8 Skills You Need For An Intelligence Career


What is the need of the moment for classified corporations these days? You guessed it right, intelligence. Business is essentially a rivalry where a spark of intelligence can offer an edge to firms. In light of this, occupations like Intelligence officers are soaring in popularity!

The job title of “Intelligence Officers” might conjure images of CIA and FBI agents. Although potential career paths for forthcoming analysts do include these proprietors, the field as a whole is broader than that. The intelligence analysis ground spans various career openings in different government branches, such as IT companies and the U.S. Army. It requires rigorous training and impeccable academic scores to pursue this profession.

The role of intelligence officers, also known as analysts, is to evaluate information to identify and alleviate security threats. Besides that, analysts must have stout research and analytical skills to simplify data and create action plans. 

An individual who’s keen on becoming an intelligence officer should develop the following skills while earning a degree and gaining pro-active experience in the field.

1. Data Preparation

You can’t entitle an individual to be an intelligence officer if he doesn’t know how to cope with data. Indeed, one of the requirements if you wonder how to become an intelligence officer.

As we’re all aware, data preparation is an integral part of any business. While gathering any insights from the information, the data needs to be composed, organized and cleaned uniformly. Various data preparation tools can collect data from multiple sources and then prepare it with the exact measurements and dimensions.

As an intelligence officer, you should be familiar with at least one or two of the latest data preparation tools, such as Improvado, Prep, and Alteryx.

2. Problem Solving

Intelligence officers should have commendable problem-solving skills. They should have the ability to identify intricate matters and gather data about the topic. Other than that, they should be able to address insinuations regarding new versus recurring and current issues.

Lastly, analyzing and evaluating information to determine potential resolutions is the most critical aspect of the problem-solving process.

3. Communication

In any profession, communication training for employees is vital. Somehow, it poses more value in the intelligence sector. Therefore, intelligence officers need to have nuanced and well-developed written and verbal communication skills. Having a proper grip on these topics is an integral aspect of the job.

Furthermore, these skills are not required to be successful at your job; they may help save lives and subsidize global strategy development.

4. Writing and Research

What’s an intelligence officer suitable for if he can’t even do simple research?

Intelligence analysts must have incredible research skills as well as report-writing skills. As per the FBI jobs site, “From collecting, assessing, and disseminating raw intelligence to creating real-time analytic judgments regarding evolving and specific threats, to classifying threats and trends, intelligence analysts are mandatory to the FBI’s ability act against embryonic issues.”

By the looks of this statement, the bar for becoming an intelligence officer is too high. Therefore, you must incorporate basic skills, such as research and writing.

5. Flexibility

Every intelligence analyst should be flexible when it comes to their routines, as their job often requires excessive traveling. They can conduct investigations in the field; or work in an office and international or local environments. Whatever it is, be prepared for it.

6. Decision Making

Intelligence analysts have to be the kind of people who don’t break a sweat, even under pressure. They must be self-starters, as some tasks might include creating real-time decisions that have international crimes and crises. They need to walk through large chunks of data and information, such as reports and statistics, and evaluate and use that information to make decisions. Another factor that contributes to this is knowing how to use analytic tools and databases. 

7. Descriptive Analysis

What’s descriptive analysis, you ask? It involves researching the data to understand any outliers, missing values, skewed or abnormal distributions. In essence, it is an aspect of understanding and getting to know the information before preparing it for the decision-making process. Various tools can help in descriptive analytics, such as data visualization charts or statistical methods used to learn the data such as box, whisker plots, histograms, and bar charts.

8. Business Knowledge

As an intelligence officer, you should have some corporate knowledge as well. You should be well-acquainted with your company’s business model and understand how to leverage the data so you can obtain maximum profits for the key performance indicators. Moreover, it would be best if you understood both the company’s long-term and short-term business goals. It will help to create a lucrative future with the help of data.


Now that you have a glimpse of the corporate intelligence world, you can cultivate these skills to acquire your dream job as an intelligence officer.

The nature of security and intelligence work means that you could remain in one role for years and years. However, you’ll be encouraged to switch between jobs to maintain intellectual stimulation, gain more experience, and overcome obstacles. Furthermore, since information tends to change from time to time, you may have to constantly adapt your working ethics to meet new threats and opportunities.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.