Getting an intelligence analyst job.

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Dan in Berlin, Germany

53 months ago

@Adam--Lol I can imagine that kind of stuff can go down in a big goverment job....I have dealt with some of that passive aggressive behavior in military intel. It is almost better to be at the bottom than a shiny star, but really it is best to kind of be in the middle and never boast when you do something that highlights you.

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right2shoes in Santa Monica, California

53 months ago

Adam in Ashburn, Virginia said: Hi thereRight2shoes, well it depends on what agency. With the CIA and especially within the NCS (new name for Directorate of Operations) the contractor/staff situation can be dicey. Some people get the misconception that as a contractor the grass is always greener, I don't believe this to be the case, despite the fact you get slightly more money (green backs) and your badge turns from blue to green. What happens is you are basically an at will employee. If your manager has the slightest issue with you, you are gone. If budget cuts are in order, you are gone. If you are with a large company then they will usually find you work. But, if you are with a smaller company and they don't have a contracts... welcome to your $300 a week unemployment check. No severance, nothing, just buh-bye. I have seen it over and over again. The agency is also notorious for screwing with your clearance. In essence, blacklisting you without knowing it. You will be told you still have your clearance but in reality can be marked with "do not crossover". This means you are essentially f'd. It has happened to many, many people; it's pretty sad.

Oh, no--that's not the answer I was hoping for, but I guess one that I need to know before I give up my secure government job (and clearance). I guess I just have to keep looking at opportunities with other agencies to get out of my current situation. Thanks very much for your quick reply. I can't afford to lose my clearance.

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right2shoes in Santa Monica, California

53 months ago

@Adam in Ashburn (again) -- So, I'm probably not going to move forward w/ this contracting gig with the Agency based on my concerns with job stability, etc, but...just out of curiosity....could you tell me what the "Staff Operations Officer" positions are like in the NCS/DO?
Thanks!

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Adam in Ashburn, Virginia

53 months ago

right2shoes in Santa Monica, California said: @Adam in Ashburn (again) -- So, I'm probably not going to move forward w/ this contracting gig with the Agency based on my concerns with job stability, etc, but...just out of curiosity....could you tell me what the "Staff Operations Officer" positions are like in the NCS/DO?
Thanks!

right2shoes, perhaps I am mistaken of your intentions, but to the keen observer it would seem like you are trying to make me talk obliquely about classified information, which is in effect entrapment. You should know better than that being an Intel Analyst yourself, as you claim. You can find what the general job description is on their website. Furthermore, didn't you start this thread about 3 years ago asking how to be an Intel Analyst? Why would you make a decision not to go green based off of my input so quickly? You also claim to be in West Virginia and California. Something doesn't add up here. Again, perhaps I am mistaken, but I would not be surprised if counterintel people are on this site trying bust somebody. My intentions are simply to relay my experiences regarding the job aspect of working as a contractor, no-BS steps to make it in the field, and how vulnerable one could be. If I am completely off base I will supply you with an e-mail address you can contact me on, otherwise I will assume you are trying to make a CI case.

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Adam in Ashburn, Virginia

53 months ago

intel_guy in Woodland, California said: Dude, I can't even tell you how helpful this last part is -- I've had some interest from the agency and details like this speak volumes. Thanks!

I wish it weren't true. It can be a great place to work, but their security apparatus has little accountability. If you want to work there by all means go for it. I'd actually like to go back one day, but I currently have a $400 an hour lawyer to deal with what happened in my case. I just don't want it to happen to anybody else.

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right2shoes in Santa Monica, California

53 months ago

Adam in Ashburn, Virginia said: right2shoes, perhaps I am mistaken of your intentions, but to the keen observer it would seem like you are trying to make me talk obliquely about classified information, which is in effect entrapment. You should know better than that being an Intel Analyst yourself, as you claim. You can find what the general job description is on their website. Furthermore, didn't you start this thread about 3 years ago asking how to be an Intel Analyst? Why would you make a decision not to go green based off of my input so quickly? You also claim to be in West Virginia and California. Something doesn't add up here. Again, perhaps I am mistaken, but I would not be surprised if counterintel people are on this site trying bust somebody. My intentions are simply to relay my experiences regarding the job aspect of working as a contractor, no-BS steps to make it in the field, and how vulnerable one could be. If I am completely off base I will supply you with an e-mail address you can contact me on, otherwise I will assume you are trying to make a CI case.

