Analytical Positions Some of the analytical positions that a person may pursue include counterterrorism, analytic methodologist, economics, leadership, military, open source officers, and intelligence collection analysts. There are also data scientists who are employed by the CIA.
Clandestine Service The clandestine service positions at the CIA are some of the most elite positions at the agency. People working in these positions provide vital information to the government of the United States in order to protect the national security of the country.
There are both field based positions and positions based in Washington D. Language Positions For those individuals that are fluent in foreign languages, there are numerous linguist positions available with the CIA. Understanding languages from around the world is an important aspect of what the CIA does.
Linguists provide information to the agency by interpreting foreign media and teaching the language to other individuals within the agency. For example, most people know Google Earth, but many may not realize that the original version of the software was evaluated and supported by the intelligence community well before Google.
Since the government cannot make investments for profit, when Google bought all the rights to the software, the CIA, with In-Q-Tel, directed the profits from the original investment to other startup companies to help advance additional new products that would benefit both the commercial world and the government. It's an excellent model which has really grown over the years.
Within our shop, I governed gathering new technology requirements from across the CIA and putting those needs into context for the financial teams to understand why we might want to invest in a certain computer hardware company or particular type of data analytics. My team also ran the overall contract, testing, and acceptance of any new products which we wanted to put into use, internal metrics for how the investments were performing, and managed inter- and intra-agency funding and disputes.
Smith: Do you have a favorite on-the-job memory? Goral: There are tons of them! Generally speaking, a lot of the field work provided incredible moments both in terms of personal satisfaction in my work and in awe at catching a glimpse of the breadth of diversity in this world. While I can't indicate specifics work-wise, there was a one-week span where I had to be on four different continents. On one, I witnessed the worst poverty I'd ever seen in my life, and a day-plus later, I was seeing some of the most opulent luxury I'd ever encountered.
I'm not sure if that's exactly a favorite, but those memories and contrasts separated by mere hours definitely left an impression and reminded me how fortunate I was to serve — and to serve with my eyes open. These sorts of experiences help a lot of agency personnel move past national biases and prejudgments and understand their work in the bigger context. Smith: What would you say was the best part of working for the CIA?
Goral: It was definitely the people you meet. Both your own colleagues and the incredible individuals I discovered in places in the world that you'd never even heard of when you were a kid. These incredible people often included our own US servicemen and women — who frequently didn't know or particularly care who we were, but were good to us regardless.
Goral says leaving the CIA was one of the hardest things he's had to do. Courtesy of Brian Goral Smith: What was the biggest challenge or worst part or working there? Goral: Quite honestly, walking away. Certainly throughout my career there were scary moments in the field and painful ones while working back home, particularly when I'd hear news of friends and colleagues who wouldn't be coming home.
December 30, stands out. The agency lost seven personnel in an attack on a base at Khowst, Afghanistan, on that day. However, in a way, those moments were expected and part of the job. Leaving wasn't. During the last plus years, many of the people in the agency became my best friends and family. I was leaving the job security and the mission for complete unknowns, certainly.
However, I also knew that most of those amazing friends and colleagues who helped me to reach the points of success I attained in my career I would probably never see again. Smith: What's one thing people would be surprised to know about working for the CIA? Goral: The level of professional and managerial training offered to the workforce.
Recently, there has been a major push to educate those who aren't in the CIA about the different types of training and lessons of leadership from our senior executives. That, coupled with an effort to flatten aspects of the organization and enhance cross-communications between what were once distinct verticals: Operations, Intelligence [Analysis], Science and Technology, and Administration.
People may be surprised to see a distinctly nonmilitary, matrixed hierarchy taking real lessons from the world of corporate research and change management. Smith: What's one of the biggest misconceptions about working for the CIA? Goral: There's no stereotypical "agent" with a single personality and dictated political mindset.
For every gun-rights activist at the CIA, there is a coworker who wants reform right now. For every devout Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu in the building, there is someone who prefers the scientific exploration of the universe. While I've heard political discussions in the halls and cafeteria, I don't think I'd ever seen a hot-button political issue of the day that actually influenced the work or affected cooperation between colleagues working together on a project.
When the work starts, it usually just doesn't come up if you're pro- or anti- this or that political issue. People there work from the position that they are the first line of defense, and everyone is there because they love the country. That said, you can still see normal disagreements over expense reports, petty nonissues, and eye-rolling both ways between those who have been in nice locations for most of their careers working classical intelligence collection missions as opposed to those who have spent their time in the war zones and have a very different view of the organization.
A scene from Showtime's "Homeland. What does Hollywood get wrong? Goral: The short answer is no — which I imagine is true for most professions depicted by Hollywood. I like a good adventure story as much as the next person. However, besides missing badly on the ratio of excitement to preparation, most of the movie and TV versions I've seen have sold short the diversity of personalities and complexity of emotions encountered within the work we do, or they overcompensate with completely ridiculous elements.
