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nyfaninca  
#1 Posted : Sunday, January 17, 2010 1:52:13 AM(UTC)
nyfaninca

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Lets say that I get offers from both agencies (I haven't, yet) for essentially the same position  (intel -analyst). Everything would be the same - salary, etc.

Which would you choose, and for what reason(s)? I know CIA = civilian and DIA  = military, but I'm having trouble trying to decide which I would choose if faced with that decision.

Which, in your opinion or knowledge, is more employee-friendly, less bureaucratic, better leadership, better chances for career advancement, more responsibility, better experience-wise, etc, etc, etc.?

Thanks for any help or insight anyone can provide.

PG131389  
#2 Posted : Sunday, January 17, 2010 3:34:32 AM(UTC)
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I would choose the CIA, purely to let *cough*others*cough* have a shot at the DIA. :P
alpha  
#3 Posted : Monday, January 18, 2010 8:49:21 AM(UTC)
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I'm interested in this as well; anyone else have any opinions?


and haha, PG. LOL

PG131389  
#4 Posted : Monday, January 18, 2010 9:33:30 AM(UTC)
PG131389

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In all seriousness, it depends on what your interests and career goals are really. The CIA's mission is more broad, and focuses more on just the military aspects of our friendly global neighbors. You can go into Psychological analysis, political analysis, clandestine work in the Kara Kum desert, geospatial analysis, etc.

On the other hand, the DIA doesn't go beyond their mission of collecting military intelligence, at least from what I know. If you have a general interest in military development, you shouldn't have any qualms with dealing with the same stuff every day...then again, you would do the same in the CIA most likely unless you have interdisciplinary skills.

I'm a military history nut, so I'm good.

nyfaninca  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, January 19, 2010 6:01:41 AM(UTC)
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Thanks PG, but I'm looking for an answer more along the lines of which is less bureaucratic, which has more competent and better leadership, which is more respected in the intel-community, which would have better chances for a faster career advancement, which is better experience wise (lets say I do military analysis, for ex.).

Just stuff like that.

thanks!!

PG131389  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, January 19, 2010 7:42:41 AM(UTC)
PG131389

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nyfaninca wrote:
Thanks PG, but I'm looking for an answer more along the lines of which is less bureaucratic, which has more competent and better leadership, which is more respected in the intel-community, which would have better chances for a faster career advancement, which is better experience wise (lets say I do military analysis, for ex.).

Just stuff like that.

thanks!!


Well, you can't escape bureaucracy in the federal government to be sure. I am sure they are both pretty competent with commendable leadership, but I have no experience whatsoever....
flyers29  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, January 19, 2010 9:01:43 AM(UTC)
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PG131389 wrote:
nyfaninca wrote:
Thanks PG, but I'm looking for an answer more along the lines of which is less bureaucratic, which has more competent and better leadership, which is more respected in the intel-community, which would have better chances for a faster career advancement, which is better experience wise (lets say I do military analysis, for ex.).

Just stuff like that.

thanks!!


Well, you can't escape bureaucracy in the federal government to be sure. I am sure they are both pretty competent with commendable leadership, but I have no experience whatsoever....


This is true, but the CIA might have a leg up in its an independent agency. DIA still has to put up with the whims of the DoD to some level. So some of the stuff you read here about sudden budget cuts causing your hiring process to stall or whatever would probably occur to a greater degree at DIA. Nonetheless, I think that sort of stuff is way above the pay-grade of your run-of-the-mill analyst. I don't think your career would differ too much in either one, I think it's just a difference in culture (i.e. working in a civilian/military environment at DIA will differ from a civilian environment at CIA).
Rocky Run  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, January 19, 2010 10:22:59 AM(UTC)
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I read a lot of opinions of the difference between the CIA and DIA.  But unless one has first hand experience observing the two, it's just that - opinions.  From my observation, DIA employees since 2001 have enjoyed much quicker advancement than their CIA peers.  It's the quirk of the difference between the two agencies' personnel systems, their needs, and internal organizational dynamics.  I've seen a few CIA employees transfer to DIA for the advancement opportunities.  CIA has the "glamour" factor, but both agencies do pretty much the same type of work.  Contrary to what some have said here, DIA does all facets of analysis.  The CIA, DIA and State INR are the only three All-source intelligence agencies in the intelligence community.  They all publish the same type of products for their consumers.  And don't kid yourself if you don't think the CIA publish military intelligence.  The Pentagon is the largest consumer of intelligence, and the CIA needs to cultivate that customer just as much as DIA.  Bureaucracy?  Both are government agencies, so there is that in spades in both.  Degree of bureaucracy depends on where you sit.  You'll find a lot less of it at the pointy end of the spear (Iraq, Afghanistan) than back at headquarters.  Which one offer the best experience.   That again depends on what you end of doing and what initiative you display.  Both can offer great experience if you're willing to do 150%.
nyfaninca  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, January 19, 2010 10:37:36 AM(UTC)
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Thanks for the replies; they were both very informative.

I think I'm kind of leaning towards DIA (if I have the option).

I'm somewhat turned off by the negative light that the public casts on the CIA (whether it is deserved or not).

But besides that, I can't really come up with much of a diverse pros and cons list for each. They seem very similar.

RockyRun - are you currently a DIA employee? If so, what do you think of employee morale and such?

Again, thanks for the replies so far, hopefully we'll get some more.

overpaid  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, January 19, 2010 10:55:09 AM(UTC)
overpaid

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Look the sole purpose of DIA is to support the military its their only constituency
PG131389  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, January 19, 2010 11:02:59 AM(UTC)
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nyfaninca wrote:
Thanks for the replies; they were both very informative.

I think I'm kind of leaning towards DIA (if I have the option).

I'm somewhat turned off by the negative light that the public casts on the CIA (whether it is deserved or not).

But besides that, I can't really come up with much of a diverse pros and cons list for each. They seem very similar.

RockyRun - are you currently a DIA employee? If so, what do you think of employee morale and such?

Again, thanks for the replies so far, hopefully we'll get some more.


I don't think you should be turned off by the negative light...besides, no one except you will know where you work. Most of this conspiracy/man-behind-the-curtain stuff about the CIA is BS....
Rocky Run  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, January 19, 2010 11:12:32 AM(UTC)
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Not so.  The DIA, as well as other agencies, contributes extensively to the Presidential Daily Briefing as well as DNI national estimates published by the NIC.  Its focus is primarily military related (but that's a very big portfolio, as almost everything has a military dimension), but the overlap withe the CIA is extensive and both pretty much perform parallel functions.  Its reach goes beyond the Pentagon, reaching throughout the executive branch as well as congress.  
alpha  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, January 20, 2010 11:07:49 AM(UTC)
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Great responses guys; they're very helpful.



BenniHanna  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, January 20, 2010 1:03:21 PM(UTC)
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I think your background is important.  If you're former military, the DIA might be better.  Many of my civilian friends who work at DIA regularly complain about former military people getting preferential treatment.  The CIA on the other hand draws from a wider base.  

I also think you'd get more diverse travel opportunities with the CIA and might get more interesting work due to the nature of the Agency.
flyers29  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, January 20, 2010 1:28:01 PM(UTC)
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BenniHanna wrote:
I think your background is important.  If you're former military, the DIA might be better.  Many of my civilian friends who work at DIA regularly complain about former military people getting preferential treatment.  The CIA on the other hand draws from a wider base.  

I also think you'd get more diverse travel opportunities with the CIA and might get more interesting work due to the nature of the Agency.


I thought DIA was the one sending people to Iraq/Afghanistan between the two of them?
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