INSA Paper on Intelligence Career Options

Given the opacity of the U.S. Intelligence Community, many young people who are interested in intelligence work have a hard time determining what career options exist.  Few know the full range of available career paths or understand how they can apply their skills and experience to intelligence work; fewer still realize that they can pursue rewarding intelligence careers in both the public and private sectors.

To shed some light on intelligence career paths, the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) has produced a short paper entitled, “Civilian Careers in the Intelligence Community”.  The paper addresses:

·         The myriad roles that exist in the Intelligence Community

·         Skills that are needed for an intelligence career

·         Tips for launching an intelligence job search

·         The varied experiences one can have over the course of a career

·         Ways in which intelligence work can impact one’s personal life

·         Opportunities to pursue intelligence careers in the private sector

The paper also provides links to more detailed information about intelligence agencies, lists of leading intelligence contractors, and postings for vacancies in both government and industry.

“Civilian Careers in the Intelligence Community” is available for free download at Please make it available to your students and colleagues who may be interested in intelligence careers.

INSA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit forum for advancing intelligence and national security priorities through public-private partnerships. This paper was developed by INSA’s Intelligence Champions Council, whose members advise, mentor, and educate individuals who are interested or engaged in intelligence-related careers.

INSA members receive advance information and discounted registration rates for conferences and other INSA events, which include an annual “speed mentoring” session in the Spring, a panel discussion on intelligence careers in the Fall, a two-day conference in early September, and occasional informal networking events.  Student membership in INSA is available for $20 per year; faculty and staff of academic institutions can join for $40 per year.  Membership information is available at

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