FAQ#1: What’s the difference between Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence?
In essence, Intelligence seeks to identify information about the enemy – such as their strength, capabilities, locations and intentions. Counter Intelligence seeks to limit the ability of the enemy to identify the same information about us.
Example, A HUMINT source might be recruited to provide information about a military location or the enemies plan (intelligence). Whereas recruiting a source to provide information on friendly force weaknesses or threats is considered counter-intelligence.
FAQ#2: What is an Intelligence Officer & What Do They Do?
Intelligence Officers are employed to collect, compile, analyse and assess information for the creation of Intelligence.
FAQ#3: Is there a Difference Between Intelligence Officers and Intelligence Analysts?
Intelligence Officers typically collect raw information while Intelligence Analysts process raw information to determine its Intelligence value.
FAQ#4: Is it better to be in HUMINT or SIGINT?
Neither. They’re just different. A lot of people see HUMINT as the ‘sexy’ side to intelligence…but there’s no such thing as a better intelligence – it’s all relevant!
There’s always been this little competition between HUMINT vs. SIGINT about which is better. Typically HUMINTers are seen as personable, good networkers and able to build and manage relationships – SIGINTers have sometimes been referred to as ‘hermit crabs’, who sit in dark rooms.
My suggestion is not to close yourself off to one or the other, try both roles, and see which is right for you.
FAQ#5: Does Military Experience Help My Application To Become An Intelligence Officer?
Yes, I think it does.
FAQ#6: What Degree Should I Do To Become An Intelligence Officer?
Yep…I get this question ALL THE TIME!
But here’s the answer…There’s no set requirement for the degree you need to become an Intelligence Officer. Intelligence Agencies are always looking for talented people from diverse backgrounds and with varied education.
FAQ#7: Do I need to have a degree (to work in intelligence)?
Yes if you want to work in a ‘civilian’ intelligence agency (think, CIA, NSA, MI6, GCSB, etc).
No, if you apply to the Army, Navy, Airforce, Police or other Military.
Having a degree is a pretty universal standard. For example, I knew guys in the Army who were able to get their military training recognised, and then get accepted to civilian agencies, but even this was a handful.
The reason Intel agencies prefer candidates with degrees is that it shows a base level of knowledge, aptitude and the ability to think critically about an issue (no matter what the degree is in). Second is the commitment required – you can’t just turn up and get a degree overnight. It takes time and effort, it shows commitment and discipline, easily filtering out people who just ‘want to have a go’…if you know what I mean.
FAQ# Can I Submit A Question?
Yes, of course! I’m all ears, what do you want to know – email me; firstname.lastname@example.org
In fact, if your question is featured on this new page, I’ll send you a free copy of our Intel101 ebook – Essential Tradecraft for Intelligence Analysts. So get in touch!