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Clive  
#1 Posted : Thursday, February 24, 2011 9:45:36 AM(UTC)
Clive

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Do you need a Masters degree? How hard is it to get one of these jobs?
Rocky Run  
#2 Posted : Thursday, February 24, 2011 10:27:46 AM(UTC)
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Any government job today is competitive.  The competition for positions in the major Intelligence Agencies are very intense.  With dozens of qualified candidates for each opening.  Masters degrees are not required for entry level positions, though it can help make you stand out if the degree is relevant to the job.  
Econ-1911  
#3 Posted : Friday, February 25, 2011 12:25:18 AM(UTC)
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DIA was hiring like crazy up until a few months ago.  

However, with the exception of a handful of veterans whose positions were converted over to civil service, I understand that most of their new hires were kids fresh out college with little or no experience - particularly given DIA's cumbersome and restrictive suitability criteria.

Given the post-9/11 spike in interest in the "intel" career field among young people, I suspect that vacancies at DIA receive a lot more attention than in agencies outside of the intelligence community.  That said, DIA is probably on the low end of the scale in bringing in qualified talent, particularly in comparison to other agencies within the IC.  Even so, it may be many years in the future before we see the kind of hiring push that DIA recently underwent.
flyers29  
#4 Posted : Friday, February 25, 2011 1:59:43 AM(UTC)
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Econ-1911 wrote:
DIA was hiring like crazy up until a few months ago.  

However, with the exception of a handful of veterans whose positions were converted over to civil service, I understand that most of their new hires were kids fresh out college with little or no experience - particularly given DIA's cumbersome and restrictive suitability criteria.

Given the post-9/11 spike in interest in the "intel" career field among young people, I suspect that vacancies at DIA receive a lot more attention than in agencies outside of the intelligence community.  That said, DIA is probably on the low end of the scale in bringing in qualified talent, particularly in comparison to other agencies within the IC.  Even so, it may be many years in the future before we see the kind of hiring push that DIA recently underwent.


Good points. To the OP, you're probably going to need a master's or military experience at a minimum (unless you're one of the lucky few undergrads who scores a DIA internship and get an "in" that way). Unfortunately the IC is getting hit with budget cuts like everywhere else and there are only a relative few places to really get an entry-level position, so things are still going to be pretty competitive.
alwayshopeful28  
#5 Posted : Friday, February 25, 2011 5:41:19 AM(UTC)
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don't know your particular qualifications but their entry level program is accepting resumes right now.

That said, I recently was offered a position with DIA at a hiring event. They told me 9000 people applied to the hiring event. I don't know how many received invitations, and very few people received offers. I think the best thing to increase your chances are languages, those were my strongest point, and I'll have a masters degree by the time I start.

alwayshopeful282011-02-25 13:47:01
Clive  
#6 Posted : Friday, February 25, 2011 7:49:37 AM(UTC)
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I speak Spanish and I am learning Italian. Does that help?

alwayshopeful28  
#7 Posted : Friday, February 25, 2011 9:06:19 AM(UTC)
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I don't know that those two languages are what they are looking for in particular, but it never hurts to apply. Smile
Rocky Run  
#8 Posted : Friday, February 25, 2011 10:10:44 AM(UTC)
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Spanish speakers are a dime a dozen and there is no demand for Italian.  Hard target languages are Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Dari, Urdu, and Chinese.
Clive  
#9 Posted : Friday, February 25, 2011 10:11:36 AM(UTC)
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Thanks. I learned Spanish just by living in Miami and I am learning Italian through the Berlitz method.  I hope to specialize in Mexican affairs for the DIA.
Clive  
#10 Posted : Friday, February 25, 2011 10:15:50 AM(UTC)
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Maybe I should switch to those other languages then although I always see Mexico on the news and you would think that they would want someone who knew Spanish and was interested in Mexico. Thanks for the advice.

flyers29  
#11 Posted : Friday, February 25, 2011 2:16:37 PM(UTC)
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Clive wrote:

Maybe I should switch to those other languages then although I always see Mexico on the news and you would think that they would want someone who knew Spanish and was interested in Mexico. Thanks for the advice.