Yes, you are mistaken -- I'm definitely not trying to make a CI case. I really am an intel analyst with the government trying to decide whether to stay gov or go with a contractor. I wasn't looking for classified information, just looking for general, qualitative feedback like "SOOs are glorified secretarial positions," or "generally considered entry-level positions that are stepping stones to other things," etc. I obviously know where to find the general job descriptions on the agency web site. I have found your comments on this forum to be very helpful and would welcome the opportunity to correspond w/ you via email if you are indeed willing to supply an unclass email address. If not, I understand. Thank you again for your time and input thus far.

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Adam in Ashburn, Virginia

53 months ago

right2shoes, if that is the case then I apologize; one can never be too careful. I saw your initial post asking how to become an intel analyst, so it raised my antenna. But to answer your question, I am assuming you do not currently work at CIA. If you did and wanted to go green, I believe there is still an 18 month period where you have to wait after resigning as a staff officer and coming on as a contractor. If you have a current full scope poly then you might be able to cross it over, otherwise you may have to do everything over again. As far as a SOO goes (pronounced "sue"), I don't think it's a glorified sec. job, but you are a desk officer. Problem is, everybody gets there thinking their job will be cooler than it is. If they aren't in the NCS, then many want to get into the NCS. Once in the NCS, if you are not Ops Qualified, your career advancement is limited. The only ones to get Ops Qualed are Ops Officers and CMO's. CMO (Case Management Officer) gets a bad rep. but it is a very useful job. The only ones who can get Ops Qualed are staff officers, so hence the need for a lot of SOO's and SSO's being filled by contractors. In fact right now, they have many, many openings for SOO positions on a particular contract, whose name and main contract company shall remain nameless. They had quite the regime running that for years and a LOT of people were fired, their pay capped, or otherwise screwed over. Yes, I was one of them and three years later it is still giving me trouble. Bottom line, CIA does not treat contractors very well. You are doing the same exact job that staffers do, except it is highly likely that a young GS will have major sway over your career and some may have a jealous streak that will not work in your favor. Keep in mind the NCS' main mission is to basically manipulate people. If only they concentrated more on manipulating the adversary and not themselves... you and anybody else can contact me privately at mrkwright63@gmail.com

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Steven in New Rochelle, New York

53 months ago

I've read this thread from the beginning and I've seen a lot of great advise here. It can be a bit confusing however, since many different people in the field present contradictory suggestions. I'm looking to get into the intelligence field and was wondering what the best course of action would be.

I have an MS in counseling and a BA in psychology/political science, I am also a member of two international honor societies and I have diverse work/intern experience which includes research, writing, and public relations. I have been doing research as of late on what the best course of action would be, I don't have any related intel experience and all of the job postings that I have come across seem to require 3+ years of experience or a military background (not to mention TS clearance, but I have a clean record, so I'm not worried).

Of all the intel disciplines, GeoINT seems the most appealing to me, I've been in contact with a professor at Penn State that offers a post bacc. certificate program in Geospatial intelligence, he also claims that the program trains in Arc GIS. I'm wondering, is it worth it to undergo this certificate program, or would a better choice be to join a military branch (the air force appeals to me most)? The program would cost about $10k and I need to evaluate if it would be a worthwhile investment carefully since I already have about $70k in student loans. As a side note, the professor I've been in contact with has told me that there are people in his program already doing GeoInt that don't have formal training. If that's the case, how does an unacquainted person like myself get into this field???

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Kefka916

53 months ago

I have a question concerning which route would most likely lead to an intel career. At the moment, I'm enlisted in the army. After reading this posting, I've decided that since I just got in, I should switch my army job to intel analyst since that is the surest way to acquire a ts security clearance, and possibly get federal job. My only problem is determining whether or not I should stay on the enlisted side and become an analyst (which would allow me to acquire a ts with absolute certainty), or put in my packet to become an officer since I have my B.A. in Government. I figured I'd play it safe and stay enlisted so that I don't have any issues obtaining a ts clearance. I've heard army officers are administrators who tend to be moved around, so it seems likely that I may not be given an opportunity to become an intel officer. Any feedback or advice would be appreciated.

