How to Become a Counterintelligence Threat Analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency

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Just as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has intelligence analysts who are responsible for following and analyzing the activities of foreign entities, there are also counterintelligence threat analysts, who are responsible for identifying and assessing foreign entities who are attempting to gather national security information on persons, activities and interests within the U.S.

Counterintelligence threat analysts assess any threats targeted at U.S. operations and interests and provide strategic assessments and tactical analyses to U.S. policymakers regarding their findings.

A Closer Look at Counterintelligence

Counterintelligence includes information that is gathered and activities that are conducted to counter foreign intelligence threats. U.S. counterintelligence activities include: identifying, assessing, neutralizing, and exploiting the intelligence activities of terror groups, foreign powers, or other organizations or entities seeking to harm the U.S.

Although the first line of protection is sound security (defense), protection can only accomplish so much; therefore, counterintelligence (offense) is designed to confront and engage the entity or organization seeking to harm us.

Counterintelligence is both an activity performed, as well as a product, which is the information received. As an activity, counterintelligence consists of both security (establishing defenses against hostile and concealed acts) and counterespionage (identifying the adversaries and the operations they are conducting and countering those operations).

It is common for counterintelligence threat analysts to work alongside and collaborate with members of the intelligence community, to brief U.S. policymakers, and to write detailed and concise assessments of their findings.

Qualifying for a Counterintelligence Threat Analyst Job with the CIA

The Central Intelligence Agency often seeks candidates for counterintelligence threat analyst jobs who have expertise in biometric, computer, telecommunications, or geospatial emerging technologies processes.

The minimum requirements for becoming a counterintelligence threat analyst with the CIA include being a United States citizens and possessing a bachelor or master’s degree in one of the following (or closely related) fields:

  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Security studies
  • Telecommunications technologies
  • Computer engineering
  • International studies with a focus on technical studies

Candidates for this job must possess, at a minimum, a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, with competitive candidates possessing higher GPAs, an awareness of U.S. national security interests, strong written and oral communication skills, the ability to write clear and concise text, and relevant experience.

Desirable counterintelligence threat analyst candidates with the CIA will also possess:

  • Excellent analytical abilities
  • The ability to think creatively
  • A foreign language proficiency
  • Knowledge of foreign countries that was achieved through working, living and/or visiting abroad
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • The ability to work under strict deadlines

When applying for a counterintelligence threat analyst job with the CIA, applicants should include a cover letter with their application, their college transcripts, and a 5 to 8 page analytical writing sample that clearly details their substantive expertise.

Chosen candidates must undergo the CIA’s strict pre-employment process, which includes successfully completing a medical exam, a physical exam, a polygraph exam, and an extensive background investigation.

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