The mission of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is to collect, analyze and present foreign intelligence to the President and other key policymakers. Some of the most sought-after CIA jobs are in intelligence gathering with the National Clandestine Services division.
These individuals work undercover, usually overseas, to collect foreign intelligence. The CIA does not collect domestic intelligence or spy on anyone in the United States.
Other career opportunities with the CIA include these jobs:
- Intelligence Analysts
- Computer experts
Requirements for Joining the CIA Clandestine Service Division in New Jersey
General Minimum Requirements – The following requirements must be met in order to qualify to become a CIA agent in National Clandestine Services:
- Education – A bachelor’s degree or better from an accredited four-year college or university with at least a 3.0 grade point average
- U.S. citizen between the ages of 21 and 35
- No illegal drug use in past 12 months
- Interest in international affairs
- Computer expertise
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Knowledge of foreign cultures
- Able to speak a foreign language (highly desirable but not required)
- Experience living in a foreign country (desirable/not required)
Those whose applications are accepted must successfully complete all of the following:
- Intensive background investigation
- Medical exam
- Psychological evaluation
- Two interviews
- Polygraph test
The hiring process can take from several months to a year.
Bachelor’s Degree Requirement – There is a great deal of competition for employment as a CIA agent. Although only a bachelor’s degree is required, an advanced degree is a definite advantage. Desirable fields of study include:
- International affairs
- Criminal justice
- Foreign studies
- Political science
- International relations
New Jersey has 24 accredited four-year colleges/universities, including 14 independent and 10 state schools. In addition, the Garden State is home to 19 two-year community colleges which are often an excellent starting point before transferring to a university. New Jersey residents can also opt to earn a degree from one of several accredited online schools.
Training Requirements – Newly hired CIA agents are required to complete a two-part training consisting of:
- Headquarters-based training program – 18 weeks that focus on basic law enforcement and intelligence issues, marksmanship and physical fitness.
- Clandestine service training – an additional 18-week comprehensive course in clandestine operations, strategies and tactics.
CIA training is given at Camp Peary, Virginia, known as “The Farm.”
All CIA personnel receive continuing education at CIA University which offers between 200-300 courses a year, including classes in approximately 17 different languages. Course material is constantly updated to reflect current events and technology.
The CIA-New Jersey Connection
In August of 2011, a superintendent in New Brunswick, New Jersey entered one of his building’s apartments and was shocked to find mounds of terrorist literature and a wide assortment of surveillance equipment. He called 911. When police officers and the FBI arrived, they discovered that the apartment was a surveillance lookout that the New York Police Department had set up with help from the CIA.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 the NYPD established a CIA-like intelligence division run by retired CIA veteran David Cohen who, as the former head of CIA operations, was the nation’s “top spy.” Cohen arranged for a New York police detective to attend training at “the farm” where he learned espionage skills and tactics.