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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    No need for a 007 degree to work for the CIA

    The Central Intelligence Agency is dedicated to the collection, analysis and protection of foreign intelligence, and its looking for some new recruits.

    Two CIA representatives, one an IT Project Manager and the other a National Clandestine Service Officer, visited the UA on Tuesday to talk to interested students about the many occupations available in one of the largest and most advanced intelligence-collecting organizations in the world. Students majoring in everything from foreign language to psychology to architecture can find a job that matches their skills and interests.

    “I always say it’s A to Z,” the NCS officer said. “From anthropology to zoology and everything in-between.”

    The CIA has over 100 different types of positions in a number of departments. Job opportunities at the organization’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., are extremely diverse, and the CIA is looking for people with varying skill sets to make up its team.

    For those majoring in an applied science or the engineering field, the Directorate of Science and Technology is always looking for intelligent, driven people. Job descriptions range from developing new technology to be used by overseas officers, to researching and improving surveillance methods in foreign countries. Materials analyst, data scientist, and research scientist are just a few occupations listed geared toward applicants in the science, engineering and technology group.

    Another large part of the CIA workforce is composed of analysts. As part of the Directorate of Intelligence, these officers analyze information collected by overseas officers, interpret this information and write about it. Their work goes to the various policymakers in the U.S. government, including the president, who receives a briefing each day about the agency’s research. These people are tasked with finding the pieces of the story that aren’t featured in the paper or on the nightly news and come from diverse academic backgrounds. 

    Each analyst specializes in a certain field; there are economic, military, counterterrorism and political concentrations, to name a handful. Since the different positions vary widely, the main things the DI is looking for in applicants are strong critical thinking and writing skills.

    The CIA is known throughout the media world as a top-secret government organization that employs spies to defeat foreign threats. While the secretive aspect holds true, the overseas officers in the CIA don’t exactly go on the same missions that James Bond does. 

    That isn’t to say these officers have unexciting jobs. National Clandestine Service officers collect foreign intelligence while protecting classified U.S. activities and information in countries all over the world. To be an NCS overseas officer, one must be able to live abroad, handle crisis situations and have excellent communication skills. Foreign languages are usually helpful and sometimes required, but any and every college major can be an officer abroad if they are dedicated to the profession.

    Despite its notoriety, the CIA is a business just like any other at its core. For jobs that don’t quite fall into the previous categories, there is the Directorate of Support. From real estate agents to accountants to security officers, these people are the employees who keep the CIA up and running and without whom the agency would be unable to function. The jobs in this category vary greatly, and there will likely be something for everyone.

    Across all the departments and in every discipline, the CIA is looking for dedicated, intelligent people to be part of its workforce — people interested in world affairs and those who want to contribute to keeping the country safe.

    For more information on specific job opportunities, the CIA’s webite, www.cia.gov, has a complete list and descriptions of all positions, in addition to information on how to apply.

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    Follow Victoria Pereira on Twitter.

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