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Brad in El Cajon, California

53 months ago

Fusion Center Analyst in Roseville, California said: look at all the clearance job boards, and read the job description carefully. While a lot of intel jobs require an active/current clearance, there are still a lot of jobs that say you only need to be "eligible" or "be able" to earn a clearance. If your finances are clean, you aren't a druggie or have a rap sheet, apply.

as far as working in California - Slim unless you get into a fusion center program.... DHS also hires for intelligence officers or intelligence operations specialists. Check USAjobs for those jobs or the 0132 series number.

regarding your education: BA in Poli Sci.... that's a writing intensive program right? that requires a lot of research and thoughtful analysis, right? if so, you're golden. The intelligence field likes people with that kind of background.

You'll have to excuse me for being extremely green here...but I haven't talked with anybody regarding how to become an intel analyst whatsoever. What do you mean by clearance job boards?

I've just discovered recently that San Diego has both a Regional Terrorism Threat Assessment Center and a FBI Join Terrorism Task Force (these are fusion centers correct?), but I'm not sure how/where you apply. I have yet to find any listings in the 0132 series number on USA Jobs working at one of these centers. If you do get into a fusion center program, who are you working for? From what I've seen it seems to be mostly comprised of local law enforcement, however my local LE websites don't mention anything about a fusion center analyst career. It seems that anything remotely related to intel analysis (through LE) requires you start out as a patrol officer, something I didn't plan on doing. Good to know my education is golden, but what about a lack of experience? Most want 3 years related exp? Where do I start?

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Brad in El Cajon, California

53 months ago

Sure, my email address is bmadden71@gmail.com. That would be a huge help! It's been difficult searching for entry level jobs in the intel arena. I've considered applying to the CIA or DIA, but I'm just not willing to leave San Diego/CA at the moment. Travel is one thing, but starting somewhere else for 3-4 years isn't in my game plan.

I'm not crazy about working with "local" crime, but I'm sure a criminal intel analyst has duties more on the national level. It is at least worth checking out, and a good place to possibly start.

Thanks again!

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LOLZ in San Francisco, California

53 months ago

A five second google search yielded: leiu.org/node/130 -- might want to hone those basic research skills if you're pursuing an INTEL career =/

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LOLZ in San Francisco, California

53 months ago

Brad in El Cajon, California said: Sure, my email address is bmadden71@gmail.com. That would be a huge help! It's been difficult searching for entry level jobs in the intel arena. I've considered applying to the CIA or DIA, but I'm just not willing to leave San Diego/CA at the moment. Travel is one thing, but starting somewhere else for 3-4 years isn't in my game plan.

I'm not crazy about working with "local" crime, but I'm sure a criminal intel analyst has duties more on the national level. It is at least worth checking out, and a good place to possibly start.

Thanks again!

try google leiu.org/node/130

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Brad in El Cajon, California

53 months ago

LOLZ in San Francisco, California said: A five second google search yielded: leiu.org/node/130 -- might want to hone those basic research skills if you're pursuing an INTEL career =/

Thanks, I appreciate the help. Like I said in my previous post I'm really not too interested in a law enforcement type career working with local crime, which is why I haven't researched that particular type of job. However everyone has to start somewhere and I'm assuming this would be a great route outside of the military to give the credentials needed for a more national security/counterintelligence type of career. Thanks again you have all been extremely helpful.

Brad

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Fusion Center Analyst in Podunk, California

53 months ago

Brad in El Cajon, California said: Sure, my email address is bmadden71@gmail.com. That would be a huge help! It's been difficult searching for entry level jobs in the intel arena. I've considered applying to the CIA or DIA, but I'm just not willing to leave San Diego/CA at the moment. Travel is one thing, but starting somewhere else for 3-4 years isn't in my game plan.

I'm not crazy about working with "local" crime, but I'm sure a criminal intel analyst has duties more on the national level. It is at least worth checking out, and a good place to possibly start.

Thanks again!

brad - check your email. i sent it from a yahoo email address.

whether its local LE or state/feds, so long as you get some analytic experience and a security clearance under your belt, the sky is the limit.

good luck.

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Michael in Falls Church, Virginia

53 months ago

Hey everyone, I recently landed a phone interview with an intelligence agency.

I'm a recent college grad without a clearance. Any advice for the interview?

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Fusion Center Analyst in Podunk, California

53 months ago

Carlos in Fallbrook, California said: Hey, I'm interested in crime analyst, and I live in San Diego. Can you send an email to polygonsquad@ymail.com too?

carlos - check your email as well.

good luck to you as well.

