Jobs at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are usually headquartered in Washington, D.C. but its agents work in locations all over the country, including Minnesota. CIA agents in Minnesota work to gather intelligence to help keep the President of the United States and other top-ranking officials informed of what is happening domestically and in foreign theaters. The intelligence that CIA agents in Minnesota are responsible for gathering and analyzing helps to keep Minnesota secure as well as the entire country safe.
Requirements for Joining the CIA National Clandestine Service in Minnesota
In Minnesota, the CIA’s National Clandestine Service Division offers two entry-level positions for individuals interested in seeking employment in the Core Collector field:
Professional Trainee Program
This program was designed for applicants between 21-25 years old who have a Bachelor’s degree or higher and no prior work experience.
Clandestine Service Program
This program was designed for applicants between 26-35 years old who have a Bachelor’s degree or higher and prior work or military experience.
Candidates must meet the following qualifications to be considered for a position as a Core Collector.
Educational Qualifications – Applicants should have a GPA of 3.0 and a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Preference is given to applicants with degrees in biological or chemical engineering, economics, finance, international business or relations and nuclear or physical science.
Career Aptitude Skills – Candidates need to be interested in foreign affairs, possess superior interpersonal and communication skills and be able to “think on their feet” in fast moving situations. Applicants should also be comfortable and productive working with a team or independently.
International Requirements – All applicants need to have resided in another country, have a strong knowledge of foreign countries and be proficient in one second language, with preference given to candidates who are fluent in Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Indonesian, Korean, Kurdish, Pashto, Persian, Russian, Somali, Turkish or Urdu.
Conditional Requirements – Each candidate is required to complete two personal interviews prior to moving on in the application process. They must also have a polygraph test, medical and psychological exam and criminal background test. Individuals must have also not used illegal drugs for the previous year.
Satisfying the Requirements for CIA Jobs in Minnesota
There are basic requirements that all CIA agents in Minnesota must meet before they may even apply for a job. These include being a U.S. citizen who is at least 18 years old; passing physical, mental, polygraph and background tests; passing a drug test and having no use of illicit drugs over the past 12 months; having no contact with foreign governments during the past seven years; and agreeing not to disclose a CIA job with family or friends, if hired.
Education and Experience Requirements – At a minimum, CIA agents in Minnesota are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in any major and three years of work experience in criminal investigations.
In conjunction with the CIA, the University of Minnesota offers an undergraduate scholarship program for interested and qualified students. It allows students the opportunity to work at the CIA during summer breaks in various fields, depending upon their major. For example, a foreign language major could work in translating CIA documents, while a finance major might work on budgets for CIA operations around the world.
The program is open to high school seniors or college freshmen or sophomores who are at least 18 years old, have a 1500 SAT score or 21 ACT score, have at least a 3.0 GPA, and meet financial eligibility requirements. Those chosen for the CIA scholarship in Minnesota will be paid an annual salary, benefits, and up to an $18,000 stipend annually for tuition, books and supplies. They will also be expected to work at a CIA facility on summer break and to maintain a full-time course load during the school year, along with a 3.0 GPA.
Training for CIA Special Agent Jobs – Because criminal investigation experience is a part of the requirements one must meet to be hired as a CIA agent in Minnesota, most new agents have already completed the mandatory Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia. If not, new recruits must first take this two month long training in basic investigational and physical skills necessary for agents.
Former CIA Director Hails from Minnesota
For those who may think that Minnesota is far removed from the CIA, think again. One of the CIA’s former directors hailed from Minnesota. William Egan Colby, who died in 1996, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and rose to become Director of the CIA under President Richard Nixon in 1973. Colby served in this capacity until 1976.
Colby’s background included graduation from Princeton University with an A.B., serving in the U.S. Army and Office of Strategic Services overseas, earning a law degree from Columbia University, and joining the CIA as an agent shortly after its inception in 1947. Colby’s success in the CIA proves that Minnesotans can, and do, acquire CIA jobs, up to and including the highest position within the agency.