Overview of Intelligence Analyst Degree Programs
Intelligence analysts are professionals who work to protect people from violence or security breeches. They are responsible for gathering information and using that data to identify potential security threats and stop perpetrators from carrying them out. An intelligence analyst degree program provides students with an understanding of national and international security threats, how the national and international intelligence communities operate and issues that intelligence analysts face in their work. They develop the skills needed to gather relevant data and to process it effectively.
Admission Requirements for Intelligence Analyst Programs
Acceptance to intelligence degree programs may vary from school to school. Generally, a high school transcript, reference letters and standardized test scores are required. Some schools have citizenship and minimum grade requirements, and those planning to pursue the major must complete specific prerequisite courses. Other schools allow students to choose the major when they apply for acceptance, but they must maintain minimum GPA requirements to continue pursuing the major.
Intelligence Analyst Program Coursework
An intelligence analyst degree program can emphasis computer security, national security or global security. All programs have some basic introductory requirements related to national security, information analysis and communications.
Intelligence analysts are required to produce a lot of written reports, so it is essential that they develop strong writing skills. Courses in composition or communications will ensure students learn how to take ideas and present them in a clear manner and develop their oral communication skills through verbal presentations. Students will learn the impact of language and how to use language to effectively communicate the right information.
What is logic and how does it apply to intelligence? Intelligence analysts studying logic learn how to focus on objective assessments of information and how deductive reasoning works. They will apply these skills by learning how to assess different positions on topics related to security issues.
National Security and Intelligence
What is national security and what role does the intelligence community play in national security? The philosophy behind national security is explored in this course. These classes also look at national and international security risks. Students will learn about various options for addressing those threats.
How does the intelligence community work? Data retrieval methods are explored. Students also learn about how intelligence analysts process information. Advanced studies in intelligence analysis will prepare students to present findings from intelligence research effectively.
Introduction to Global Security
While some in the intelligence field concentrate on national security, others focus on international security issues. Introductory and advanced studies in global security acquaint students with the specific challenges that the intelligence community faces when dealing with global security threats. Students will also explore cybersecurity issues since computer systems can be hacked from anywhere around the world.
How to Choose a Bachelor's Degree in Intelligence Analyst Program
While location may be a factor for students who want to pursue studies in person, it is also an option to complete a degree in intelligence through online studies. Some programs offer internship opportunities, which may appeal to students who want to develop practical skills while pursuing their degree. There are programs that focus on cyber security while other programs emphasize global intelligence studies. Students should consider their long-term career goals and the course options available to ensure that they take a program with the right emphasis to prepare them for their career goals.
Career Options with an Intelligence Analyst Degree
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes intelligence analysts in their listing for detectives and criminal investigators. Professionals in this field earned a median annual income of $78,120 in 2016, while police and detectives took home $61,600 in the same year. The BLS predicts that detectives and criminal investigators will see a 5% job growth rate from 2016 to 2026 while police and detectives will see job growth of 7% during the same ten-year period. Intelligence analysts may also pursue a career as an information security analyst or apply their skills in the field of business.
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