CIA Analyst Training

CIA analysts take incoming information from a variety of sources and evaluate it. The information comes from many different sources such as reports from local contacts, satellite surveillance and foreign news reports. The reliability of the information varies widely, so analysts have to assess the reliability of each piece of information. Since most of the information they receive is incomplete, analysts have to put the pieces together like a puzzle to create useful intelligence assessments.

  1. Education

    • An undergraduate degree is recommended for an analyst position. An advanced degree is preferable. The agency does not recommend a particular course of study. Analysts may specialize in a variety of fields such as computer science, economics, or psychology. Fluency in a foreign language is not required, but it is recommended. Analysts have to deal with a fast-paced workday. They deal with constantly changing information. According to the CIA, a successful analyst must possess the following skills: "problem solving, strong communication skills and teamwork."

    The Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis

    • Analysts receive their official training through the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis. This integrated program is the Directorate of Intelligence (DI) portion of CIA University. The Kent School provides ongoing training in intelligence analysis. The curriculum includes foreign language training and regional studies, as well as the history of the CIA. The values and traditions of the Agency are also included in the Kent School curriculum.

    Basic Training

    • New employees attend the Career Analyst Program (CAP). This program teaches the basic skills that analysts will need in order to be successful. Thinking, writing and briefing skills are key components of the program. Analysts also study analytic tools, warning skills, denial and deception analysis and counterintelligence issues. Basic training takes four months.

    Intermediate and Advanced Training

    • The Kent School also provides intermediate and advanced training. This training is for analysts and managers. It covers topics such as leadership skills, analytic methodologies and substantive issues. Training may also be supplemented by courses available through the CIA University's Leadership and Mission Academies. These courses provide substantive training and leadership development.

    Off-site Training

    • Analysts can also receive training off-site at one of the Washington, D.C. area universities. Individual offices offer full-time training options. In addition, there are study options available with military services programs such as the Army or Naval War College or the National War College. Training in foreign languages is also available in a variety of full-time and part-time programs.

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