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Adam in Ashburn, Virginia

53 months ago

Michael in Falls Church, Virginia said: Hey everyone, I recently landed a phone interview with an intelligence agency.

I'm a recent college grad without a clearance. Any advice for the interview?

Act like you really want to make this a career and that you know what you are getting into, don't try to impress them too much; they'll think you are cocky (you won't be working for the person you are speaking with on the phone), let them know you follow directions and work well in a team, oh... and read the Economist. For a direct hire position it doesn't matter if you have a clearance or not.

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johnsebik in Hackensack, New Jersey

53 months ago

what company?

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Michael in Falls Church, Virginia

53 months ago

@ johnsebik: NSA

@ Adam: What do you mean a direct hire position? And when you say read the Economist, you mean they are going to grill me on current global issues?

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johnsebik in Hackensack, New Jersey

53 months ago

wow, awesome, what skill sets do you represent in your resume?

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Air Force intel person in Tampa, Florida

53 months ago

Richard Wyse in Arlington, Tennessee said: I would like to ask a quick question. I am planning on joining the Air National Guard this spring/summer and I am going to enlist as a 1n0x1. I know that the tech school is 6 months long, but will I have to wait for my clearance to begin tech school? I am one semester away from getting an accounting degree and I am curious to know when I can plan to finish college as well.

When you begin BASIC training going into the career field you are automatically submitted for a SECRET clearance. While you undergo training, you will have either your interim or your full secret clearance, and will be waiting to obtain your Top Secret as well. Eventually you get interim clearance, and upon your first duty station you either continue on with your SECRET once it is fully established or they ensure your TS is complete and you are "read-on" properly if that assignment calls for it. Don't worry, as soon as you start basic and tech school the process will occur for you and you will just need to occasionally sign paperwork as it happens. Lucky that active duty enlisted is where they do everything for you and make it easy to just sign here and there and they make things happen.

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PD in San Angelo, Texas

53 months ago

For 1N0X1 school you will have to have your SECRET done prior to starting school, and your SSBI at least started by week 14. You don't need your TS/SCI completed until the end of the course for the final exercise.

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Student in Reading, Pennsylvania

53 months ago

I currently have a TS security clearance and about to graduate from college with a degree in criminal justice and a minor in geography. I am applying to grad schools that offer degrees in intelligence so that I am continuing my education while I look for jobs. I am in the army reserves with no actual intelligence experiance other than just holding an intel analyst spot. While in college, I took classes in spanish, russian, french, and chinese to make me more marketable. I am looking to work in the DIA, however, I realize I am one of many that want to work for the DIA. I have applied to the entry level positions as well as DIA internships, with no response so far. What else can I do to get myself one step closer than everyone else and is there any specific grad schools I should be targeting.

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Student in Reading, Pennsylvania

53 months ago

I currently have a TS security clearance and about to graduate from college with a degree in criminal justice and a minor in geography. I am applying to grad schools that offer degrees in intelligence so that I am continuing my education while I look for jobs. I am in the army reserves with no actual intelligence experiance other than just holding an intel analyst spot. While in college, I took classes in spanish, russian, french, and chinese to make me more marketable. I am looking to work in the DIA, however, I realize I am one of many that want to work for the DIA. I have applied to the entry level positions as well as DIA internships, with no response so far. What else can I do to get myself one step closer than everyone else and is there any specific grad schools I should be targeting.

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Adam in Ashburn, Virginia

53 months ago

Student in Reading, Pennsylvania said: I currently have a TS security clearance and about to graduate from college with a degree in criminal justice and a minor in geography. I am applying to grad schools that offer degrees in intelligence so that I am continuing my education while I look for jobs. I am in the army reserves with no actual intelligence experiance other than just holding an intel analyst spot. While in college, I took classes in spanish, russian, french, and chinese to make me more marketable. I am looking to work in the DIA, however, I realize I am one of many that want to work for the DIA. I have applied to the entry level positions as well as DIA internships, with no response so far. What else can I do to get myself one step closer than everyone else and is there any specific grad schools I should be targeting.

