A Day in the Life of an Intelligence Analyst

Author: Notre Dame International Security Center

Intelligence analysts are one of the most coveted international security jobs, playing a key role in national security and international relations. They compile data and information from multiple sources to assess threats and prevent attacks from external and internal enemies. Their number one priority is to ensure the safety of their country.  

 

What is an Intelligence Analyst?  

There are many organizations that an intelligence analyst may work for, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Security Agency (NSA), and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Intelligence analysts are responsible for gathering and evaluating information used to uncover criminal activities and potentially prevent organized crime. They have a wealth of resources available—law enforcement surveillance archives, databases, intelligence networks, and geographic information systems—to predict and prevent crime. 

 

What a Typical Day for an Intelligence Analyst would look like

 

On a daily basis, intelligence analysts will perform the following tasks: 

  • Receive and validate new intelligence information with data from multiple sources. 

  • Provide written assessments, presentations, reports, maps, or charts. 

  • Study activities that are related to money laundering, gangs, narcotics, terrorism, or any other national security threats. 

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    Meet with representatives from government and intelligence organizations to collaborate information and coordinate activities related to intelligence. 

  • Evaluate collected information and analytical work. 

  • Build teams of professionals to generate a systemic analysis and interpret data. 

  • Learn, develop, and exercise foreign language or cultural proficiency. 

  • Lead inquiries and perform interviews to generate intelligence reports. 

The work environment is indoors and environmentally controlled. The working hours are the standard 40 hours a week, with a regular working schedule. The work schedule can vary depending on the type of employment, military and government jobs are usually regimented and predictable. 

 

What are some of the Education and Experience you need? 

Becoming an intelligence analyst requires an education. You are expected to earn at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Some degrees include political science, national security, and international studies. Here are some experiences or skills that are required for an intelligence analyst: 

  • International Affairs, International Relations, or International Studies 

  • History, Government, or Political Science 

  • Data Science and Analysis 

  • Geography, Cartography, or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 

  • Intelligence 

  • Library Sciences or Information Sciences 

  • National Security Studies 

  • Science (e.g., Biology, Chemistry, Geology) 

 

Intelligence analysts play a significant role in international security. If you want to learn more, the Notre Dame International Security Center is helping our alumni apply for internships and jobs in the intelligence community. If you are interested in a career as an intelligence analyst, then apply for our certificate program today!