Training is an integral component of career preparation within the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Directorate of Intelligence (DI). Employees of the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence are called upon to provide timely and accurate intelligence analysis to the President, the Cabinet, and senior policymakers within the United States government. Intelligence provided by members of the DI includes a full range of national security and foreign policy issues.
DI analysts and agents are responsible for anticipating and assessing international developments as they evolve. The scope of DI analyst jobs is swiftly expanding as technological advances continue to increase in complexity, scope and speed. The analysis of overseas intelligence is vital to policymakers and other senior decision-makers who must make informed decisions regarding national security and defense.
As such, initial and continuous training remains an important part of any CIA agent job. CIA training provides these professionals with the knowledge and insight needed to impart vital information to the nation’s intelligence community.
Directorate of Intelligence Offices
The DI is comprised of 13 offices that are focused on the regional political and economic issues, broad transactional issues, and policy and collection. Agents within all offices must receive adequate training as to properly identify, monitor and analyze the efforts of foreign threats:
- Office of Transnational Issues
- Office of Terrorism Analysis
- Office of Russian and European Analysis
- Office of Policy Support
- Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis
- Office of Iraq Analysis
- Office of Corporate Resources
- Office of Collection Strategies and Analysis
- Office of Asian Pacific, Latin American, and African Analysis
- Information Operations Center Analysis Group
- Counterintelligence Center Analysis Group
- CIA Weapons, Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center
- CIA Crime and Narcotics Center
Federal Law Enforcement Agency Training Center (FLETC)
Initial training for CIA agents and analysts is often conducted at the Federal Law Enforcement Agency Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia. Two of the most common training programs for CIA agents at the FLETC include the Uniformed Police Training Program and the Criminal Investigator Training Program.
CIA University, considered to be the learning hub of the CIA, includes a number of schools that partner with the National Intelligence University. In addition to training programs, CIA University sponsors employee participation in academic courses, professional conferences, and vendor-taught workshops.
Courses within CIA University are constantly evolving as threats and challenges around the world evolve. Coursework includes study in terrorist threats, critical regions of the world, foreign language training, and weapons of mass destruction, among many others. General topics taken at CIA University include information technology, the intelligence community, communication skills, and project management.
In addition to traditional classroom learning, CIA University utilizes a number of mobile learning technologies, including video teleconferencing; interactive, online courses; and podcasts.
Kent School for Intelligence Analysis
Specialized CIA training takes place at the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis, which is located in CIA University. This career-long program provides CIA agents with specialized training in intelligence analysis. The curriculum, in addition to focusing on the history, traditions and values of the CIA, includes study in intelligence, foreign language, and regional studies.
Coursework in core issues allow CIA agents to engage in cross-component teams and stay current on global and technological changes. Advanced courses in leadership help CIA professionals enhance their professional abilities and their leadership and values.
The Sherman Kent School includes both basic analytical training through the Career Analyst Program (CAP). The CAP, for new employees, is focused on basic thinking, writing, and briefing skills, with coursework in analytic tools, denial and deception analysis, counterintelligence, and warning skills.
Advanced study at the Kent School includes work in analytic methodologies, leadership skills, and substantive issues. Curriculum for advanced study is supplemented with courses through the CIA University’s Leadership and Mission Academies.
Training outside the agency is also strongly encouraged; therefore, many CIA agents and analysts take courses at the many universities in the Washington D.C. area. Employees may also compete for study positions at one of the military service programs, including the Naval War College, the Army War College, or the National War College.
It is also common for CIA agents to take advantage of language training through the CIA University. The DI sponsors courses in a number of languages, including Chinese, Russian, Arabic, and Persian.
Center for Leadership Development (CLD)
The Center for Leadership Development (CLD) focuses on leadership and management development. It was created to “promote a culture of leadership” through formal education, talent reviews, experiential learning programs, corporate assignments and leadership development tools. Programs within the CLD include classroom, online and experiential learning. Other resources include leadership coaching and a senior schools program.