Seriously the best advice is to keep on applying. You have to know how the hiring process works. To put it succinctly, it doesn't. Nobody will sit and go through each resume trying to match it up with an opening. You just have to keep applying to different jobs in the hopes that they will eventually hit your resume after doing a keyword search. It's real the same way monster.com works. If somebody needs a Chinese speaker; they simply do a search for "Chinese". Once I had written some word that must have been correlated to something else, because I kept getting offer to operate bulk fuel in Antarctica, I kid you not. Put you resume on monster and any of the other cleared jobs portals. You'll get responses from contractor companies because you have a clearance. Most will be companies looking to bid on a contract, verses actually having a slot to fill, but it's how the numbers game is played.

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BetterHealthcare in Atlanta, Georgia

53 months ago

Student in Reading,

DIA is a great agency but it is not the only one. There’re 18 intelligence agencies some overlapping the other. If you are a Reservist with an active TS clearance, I recommend you apply to the National Intelligence University (NIU) for one of its graduate programs verses a civilian institution. Only uniform personnel and Gov’t civilians currently in the intelligence profession can apply for admission.

NIU offers a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence (MSSI) or a Master of Science in Tactical Intelligence (MSTI) as well as certificates in Intelligence. NIU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Most of its graduates go on to work for DIA, but many are employed by one of the other agencies.

If you have no experience, I suggest you start off small, try to work your way into the community as a defense contractor and build your reputation that way, because eventually your reputation will precede you. You may also want to volunteer for a rotation into AFG or IRQ thru your Reserve Unit in an effort to help build your skill set and reputation as a competent intelligence analyst (IA). Don’t worry; you will not be directly in the line of fire. You will work in one of several national intelligence centers (NIC) in country. That way you will have an opportunity to see real-world intelligence in real-time verses diluted or post reporting INTEL.

Part 1 of 2

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BetterHealthcare in Atlanta, Georgia

53 months ago

Part 2 of 2

Also, you will get a chance to work with all of the disciplines at one time as well as you will see how various agencies and action-arms assimilate & react to actionable intelligence. Find an area of the world and become a subject matter expert (SME) on it. Also do not become bogged down on terrorism, because it is just a small piece of the US overall intelligence focus, just happens to be the one the media is reporting on and the B-team is using to get into the major league of intelligence gathering, analyzing, and reporting.

As a junior analyst you have a lot to learn. Applying to DIA is like going from being a high-school football player to the NFL … you need to season and mature your skills at the college level first. And I think working for organizations like INSCOM, USAR, or a unit CMD in the G2 is a good first step. There should be a SIO or seasoned analyst in there to help guide you.

xSIO

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grad in Garfield, New Jersey

52 months ago

Hello all! Wanted to say, this forum has been incredibly informative. Had a few questions about NGA. How competitive is it to enter the NGA? If someone was to enter as a Geospatial Analyst, is *any* regional analysis incorporated into the work? Or is it 100% stuff like IMINT, geometrical processing, cartography, etc? Lastly, what would the GITP training be like for an entry level Geospatial Analyst? Is any weapons qualification applicable? Thanks in advance for your input, it is appreciated.

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SIGS in Hinesville, Georgia

52 months ago

Thanks for all the useful information everyone. I was wondering if anyone had any insight into how marketable some of these intelligence degrees are. I know this was brought up earlier, but I'm just looking for a bit of clarity. Several pages back, nova intel compares these degrees to having a top secret clearance, and states that it is best to have the ts clearance rather than an intel degree. I'd like to know if it would be wise to get an M.S. in Management: Intelligence Management at UMUC, while acquiring a ts clearance through the army by doing SIGINT for a few years. I currently have a bachelors in Government from a state school. Just looking for input on whether or not this would be worthwhile approach to take.

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BetterHealthcare in Atlanta, Georgia

52 months ago

Grad in Garfield,

NGA is a great agency; I have had the pleasure of working with several NGA analysts over the course of my career. There is no agency within the US enterprise that doesn’t utilize NGA assets at some time or another.

Competition for employment with any of the US Intelligence agency is extremely high; many of the current or former employees of the US Intelligence Community (IC) are veterans and/or currently active service members (SM). In my career, I have seen only a small percentage make the leap from civilian directly into the IC, but as I am indicating some have/currently do.

It is very difficult to give you a true depiction of the life as a NGA analyst, (1) because I am not one, and (2) it will likely come close to bleeding over into committing a counterintelligence (CI) violation. Having worked alongside and supervised several NGA analysts, I can tell you many are excited about what they do and the agency itself.

