An intelligence analyst gathers and analyzes information from various sources to determine its significance and reliability. The analyst will establish and maintain records of that intelligence and keep the information files organized. Although the intelligence analyst may not work directly for a government agency such as the National Security Agency or Central Intelligence Agency, the job is usually linked with government work, either national security or border security or other national interests. Government security clearance, or the ability to quickly obtain it, is required before one can become an intelligence analyst. A college education is also necessary; an intelligence analyst must at least possess an associate's degree from an accredited university, though a bachelor's degree is highly preferred. Experience in performing intelligence analysis is mandatory, preferably in a specific area related to the desired job. As the analyst will be expected to analyze and interpret information, exemplary attention to detail is necessary to perform well in the position. Excellent communication skills are needed, as well, in order to effectively communicate the information being processed and analyzed. Knowledge of other languages is extremely useful in the job, but is not required. An intelligence analyst works business hours from Monday through Friday, and may be asked to work additional hours in the evening or on weekends as needed, especially if there is an overflow of information to analyze or a strict deadline to meet in presenting that information. In order to maintain the security of classified information, a prospective analyst must pass a thorough background check.
Intelligence Analyst Tasks
- Initiate, coordinate and conduct research efforts.
- Gather, analyze, and evaluate information from a variety of sources.
- Determine the significance and reliability of incoming information.
- Establish and maintain intelligence records and files.