What is CIA?
Central Intelligence Agency, also commonly known as CIA was founded in 1947 with a purpose to gather foreign intelligence and potential threats could threaten the public security to the US government. The agency was established under the National Security Act. Its major goal is to gather, interpret, analyzes the intelligence information, and manages operations under the President of the United States guidance. The CIA operates in a very secretive manner and makes sure never to disclose the activities, actions, and details regarding agents and officials to the unconcerned individual. With a huge list of terms and conditions, CIA have a huge responsibility upon their shoulders while working the safeguard of the country. For young aspirants hoping to work for their country, they must first gather information about how to become CIA agent before directing their efforts towards the goal.
There are four major organizational areas of CIA namely
- National Clandestine Service
- Directorate of Science and Technology
- Directorate of Intelligence
- Directorate of Support
Most of the CIA special agents work under the office of National Clandestine Service (NCS). The CIA special agents working in the NCS section come from diverse backgrounds. They may have diverse job experiences, educational backgrounds, and language proficiencies. However, in order to be eligible for CIA jobs, the person must fulfil the agency’s requirements.
Education Requirements for a CIA Agent
According to the minimum requirements for a CIA special agent to recruit for the Clandestine Service (CST) programs, the young aspirants need to have at a minimum of bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher. Although there is no specific major required for the post, the degree must be relevant enough for the CIA post in which the applicant is interested. Most of the aspirants choose undergraduate programs in areas including international relations, mathematics, engineering and economics, computer science, physical science and behavioral science. Programs related to criminal justice and homeland security can be opted by the aspirant CIA agents. Though the education requirement is an undergraduate degree, some jobs at CIA also need a graduate degree.
Career Opportunities at the CIA
Once CIA selects the candidate, he/she gets a place in the Professional Trainee (PT) program and stationed in Washington DC for receiving the required training. During this period, the person is required to work as a collection management officer and operations desk officer. For entrance in Clandestine Service Trainee program, perseverance and hard work are the two traits that must be present in the trainee. Staff operations officer post can also be chose after completion of Clandestine Service training. Internship programs can also be taken up at CIA for undergraduate and graduate students.
General Requirements to become a CIA agent
There are some general requirements, which need to be fulfilled for the person to be eligible as a CIA agent. Firstly, you must be a US citizen. It is very important to have a clean profile and demonstrate a strong ethical sense and loyalty for those who want to apply as this job is of great sensitivity. It is necessary to avoid unlawful dealings, as personal uprightness is a highly regarded trait in CIA.
If the application is accepted, the candidate is called for medical and psychological examinations. Polygraph interviews are also conducted. It is an additional benefit to gain the proficiency in one or more foreign languages. Knowledge regarding foreign affairs is also very much important for an applicant for a CIA post in NCS.
Training Programs for CIA agents
The Professional Trainee (PT) Program was initiated for staff operations officers and for officers who want to enhance their skills. It has been designed for those who possess an undergraduate degree with little or no significant work experience. The Clandestine Service (CST) Program is for operations officers, core collectors, and collection management officers to increase their skills in the field. It is designed for young recruits with an undergraduate degree along with some business or military experience. These trainees are slightly older than the ones in PT program.
All in all, for a young aspiring individual, the first step is to gather all relevant information about how to become a detective. While focusing on the completing the educational requirements for the job, an individual is needed to develop his personality, both physically and mentally, to achieve the desired goal and become an accomplished CIA agent.