I will tell you this, NGA analyst are found across the entire IC and in every corner of the world.

I hope that you apply to the agency and secure employment. In my opinion there is no more rewarding career than as a member of a thankless and invisible cohort than the US Intelligence Community.

Good Luck!!

xSIO

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BetterHealthcare in Atlanta, Georgia

52 months ago

SIGS in Hinesville,

You are asking a very good question. My answer is ----- it depends on the individual pursuing the degree and his/her knowledge of INTEL. As a SIGner in a DIV/BCT, you will be slightly behind your peers working in DC/the National level, or even your peers at NSA-GA and/or NSA-TX.

You’re doing great work at the unit-level, but you are not scratching the surface of Signal Intelligence; therefore, the degree may help you. I would ask a question. What are your long-term goals with regards to a career as an INTEL professional? If you are eyeing the covenant Senior Intelligence Officer (SIO) designator then an advance degree is truly worth it, rather the one offered via UMUC holds weigh, I am uncertain, I would check to see if the institution has a relationship w/the US Intelligence Community (IC) or the National Intelligence University (NIU) which is overseen by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

Many senior INTEL professionals hold advance degrees from one of the sanctioned institutions governed by CIA or DIA if the degree concentrates heavily in intelligence. Many others hold advance degrees in international: studies, administration, policy, conflict management, etc from other notable institutions. In some cases you can have the federal government fund your advance degree. There are even programs that allow federal employees to attend school full-time and still draw their salary while studying/in school.

The drawback to gaining admission into institutions overseen by CIA or DIA is you have to be a current member of the IC and work for one the reporting agencies or what is referred to as one of the “big boys”; then you begin the long paperwork process through your office, your agency, OPM, and the admissions committee.

I hope this helps and good luck in your career!

xSIO

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John in Dallas, Texas

52 months ago

Does anyone have experience with ATIC's Analyst Boot Camp? Although you do get your TS clearance in 10 weeks, it requires moving to Ohio for the duration... This would essentially turn my life upside down (quit job, leave apartment, etc), but it's pretty much the only viable option I can see after 3+ years off applying to intel positions...

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PD in Minden, Louisiana

52 months ago

I don't care what anyone says, having a degree will NEVER hurt you, and I have seen a good few where it is required (along with clearance/experience). I would make sure your degree is in a field relative to intelligence work in some way. I don't care if your degree is from the Univ of Phoenix or Harvard, it is going to take some level of commitment and effort to complete it and it shows.

Just don't take all of your time getting a degree at the expense of a clearance and experience.

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Frank in Crofton, Maryland

52 months ago

Hello everyone. I am active duty AF in intel. I have a bachelors in Political Science, and an active TS/SCI clearance. I plan on applying to different agencies as i separate within the coming year. I know it can be a long drawn out process, but how many months out should start sending my resume?

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Pete in Lusby, Maryland

52 months ago

Stephanie in Johnstown, Pennsylvania said: I have recently graduated with my Masters Degree in Strategic Studies with an emphasis on Global Security. My skill sets include national security research and analysis, both foreign and domestic national security concepts. I have applied to over 239 positions since August and still cannot obtain even an entry level position. I actually had a person tell me that my Masters Degree 'means nothing.'

So I am going on seven months now of trying to secure an entry level position with the Government, with no hope in sight.

Stephanie, I was in the same boat as you. I was actually told my a hiring manager that he would be more likely to hire a kid with 0 experience but active clearance than a guy with 10 years experience and no clearance.

I couldn't figure out what to do, so I joined the National Guard in a position that would require a clearance. Only a 3 year commitment too. Well, long story short, I start at my dream intel job next Monday.

Sometimes you have to make the insane choices that no one ever sees coming to succeed.

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Pete in Lusby, Maryland

52 months ago

Frank in Crofton, Maryland said: Hello everyone. I am active duty AF in intel. I have a bachelors in Political Science, and an active TS/SCI clearance. I plan on applying to different agencies as i separate within the coming year. I know it can be a long drawn out process, but how many months out should start sending my resume?