Smith: How was your personal life affected by your professional life when you worked for the CIA? Goral: For me, like for many people in very intense working environments, there was a tendency to subconsciously boost my own prioritization of my work over other things, particularly in the early years.
Early in my career, I tended to take few vacations, and it took me a while to figure out how to create a substantive work-life balance. For example, I kicked myself after missing a friend's wedding and another's law school graduation. I did manage to grow into my own person, and it certainly helped that I couldn't physically take work home with me and that I often found myself in amazing places where it would have been great to be a regular tourist.
Catching those glimpses and making plans to return one day helped me want to connect more deeply with the people in my life who would want to share in the trip. Those realizations pushed that early imbalance much more toward even.
Smith: Was it hard to have a job you couldn't talk about very much? Goral: I think in the commercial world there are just as many professions where you can't speak casually or openly with others about work details — financial dealings and emerging technology, for example. While it's generally easier to communicate with people from your same profession, there are certainly ways to express events of the day to others without going into critical details.
This is not to say all the stresses of our respective careers are equal; certainly there are very different boundaries and potential consequences for disclosing information to which to adapt. As I mentioned before, most of the people in the building understand that they're not in a profession compatible with a burning need to dazzle others with dropped names or stories they couldn't prove anyway.
Goral lived overseas for about five years during his year career with the CIA. Goral: Check your ego at the door. The agency is an incredible place of service where excellent people are doing things from which they'll never receive credit from the outside world. However, you still need to understand the outside world, so start with learning a language and stepping outside your comfort zone to travel; visit places and countries that are off the tourists' beaten paths.
The CIA recommends that applicants to the clandestine services actually protect the fact they are applying or thinking of applying for clandestine related work. If you are not a U. You will want to review each of the career paths available at the CIA and find available positions the Agency is currently seeking to fill with a qualified applicant.
Each of the career paths will have minimum requirements and notional salary ranges for your consideration. Step 3 — Note up to four job positions that you are interested in filling across the various career paths at the CIA. You cannot apply for more than four positions on the initial job application; however, some would recommend you limit your options to two or three to avoid appearing to be schizophrenic. Once you have created an account, you will have only three days to complete and submit the job application.
After the three day period has lapsed, the CIA will delete your account. Step 5 — Search for the select up to four positions with the CIA. Step 6 — Select between one and four positions that you meet the minimum requirements for from the CIA jobs portal. You will want to make sure that you only have a serious interest in filling, or you could find your job application assessment delayed as you move through the process.
A CIA recruiter will review the application and make an assessment of your job skills as compared to those required under the job posting. Step 8 — Before starting the job application, you will want to ensure you have the required information collected.
This includes but is not limited to: your work history and background, job expertise to include number of years, knowledge, skills, and abilities, and education completed to include work concentrations. The Agency will also be interested in any past military experience, foreign area knowledge, languages and associated proficiency levels, and any certifications or licenses you possess that are relevant to the job s you are applying to fill.
In this form, you will be asked to provide information regarding: current or past security clearances, background investigations, polygraphs, Selective Service if applicable to yourself , DD and information regarding any military disciplinary proceedings. Other information required in the PEF includes any employment issues, drug use and activity, violations of the law, criminal convictions, any Peace Corps association or employment, and any delinquent federal debt.
In order to be considered suitable for CIA employment, an applicant must have not used illegal drugs within the past year. If you have used drugs prior to the 12 month period, it will be carefully evaluated during the security and medical processing portion of the job application. Step 10 — After you complete the entire CIA job application package, you will need to save and print your forms. You will likely find it necessary to use the forms throughout the job application process.
This is the only acknowledgement that is sent to the individual. If you submit multiple job applications, it will slow the review of the application and ultimately delay a decision on the part of the CIA on whether or not to move to the next step with you for a job at the CIA. Step 12 — If considered suitable for employment, be prepared to undergo a thorough background investigation by the CIA.
They will take a hard look at your life history, character, reliability, trustworthiness, and soundness of judgment. Linguists provide information to the agency by interpreting foreign media and teaching the language to other individuals within the agency. In order to being the process a person will explore the current positions that are available with the agency and determine what positions they meet the requirements for.
Military service may also qualify an individual for some of the positions that are available with the CIA. During the application process a person will be required to provide information about their background and expertise, this includes their education and work experience. Any certifications or licenses should be provided to the CIA as well.
A person should also be prepared to fill out a personal evaluation form. This will include information about background investigations, security clearances, selective service, polygraphs, drug use, alcohol use, employment issues, military discharges or any disciplinary proceedings, any delinquent federal debt, criminal convictions, and any employment or association with the peace corp.
Make a difference in your career at CIA. Join our diverse workforce of individuals, backgrounds, and roles working to keep America safe. Find your next job at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Hiring Process · Apply online · Screening, testing, and interviews · A Conditional.