Major for the CIA

<p>From my research, the CIA and other federal intelligence agencies are looking for majors that train technical/practical skills (accounting, computer science, etc.). I was wondering if a future career (right out of college or even their college scholarship program) is at all possible with a major in philosophy.</p>

<p>Any opinions would be helpful.</p>

<p>Possibly. </p>

<p>I'd say that you'd have to minor in something of value to them though, i.e., poli sci, a critical language, area studies, etc. </p>

<p>It also depends on the position you would be looking for. Analyst? Linguist? Tech-related? Then you would need to major (or at least minor) in something relevant. </p>

<p>If you're looking for a more administrative position such as HR, then yes, I think philosophy alone could possibly suffice.</p>

<p>They look for linguists, finance/accountants, and mathematicians. Political science, economics, English, and history are also good. I'm not sure about philosophy. IT, MIS, whatever is good, and not necessarily formally trained programmers.</p>

<p>Prior military or paramilitary is good. </p>

<p>Oh, and you probably shouldn't post your intentions here. Just call them and ask. I heard that they actually have specific training programs like rotc but for CIA (Not necessarily field operatives) that you could sign up for but again you have to learn to be discrete. So get off CC and call them.</p>

<p>LOL @ "call them"</p>

<p>That's funny about this site. The first source of information on any organization is through that organization. Everyone here seems to resist calling places and asking. They have an HR department. They even have recruiters. They are really the only ones who truly know what the hiring criteria is. Just sayin'...</p>

<p><a href="https://www.cia.gov/contact-cia/index.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;https://www.cia.gov/contact-cia/index.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>"Employment: We do not routinely answer questions about employment beyond the information on this Web site, and we do not routinely answer inquiries about the status of job applications. Recruiting will contact applicants within 45 days if their qualifications meet our needs. "</p>

<p>The web site basically has everything you need to know. </p>

<p>OP: Check out some of the student programs and the general career fields. They give info about desired majors, skills, etc. </p>

<p>Hope that helps.</p>

<p>International Relations, I went there this summer for a seminar and I talked to a guy who worked at the CIA (he was for NCA) and he told me to major in International Relations and learn Maderin Chinese. That will definitely improve your chances. Also apply for their internship, once accepted, you automatically get into the CIA. Here's what you should do:</p>

<p>*You can major in anything, CIA does not have a set major. You can major in dance and still apply for CIA (I have had family members who worked here). Yet, there are some majors that will give you specific careers. If you want to travel, then study International Relations and learn either: Arabic, Chinese, or Russian.
*Apply for Internship. Even if it is now, or sometime during your sophomore year in college, apply and see what happens.
*Study abroad during college. Gov't jobs likes to see that you are visiting other countries.
*Must have bachelors degree
*Never have a felony or anything illegal
*Don't do drugs within the past 12 months before applying (or ever).
*They will do intense background checks.</p>

<p>There is no clear path to the CIA, nor should you major in a certain subject or learn a certain language just in hopes that you get hired. Their hiring criteria changes as their needs change, so you could drop lots of money into a skill/degree that is in high demand now, but won't be needed in the not to distant future.</p>

<p>As far as majors are concerned, Poli Sci/IR are probably the safest bet, but if you want to work as an analyst for them, they require a Masters or PHD and lots of research experience, typically with a very unique focus.</p>

<p>The most typical route into the CIA is getting a college degree, then joining the military. Intelligence Officers are excellent candidates for the CIA and are heavily recruited, because they are often doing very similiar jobs while in the military.</p>

<p>Join the army and get into Human Intelligence - that will set you up the best. </p>

<p>If you want to be a secret squirrell, join the military and get into Special Forces or Special Operations.</p>

<p>I forgot to mention,</p>

<p>If you just want to work in HR/Admin then just major in whatever you want then apply after you get some work experience. My previous post was regarding Intel/Clandestine positions.</p>

<p>And don't pay any attention to the poster who said "never have done anything illegal", that isn't true. Everyone has done something illegal, EVERYONE!</p>

<p>All you need to do is pass a clearance process, which would be rigorous. However, if you kept your nose clean, have decent credit and no drug issues (experimental marijuana can be waved), and life a clean lifestyle, you should be fine.</p>

<p>Of course you will still need to pass medical, pyshical, psych, and polygraph tests as well.</p>

<p>You do not need to have military experience, actually if you do have it, it does not increase your chances by much (it will still increase your chances, though). And you do not need a specific major, I mean obviously they may need a cladestine or an analyist but there are many majors that can go with it, not just one. I knew someone who had a dance major and is working for the CIA as a director! There is no set major. But if you are foreign in a language, visited another country, have a bachelors or higher, or do have military experience you would have a better chance of getting a job there.</p>

<p>Military does increase your chances for certain positions, in fact military is a prereq for many positions inside the Clandestine Services, if you aren't prior military, you don't qualify for the job, period. MI Officers all have current clearances and most likely have worked with CIA/NSA/FBI and foreign agencies during deployments, thus making them very attractive candidates, not to mention they are performing very similiar work in deployments.</p>

