Would you like to know how to become a CIA agent? CIA which stands for Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency that reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence. It succeeded the Office of Strategic Service (OSS) which was formed in relation to espionage activities. Today, the CIA is primarily responsible for providing assessment of national security intelligence to senior policymakers of the country.
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What is a CIA Agent?
CIA Agents or Intelligence Agents working for the agency are tasked to carry out intelligence gathering operations while avoiding tactical situations. Tactical operations are usually carried out by the US Military under CIA direction. Intelligence gathering has been delegated to the CIA instead of the military to avoid being construed as an aggressive, offensive attack, short of a declaration of war.
The “spying” part of a CIA agent’s work is easily the most popular and glamorous, probably due to how these agents are depicted in movies and books. A large part of the jobs are done in teams thus it is essential for CIA agents to have strong team skills, Clandestine service of the agency is not the only career option available since the CIA also employs attorneys, scientists, language/linguist experts, engineers, graphic designers, and many others.
Clandestine service is only one of the many career categories and departments within the agency such as analysis, engineering, geography/cartography, graphic/multimedia, information management, information technology, legal service, library service, logistic service, medical service, science/technology and weapons, security, student opportunities, and support service.
Education and Training
Completion of a bachelor’s degree is not an absolute requirement but having one provides its advantages in terms of promotion and salary scale. Preferred degrees for CIA agents include Criminal Justice, Homeland Security, Cyber Security, and Law Enforcement. The degree of competition makes having a degree a necessity. Some even go as far as obtaining a master’s or doctoral degree.
A degree with an international relations emphasis as well as law, security studies, political science, economics and language, among others, provides the edge. Graduates from online criminal justice schools are also considered for these jobs. Fluency in foreign language as in speaking the language like a native is highly desired by the employing agency. Initially accepted applicants will be required to undergo the CST (Clandestine Service Training) Program.
Becoming a CIA Agent
Only those who successfully complete the training will be considered for possible employment as a CIA agent. However, applicants are subjected to an invasive screening process with varying termination time depending on how fast the personal information provided by students are verified and confirmed.
Online application can be submitted through the CIA website. CIA training is comprised of the Professional Trainee Program (PT) and the CST. Candidates must work as Operational Desk Officer for a year and a Collection Management Officer for the next year. Passing the CST paves the way for overseas assignment. Salaries of agents vary depending on background, education, level of experience, and location of assignment. Applicants must be less than 35 years old, a US citizen with a spouse who is also a US citizen. With hard work and determination, you will know how to become a CIA agent in no time.