I'm sure there is some level of demand, the point was just that there is a glut of Spanish speakers out there. Besides, you might get put working on something you have very little background in--funny how that works, eh?
Clive  
#12 Posted : Friday, February 25, 2011 9:03:49 PM(UTC)
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Yeah I'm going to switch to exotic languages like Hebrew or Hindi cuz I'm sure they're in demand as well. I get what you are saying and I appreciate your advice but it has always been my dream to analyze Mexico. I once went to Mexico City and I had a great time. The food was just awesome.  Plus, I'm interested in what's happening near the border in Cuidad Juarez. There's some bad dudes out there and I feel I could help the DIA once I get read up on those problems. But I guess that's just a dream right now. Again, thanks for talking and sharing your wisdom. I appreciate it.
Rocky Run  
#13 Posted : Friday, February 25, 2011 11:27:41 PM(UTC)
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What makes you think DIA has a particularly high demand for Mexican analysts?  In this case, DHS, CBP, DEA would be more directly engaged in that country than DIA is at present.
Rocky Run  
#14 Posted : Friday, February 25, 2011 11:32:24 PM(UTC)
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Saying you once visited a country and enjoyed it and loved their food isn't going to get you anywhere when applying for a job that requires experience in that area.  Spanish in Miami isn't Mexican Spanish.  You're going up against people who have either grown up there, possessing native language and cultural skills, people with expert language from having worked in that area in the military or other government service, or others who have direct experience working cultural/political/economic/military issues.  If you're serious about doing something like this, you need to make yourself competitive.  As always, take a look at your skills and see how it fits with the organization's mission.  Be very critical of yourself and see where you need to make improvements to be competitive.
Clive  
#15 Posted : Saturday, February 26, 2011 4:18:33 AM(UTC)
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Thanks guys for all of your advice. I need to  make myself more competitive. I guess speaking spanish  from Miami won't cut it. No wonder so many Mexicans called me coobano.  But when I ordered drinks, they understood that.  And I should apply to those other places. But first, I need to finish my associates and then get a bachelors and then after that, study a tough language like Hebrew.  Masters seems so time consuming though and if they hire people with a bachelors, it seems that I just got to get some internship. Hell, if billionaires can make it with a high school degree, I bet I could make it with a college bachelors.
Ryos  
#16 Posted : Saturday, February 26, 2011 9:38:52 AM(UTC)
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I've applied for like 20 DIA jobs and haven't gotten an interview with my graduate degree so I think the rumors of their competitiveness are not to be denied.  Although with their deployment requirement, I'm not sure you would necessarily want to have to head down into Mexico with Spanish expertise anyway.  Just IMHO. :P
Ryos2011-02-26 17:44:16
flyers29  
#17 Posted : Saturday, February 26, 2011 10:31:05 AM(UTC)
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Clive wrote:
Thanks guys for all of your advice. I need to  make myself more competitive. I guess speaking spanish  from Miami won't cut it. No wonder so many Mexicans called me coobano.  But when I ordered drinks, they understood that.  And I should apply to those other places. But first, I need to finish my associates and then get a bachelors and then after that, study a tough language like Hebrew.  Masters seems so time consuming though and if they hire people with a bachelors, it seems that I just got to get some internship. Hell, if billionaires can make it with a high school degree, I bet I could make it with a college bachelors.


Not to speak for the group, but there is no magic formula. The people above aren't incorrect in saying that language ability looks good etc...but in all reality, they're not going to hire you as an analyst and expect you to analyze intel one day and go translate dozens of pages of documents into Dari the next. That's actually one of the problems I've heard from intel analysts in that they never get to use the language abilities they developed. So I'll give you two streams of thought here: if you want to study Mexico then work toward that goal--don't study something you don't care about simply because you think it might make you look slightly better down the road (I'm guessing you're still a few years off from graduating....who knows how things will be then). Though as someone who hasn't found a job in this field a year after graduating, I also can't ignore that little things can perhaps make the difference--so keep that in mind too. I've had a few interviews with DIA, State, etc where the specific position focused on areas I had little background in (maybe that's why I didn't get the job, but I'm also sure I beat out many other good candidates with background in those areas just by getting an interview). So as I said before, there really is no way to predict what will or won't make you stand out.
Clive  
#18 Posted : Saturday, February 26, 2011 11:59:25 AM(UTC)
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I think the point of your answer was to keep trying and do what interests you. Thanks for the encouragement. Maybe I have a ways to go, but one day I'm getting there.

alwayshopeful28  
#19 Posted : Monday, February 28, 2011 1:27:31 AM(UTC)
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yup what everyone else has told you. don't give up what interests you. keep studying mexico, you have a long way to go before you finish school, and it will be tedious if you are doing something you don't like!! And your career interests could very well change between now and graduation. 
Clive  
#20 Posted : Monday, February 28, 2011 12:20:00 PM(UTC)
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Yeah, I like Mexico because I am interested in drug trafficking and crime there and I hope to find opportunities in the future where I can learn about drug operations. Plus, I like Mexican culture especially because of my visit to Mexico City for a week.  I have a cousin in Arizona and I figure I can visit him to learn even more about Mexicans. Thanks for setting me on the right track. I was thinking of learning Hebrew especially since my girlfriend is Jewish but hell, I am going to do what you suggest and just learn as much as I can about Mexico. Thanks for your advice.
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