The intelligence community is an excellent option for a long-standing, engaging career. Whether you’re a recent college graduate, military veteran, or professional looking to make a change, it’s possible to transition into intelligence if you use the right approach. Here’s a quick guide to job opportunities and requirements to help you break into the intelligence community.
Overview of the Intelligence Community
The intelligence community is comprised of specific government agencies and departments that focus on national security, counterintelligence, and similar areas. The most widely known entities include the National Security Agency (NSA), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). However, the intelligence community also includes many others.
Generally, members of the intelligence community have similar goals. For example, they aim to collect critical information that can help ensure the safety and security of the population, critical systems, and infrastructure.
Types of Jobs in the Intelligence Community
There is a wide variety of job opportunities within the intelligence community. Many people are familiar with roles focused on cybersecurity, intelligence gathering, and similar priorities. However, there are also roles that concentrate on foreign languages, technology development, data science, and acquisitions. Additionally, the agencies require a broad array of support personnel, such as accounting to human resources positions, as well as professionals in specific niches, such as legal.
Requirements for Working in the Intelligence Community
Every job in the intelligence community can come with unique requirements, particularly when it comes to required education levels or mandatory skills. However, the roles also have a few requirements in common.
One of the most significant must-haves is a suitable security clearance. The goal of a security clearance evaluation is to ensure that you’re able to safeguard sensitive information and exercise sound judgment. Additionally, the process aims to make sure that you’re not at risk of coercion and that you have strong personal integrity. It’s an in-depth evaluation that will look at various aspects of your life, ranging from your personal and professional relationships to your financial state and criminal history. However, exactly what’s involved can vary based on the level.
A mandatory psychological or medical evaluation may also be a requirement. Additionally, US citizenship is a necessity, though dual citizenship doesn’t automatically disqualify you. No history of illegal drug use (based on federal standards) is ideal, as recent or frequent drug use may make you ineligible. A drug test may be required, as well as ongoing random drug screenings.
Tips for Breaking into the Field
If you want to break into the intelligence field and secure a position, make sure that your work history showcases the job-specific skills and experience required. Target your resume to the role, and emphasize skills or traits that make you attractive to the position. However, also exercise care and avoid discussing any sensitive information relating to your past jobs, as a lack of appropriate discretion could make you look like a security risk.
For those with an existing or previous security clearance, it’s wise to mention that, as well. It shows you’ve passed the various checks before, and even if you need to get re-evaluated to secure the position, it could make you stand out as a candidate.
Finally, partner with a recruitment agency that focuses on the defense industry. By doing so, you’ll have a clear path toward positions that are otherwise hard to access, all while receiving critical support and guidance that can make securing your ideal job in intelligence easier.
If you’re looking for a new intelligence job in the defense sector, the Staffing Resource Group can simplify your job search and give you access to more defense opportunities. Apply Today and SuRGe your career forward.