Qualified CIA applicants are required to have at least a bachelors degree. Advanced degrees are sometimes a qualification for specific positions and generally helpful for any potential applicant. There are no specific requirements for the field of study, but degrees in international relations, law, political science, history, economics, finance, mathematics, languages, sociology, psychology, and a number of the sciences are good starting points to gain the skills the CIA will be looking for. There is a great deal of competition for any CIA position, with potentially hundreds of applicants for each open position. It is important to have an excellent academic record, at least a 3.0 GPA.
Language skills are a great benefit to anyone looking to enter a career in the CIA. Learn as many as possible, with complete mastery of at least one other language. Languages spoken in areas that tend to be military or political hotspots are generally in the most demand. Honesty and integrity are qualities highly sought-after by CIA recruiters. It is critical that you have a clean criminal record, any blemish will derail hopes of working for the CIA. Applicants must also meet strict physical and mental fitness qualifications.
Experience may often be as important as your educational background when applying for a job at the CIA. The CIA does offer some internship programs for undergraduate and graduate college students. Like jobs in the agency, these positions are highly competitive, but can pave the way to a future career. If you're serious about becoming a part of the CIA, you may want to consider military service. There is no built in hiring preference for veterans; however, the experience gained through military service, particularly work in military intelligence, will put you ahead of other applicants, though you'll still need a college degree.
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