field of work?

Shirley,

The best schools for this career field are APSIA member schools or affiliate members. Here's the website:

www.apsia.org/apsia/index.php

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BL in Denver, Colorado

41 months ago

DAMIEN in Washington, District of Columbia said: The part you left out is he has military experience. I WORK AT THE OFFICE OF NAVAL INTELLIGENCE. we have an internship program for 3rd and 4th year college students. my point was you dont NEED military experience to be in intel. I never said it didnt help. and it is almost impossible to get into the intel field, without a TS/SCI Clearance. and i am unclear, what exactly was i incorrect about. this is a quote."AS AN ENTRY LEVEL ASSOCIATE GOVERNMENT JOB WILL START YOUR SECURITY CLEARANCE TS SCI FOR YOU, OR YOU CAN REQUEST ONE WHILE ATTENDING COLLEGE". Your husband wasnt and entry level associate, he had prior experience. and my post was a continuation please read both post before repling. thanks.

Damien is spot on. While I just recently finished a summer internship at ONI, I met plenty of graduate students and undergraduate students that had no prior military experience. While I have prior Army experience, I can honestly say that my MOS in the Army has little or nothing to do with the job of an intelligence analyst. However, no matter what work experience you may have, it's on you to find and stress the similiarities in your work experience to the tasks of an intelligence analyst. If you have prior work experience as a (off the top of my head) journalist, then you can tailor your resume to highlight your ability to take various sources of information, authenticate these sources, and the make them into one cohesive story. That is very similiar to what certain intelligence analysts do.

Therefore, I don't believe it was my military experience which got me into that internship, but it was my ability to tailor what little work experience I had to what intelligence analysts do on a day to day basis. Damien is right!

Be creative people! Stop blaming your lack of military experience!

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Dave in San Antonio, Texas

41 months ago

So there is a lot on here about the need for a clearance, specifically, one that is a TS/SCI. Moreover, that having this skill and having military experience is a bonafide job placement in the intell world. My question/comment is though: What if this individual that meets these aforementioned traits has zero experience actually working in the intell world, but has a great palate for this line of work? Is this a ding/or something that will impede this job seeker from landing a job in the intell world??

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intel in NOVA

41 months ago

Having your TS/SCI is very very beneficial even if you have no experience as an intelligence analyst. That being said, go to a website like cleared connections or intel careers.com and see what's available. Most defense contractors will hire you into relatively jr. intel analyst positions with no experience. Expect to make only about 55K in the DC area with no experience. Get a few years under your belt and then apply to work for the gov't if that's what you want. You have a decent shot as going in as maybe as GS 11 or so. Big defense contractors with lots of slots are ManTech, SAIC, Lockheed

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BL in Denver, Colorado

41 months ago

I'll agree with intel in Nova that having a TS/SCI is very beneficial for you gaining an intel analyst position even with zero experience. However, I completely disagree with the GS-11 remark. The only way you could get paid at GS-11 as an entry level federal employee is unless you have a PhD. If you have a Master's degree you'll most likely enter as GS-9 and GS-7 if you have a Bachelor's degree. This assessment is based on your comment of having "zero experience" as an intel analyst. If you had some prior work experience, you have a better chance of entering at a higher pay band.

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Dave in San Antonio, Texas

41 months ago

Intell in NOVA & BL in Denver,

I greatly appreciate both your insight on this I posit. It seems the continum amongst opinions varies vastly. Nevertheless, both offer a varying view of this position I ponder.

Bottom Line: Great Input - many thanks!!

D

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jon in Landstuhl, Germany

40 months ago

www.clearedconnections.com/Default.asp, www.techexpousa.com/, www.intelligencecareers.com/...............USA jobs, MONSTER.

JetL- Check those sites. Make a good resume and send it out to a bunch of different places/openings. Are you still in the army? I have the equivalent job in the air force curious to how it works out for you. I will be applying in a couple yrs when my enlistment is up. Actually I am going to extend one yr to get extra exp, get back to the states and give myself a window for applying.

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JETLI2012 in Killeen, Texas

39 months ago

jon in Landstuhl, Germany said: www.clearedconnections.com/Default.asp , www.techexpousa.com/ , www.intelligencecareers.com/...............USA jobs, MONSTER.

JetL- Check those sites. Make a good resume and send it out to a bunch of different places/openings. Are you still in the army? I have the equivalent job in the air force curious to how it works out for you. I will be applying in a couple yrs when my enlistment is up. Actually I am going to extend one yr to get extra exp, get back to the states and give myself a window for applying.

Thanks. Im currently applying to job openings in those sites. Thank you. :D

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JETLI2012 in Killeen, Texas

37 months ago

JETLI2012 in Killeen, Texas said: Thanks. Im currently applying to job openings in those sites. Thank you. :D

Just landed a contracting job in afghanistan.

:D

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Smart Brotha in Atlanta, Georgia

26 months ago

BL in Denver, Colorado said: ..However, I completely disagree with the GS-11 remark. The only way you could get paid at GS-11 as an entry level federal employee is unless you have a PhD. If you have a Master's degree you'll most likely enter as GS-9 and GS-7 if you have a Bachelor's degree. This assessment is based on your comment of having "zero experience" as an intel analyst. If you had some prior work experience, you have a better chance of entering at a higher pay band.

I have a friend that just received a GS-11 position with ZERO experience!!! Even I was shocked to hear this! Many of my friends have gotten out of the military and started out in GS-11 jobs but with no experience...its hard to say. Many their resume was spot on or maybe they only require someone with an active TS....you never know unless you apply.

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JETLI2012 in Houston, Texas

26 months ago

Wow. A response to this topic after so long. Much has changed since my last comment. I got out of the army, and am now in an intelligence analyst position for afghanistan ($204,000). If anyone needs a referral, let me know. You must have a TS/SCI, Bachelors, and 4 years minimum Intel analyst experience with a one year deployment (preferably). If you have a secret clearance, I can also refer you. (No degree or deployment experience needed).

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tamaran in Westminster, Maryland

22 months ago

I was told a secret clearance is good for 10years while a TS is only good for 5years.
Is this true.
What intel/security jobs can I get without any clearance.

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ctop87 in Morgantown, West Virginia

20 months ago

My spouse is having some difficulty finding this type of position, but meets almost all the requirements that have been discussed. The exception is 4yrs intel analyst experience, however, during an internship he achieved analyst-level publications and will soon complete a master's degree in security and intelligence study. His other background, to help clarify, involves security clearances, active military service, and deployment. Can anyone give some guidance on what might be preventing his consideration for positions such as these? Certainly, I'm biased, but there's only one way to interpret a 3.9 GPA.

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