<p>Visiting a foreign county doesn't really do much. Living for an extended time in certain areas may help, but simply taking a trip overseas doesn't help a single bit, in fact it can make it harder to obtain your clearance if you have several foreign contacts.</p>

<p>The CIA, more than any agency (NSA as well) hires upon need. They look for specific skills sets that are needed at the time. No particular major can be recommended, other than one that gives you alot of analytic skills if you want to work as an analyst.</p>

<p>As far as foreign languages, yes it helps - if you are fluent. If you aren't fluent (they have tests to determine your fluency), it doesn't matter. A person who speaks a "broken" language is much more dangerous than a person who doesn't speak any, for the pure fact mistakes are often made, communication is "miscommunicated" through a person who speaks "broken Mandarin/Farsi/ect." and people can easily lose their lives.</p>

<p>Most languages currently in demand take a lifetime to master and native speakers are preferred.</p>

<p>That's what I meant, living. Like studying abroad or being in the military base in another country.
For a Clandestine, though, it's considered a "dangerous" job but not really. I talked to a NCA director and he was telling me that he never had to shoot a gun before or fight anybody. He said that you are undercover even when you're in DC, though. Also, the job is mainly writing, you travel a few times a year. And when you're about to travel somewhere you learn their language and take classes of whichever country you're about to go to. He also told me that someone doesn't need military experience to be in the clandestine services and that he never done the military. He said it is even more lenient now than it was back then. You can even have a tattoo now. Back in the day you would need to be completely fluent in a language, be an officer in the military, etc but now you do not NEED to have those things to be qualified. And this was coming from a NCA director himself. One of my mother's cousins worked for the CIA and she only had a bachelors, she was an analyst and worked for Obama (though it might have helped that her father is a General in the army).</p>

<p>If you paid attention this passed January when 8 CIA agents were killed by a suicide bomber in Afganistan, one of them (the agent who insisted on searching the bomber but was refused) was a former Atlanta Narcotics Detective, who then left to work as a UN Security Officer, then the CIA.</p>

<p>I'm not sure of his education.</p>

<p>Yeah, I wrote an entire essay and made a project about that subject for APUSH. I know that if you compete with someone who was in the military for a job, they'd most likely get it. Honestly, if you can get into their internship programs you're automatically in for 1.5 years from the amount of years you were in the internship during college. So if you got in during your senior year for the undergrad one, you'd have to be in the CIA for about, what? 6-8 years?</p>

<p>That's what I meant, living. Like studying abroad or being in the military base in another country.
For a Clandestine, though, it's considered a "dangerous" job but not really. I talked to a NCA director and he was telling me that he never had to shoot a gun before or fight anybody. He said that you are undercover even when you're in DC, though. Also, the job is mainly writing, you travel a few times a year. And when you're about to travel somewhere you learn their language and take classes of whichever country you're about to go to. He also told me that someone doesn't need military experience to be in the clandestine services and that he never done the military. He said it is even more lenient now than it was back then. You can even have a tattoo now. Back in the day you would need to be completely fluent in a language, be an officer in the military, etc but now you do not NEED to have those things to be qualified. And this was coming from a NCA director himself. One of my mother's cousins worked for the CIA and she only had a bachelors, she was an analyst and worked for Obama (though it might have helped that her father is a General in the army). </p>

<hr>

<p>Some Clandestine positions require military experience, period - end of story.</p>

<p>No one is going to hire a kid out of college with no experience to run a CI. There is no single path to the CIA, but it's a very competitive and selective process, if you don't have a skill set that is in demand (whatever it is at that time), you won't be hired.</p>

<p>I'm not very familiar with their internship program but I'm sure it's selective and accepts a relatively small amount of people.</p>

<p>Most didn't start as interns. However, the CIA is known for hiring internal, so if you got an internship, I think you'd be off to a pretty good start. But that is the exception rather than the norm.</p>

<p>Well if you do not have military service and want to do Clandestine you'd be in the PTP program THEN the CSP program (so probably about 2 years by the time you're actually done with the programs without military). If you did do military it would probably only take 6 months by the time the program is done. So all-in-all it is better to have military experience. </p>

<p>Clandestine jobs are almost always in need.
I know that it does take approximately 2 years before you even get hired, so if you would want to do the CIA make sure you apply while you are in a stable job.</p>

<p>Yeah, the internships are VERY selective. I think it's like a minimum of 3.0 GPA and 1000/1600 SAT for the minimum. They also put your parents income into affect, too. It's a lot of work and they do polygraphs and drug tests, too.</p>

<p>Most government jobs can take up to two years to get hired.</p>

<p>FBI, Secret Service, DEA, all can take up to two years or more to get hired.</p>

<p>I know a guy that waited 3 years for Border Patrol.</p>

<p>Wow, that is insane. Lol.</p>