Here's how it went down for me.
May 1st job opens (I apply)
May 15 job closes
June 16 called for Interview
June 24 Interview (Went really well)
July 7 Am told informally that the selection has been made and to keep an eye on my e-mail.
August 17 Hiring manager contacts me asking if HR has contacted me with an offer yet.
September 7 Receive initial tentative offer (Accepted 3 minutes after receiving e-mail)
September 23 Pee in a cup (Drug Test)
October 5 Received final firm offer
October 24 START DATE!!!

So yeah, long waits, with no word. Many times things were pushed ahead because I kept pining the HR person. The time between getting the wink wink nod nod "We made a selection" thing and actually getting an offer was really tough. Also, I already had a clearance in process, as I had joined the guard to become more competitive for this job. Anyway, good luck and don't give up.

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PD in Minden, Louisiana

52 months ago

Hey Pete, what agency?

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grad in Garfield, New Jersey

52 months ago

BetterHealthcare in Atlanta, Thank you so much for your input. Very appreciated! Good luck to everyone.

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fadedevo in Alpine, Utah

52 months ago

I have been following this thread for a few months now. I am graduating with a Bachelors in Urban Planning next year. I've studied a lot of GIS and geography. I am looking to apply to the NGA internship and was wondering if there are any analysts that would be willing to look over my resume. Only catch is today is the application deadline so I realize some willing people might not get a chance. I've just spent hours scrutinizing my resume, had friends look it over, and had the thought this morning that perhaps someone from this forum could help also.

I do not have a security clearance and I have not (yet) joined the military. (meaning its no the radar but I haven't committed). As I mentioned, I have read this entire thread so I know what that means. However, the internship at NGA looks like it is geared towards civilian students since it requires applicants to still be matriculated.

So realizing the competitive nature of the position(s), I still wanna give it a shot, even if its a long shot. I feel my resume (by itself) is pretty strong with varying applicable experience and related coursework. if you would be willing to take a look, please email me at fadedevolution@hotmail.com

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Pete in Lusby, Maryland

52 months ago

PD in Minden, Louisiana said: Hey Pete, what agency?

DoD (Civilian)

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Pete in Lusby, Maryland

52 months ago

fadedevo in Alpine, Utah said: I have been following this thread for a few months now. I am graduating with a Bachelors in Urban Planning next year. I've studied a lot of GIS and geography. I am looking to apply to the NGA internship and was wondering if there are any analysts that would be willing to look over my resume. Only catch is today is the application deadline so I realize some willing people might not get a chance. I've just spent hours scrutinizing my resume, had friends look it over, and had the thought this morning that perhaps someone from this forum could help also.

I do not have a security clearance and I have not (yet) joined the military. (meaning its no the radar but I haven't committed). As I mentioned, I have read this entire thread so I know what that means. However, the internship at NGA looks like it is geared towards civilian students since it requires applicants to still be matriculated.

So realizing the competitive nature of the position(s), I still wanna give it a shot, even if its a long shot. I feel my resume (by itself) is pretty strong with varying applicable experience and related coursework. if you would be willing to take a look, please email me at fadedevolution@hotmail.com

Hey:

Here's my 2 cents for what it's worth. The NGA is under DoD, so the LOVE military experience. I was talking to a recruiter during the Intelligence Community Jobs Virtual eFair a few months back, and they seemed to indicate that they are open to new folks that have some education and show an interest in the GMS stuff. If you are looking at military as a way to get the clearance/ school/ experience, I HIGHLY recommend you look at the reserves or guard. The reason is, once you have those three things, you will become very marketable, especially if you are looking for entry level. If you are stuck with a 4-6 year obligation in the regular service, you may miss some opportunities.

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grad in Garfield, New Jersey

52 months ago

I've read most of this forum and am pretty sure this opportunity hasn't been mentioned yet, but if it was, my apologies. There is a program called NSAISS offered through the ODNI for interested graduate (and some undergrad) students that are serious about pursuing a career as an intel analyst. It takes place annually for 2 weeks in the summer in DC, and includes lodging, meetings with various industry professionals, workshops, etc. It is similar to a 2 week intensive internship. Accepted participants that are eligible for a clearance receive one for the duration of the seminar. It seems like an incredible program and 2011 was its third year. Hope this helps.

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Jimmy in San Francisco, California

52 months ago

John in Dallas, Texas said: Does anyone have experience with ATIC's Analyst Boot Camp? Although you do get your TS clearance in 10 weeks, it requires moving to Ohio for the duration... This would essentially turn my life upside down (quit job, leave apartment, etc), but it's pretty much the only viable option I can see after 3+ years off applying to intel positions...

