Q&A ~ Am a graduating U.S. student looking for opens doors in federal agencies
Question: I am slated to graduate from college Spring 2012, and I would really like to enter into the field of Intel analysis. I’ve seen some of your posts about your company and read that one post about a young person inquiring about how to break into the field as well as the interview video of you describing your career.
First off I thought it was very interesting and informative: You and many others in my internet scouring have suggested joining the military. Unfortunately I have had a history of asthma and allergies (I’m currently taking a year’s worth of allergy shots), so military is not an option.
Looking through your sites job openings, most seem to demand some experience, and although I know government agencies within the IC hire fresh college students, I would like to know what are my odds of getting in despite not having a military background.
Answer: If a medical condition prohibits from military service it is going to be a challenge but an intelligence career is indeed doable.
Here should be your battle plan:
Apply to a wide range of federal agencies. Get in the door and you will get a hall pass: meaning that the feds almost always hire-from-within first. So even if you got a less than thrilling job doing what you want to do, once you are in keep your radar alert to unique, interesting opportunities. You have options such as intergovernmental agency transfers. Learn more about the wider world of intelligence.
Beyond ‘agencies’ there are also ‘organizations’ and ‘activities’. Check out http://intelligence.gov/careers-in-intelligence/ and do not focus on just the big name agencies.
Discover junior and entry level opportunities in intelligence or intelligence-related jobs via http://www.usajobs.gov/ ~~ there are also other jobs that you should seek out such as (junior) policy analyst, information research, and ‘customer service’ ~~ customer service is a very unique job that often is not at all what it sounds like, or not in the traditional sense. The many different agencies offer unique, important opportunities that are often overlooked: the Department of Agriculture is one such. Lots of intelligence stuff happens there even if it goes by other names.
In private industry, seek out firms specializing in consulting. Your future could be in a company such as Booz Allen Hamilton which has major contracts within defense and intelligence. There are also the big consultancies such as Accenture, Deloitte & Touche or KPMG, etc. These firms often have a program to bring in college graduates and use them as research and support personnel. If they last after 2-3 years then many more opportunities open up for them. Follow this link to find major consultancies, most of which the average person has never heard of.
Consider going back to school for a master degree BUT go to one of the special universities within the National Intelligence Centers of Academic Excellence – see www.dni.gov/cae
Best regards, Bill Golden CEO, IntelligenceCareers.com USADefenseIndustryJobs.com USAJobZoo.com
Have a question? Ask our career advisor at http://usajobsblog.com/ask-a-career-question