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Federal Intelligence Careers: Collection

United States Intelligence Community

October 23, 2007

Individuals working in Intelligence Collection have very unique careers indeed. They work with intelligence analysts to determine the vital information needed to produce finished intelligence. There are six basic intelligence sources or collection disciplines (i.e., SIGINT, IMINT, MASINT, HUMINT, OSINT, and Geospatial Intelligence). Intelligence Collection personnel use technical and human resources to obtain that information. The important issues are diverse and may include international terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, missile and space developments, defense-related medical and health issues, counterintelligence, and international drug trafficking, to name a few.

To effectively collect intelligence information you must be able to establish and build interpersonal relationships. The arts of persuasion, negotiation, interviewing, and problem solving will serve you well. The ability to work in ambiguous and unstructured situations is critical. You must be a team player. Language proficiency in one or more foreign languages is desired, and a bachelor’s degree is often required. Individuals within this career come from a variety of backgrounds such as nuclear, biological, or chemical engineering; international economics; business; or the physical sciences. Prior foreign travel, residency abroad, or military experience is a plus.

US citizenship is required. All applicants must successfully complete an extensive background investigation. Some positions may also require medical and psychological examinations and a polygraph interview.

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