Nobody knows about this?

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Jimmy in San Francisco, California

52 months ago

John in Dallas, Texas

1 day ago

Does anyone have experience with ATIC's Analyst Boot Camp? Although you do get your TS clearance in 10 weeks, it requires moving to Ohio for the duration... This would essentially turn my life upside down (quit job, leave apartment, etc), but it's pretty much the only viable option I can see after 3+ years off applying to intel positions...

Anyone have more info on this?

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BetterHealthcare in Atlanta, Georgia

52 months ago

Pete in Lusby,

Gives a good summation of what his time line was like when he applied for a 0132 federal job. I have one thing to add; not quite everyone’s hiring process goes that quickly or smoothly. When I first applied it took just over 18mos before, I reported to my local CPAC for orientation after going through my new hire process, after my contingency offer.

There are hundreds of variables that will impact your hiring, and there are even thousands that may have impacted, why an applicant was never contacted.

Having sat on a few local hiring boards for my agency, I can say that having an active clearance carries little/no weight in the scoring process. The only thing an active clearance does is it makes it easier when an applicant has been selected and offered a job, but prior to that, your application is no different than any other application.

xSIO

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BetterHealthcare in Atlanta, Georgia

52 months ago

From my experience whenever, we received a shortlist from OPM/CPAC a small board was convened of senior staff and the department head of the department the billet is to be filled. What we focused on was experience, education, and fit with the agency.

I have seen a shortlist of 15 come in and we selected no one … on another occasion, we’ve had a list of 15 or more and only selected one for an interview, and still not hire them … I guess the point I am trying to make is ---- there are hundreds of variables for why a qualified applicant on a shortlist that has been referred to the hiring authority now be disqualified by the local board.

And I have not even addressed hiring against newly created billets and sending an announcement out for that billet to only find out later the billet will not be funded until next fiscal year. Another likely scenario which happens is ---- having a “temp-hire” in a billet that is going permanent. By law all federal jobs at certain grades have to be announced, but it could be a situation where the agency plans to offer the permanent billet to the temp-hire, so it could be a situation where you may be applying for a job where a qualified applicant has already been identified or is currently during the job, and the agency is just going through the process, because it has too.

My intent behind sharing that tidbit of information was not to discourage anyone or paint a dismal picture, but offer some glimpse it to one of hundreds of rationales for why the process takes so long or seems broken.

part 2 of 3

xSIO

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BetterHealthcare in Atlanta, Georgia

52 months ago

part 3 of 3

Continue to apply; while seeking alternate avenues into securing a permanent INTEL position such as contractor, Reserve orders, and/or temporary billets. A lot of times when you see a temporary billet it means the agency plans to expand, but has not received final disposition on expansion of personnel, but the process has made it through to a certain stage in the process. Until it is finalize it can be rescinded, but I have seen temporary jobs extended out to the max of 4yrs if the agency wishes to keep the employee.

xSIO

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BetterHealthcare in Atlanta, Georgia

52 months ago

Grad in Garfield,

GREAT catch; I failed to point out the multiple internships offered by various agencies. As you pointed out the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) offers a sort of introduction if you would; also US Central Command (USCENTCOM) has one for those folks looking to jump into the Middle East mess. Several other agencies offer similar programs, but many are by invite only, several agencies comb colleges and universities looking for “recruits”.

Too often the most unlikely person is the type of individual an agency is looking for; also there are other agencies that have organic intelligence elements that you may wish to consider such as the FBI, DEA, US STATE Dept., and DoE (US Dept. of Energy) to name a few.

There are so many avenues to choose from if you are looking for a career in the US Intelligence Community (IC) that it is almost impossible for one person to name or discuss them all. I have had a VERY rewarding career; I have seen and worked on some very interesting projects and for some of our top Principals within the National Security and National Policy arena.
So I wish everyone luck in securing a job/career in US Intelligence and remember you are the most deadly weapon in the US arsenal … it’s just that no one knows it.

xSIO

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BetterHealthcare in Atlanta, Georgia

52 months ago

Jimmy in San Francisco,

ATIC is a SIGINT heavy boot camp. It is NSA’s way of finding and recruiting individuals with a strong aptitude for signal analysis. That is about as much as I can share aside from the approved literature.

xSIO

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