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How to Join the CIA

Tulika Nair
James Bond makes us dream of a life as a spy, which may not be as enchanting as it seems, but it will be exciting for sure. Learn here how you can join the CIA.
Fast cars, ultra-cool gadgets, globetrotting adventures ... these are just some things we believe to be synonymous with the CIA. While they do have their gadgets and they do travel a lot, believing everything you see on the big screen may be a huge error.
If the glamor and the cool spy surveillance equipment are the reasons you want to join the CIA, then think again. But, if you actually have dreamed of a job as a clandestine operative all your life, then this information on how to join the CIA, maybe of help to you.

Joining the CIA

If you have set your heart on joining the CIA and working for one of the premier intelligence agencies in the world, then you have come to the right place. We will tell you what you need to become a member of the team which provides intelligence to the US government, so that the policymakers can take decisions about international and national issues.
Here is a quick overview on how you can join the CIA and become a spy.

► The first thing you need is a US citizenship. If you are from another country, then you can kiss your chances of becoming a CIA operative goodbye. Apply for the citizenship if you want to join the CIA.
► Remember that in case you want to join the CIA, then you need to have a clean slate, which means absolutely no criminal activities in the past. You need to be the brand ambassador for model citizenship. Qualities like dependability, responsibility, ethics, trustworthiness, etc. are just some of the many things that CIA looks for in its employees.
Drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and other such addictions are frowned upon. While officially the CIA rejects your application only if the instance of abuse is in less than 12 months of submission of the form, the fact of the matter is that any abuse in the past can hurt your chances.
► An important thing to know is that all CIA operatives need to have at least a bachelor's degree, with an average GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. In fact, most positions demand a higher educational requirement.
While there are no course requirements, courses in international relations and other such subjects reflect well. It is also a good idea to learn some foreign languages, especially Arabic, Persian, and Mandarin.
► CIA regularly advertises the vacant positions, both on its website and even in the form of print and television advertisements. Once you find a position that interests you, check if the job profile given is met by you. You can submit your application for the post or online.
► On receipt of applications, the CIA takes a period of around 45 days to get back to you. If they find you suitable, they will contact you with a conditional offer, after which you will need to undergo a medical and psychological exam. This is to test you for drug use, medical conditions, intelligence, and mental stability.
► As a part of the CIA joining procedure, you may also need to give a polygraph test to ensure that you are being truthful and honest in your application to the job.
The CIA generally does not hire anyone over the age of 35 for their clandestine operations wing, so if you are above the age limit and want to be a spy, then it is not possible for you. Previous military experience really helps if you want to join the CIA, especially if you have had a stint in military intelligence.
The CIA also conducts courses for college students, but it is extremely difficult to get through to these programs and may not be a guarantee for a job. But the CIA does recruit from the Ivy league colleges, so a good college education may be helpful in being noticed by the CIA.
Once you have an offer in your hand, you will need to attend job training to prepare yourself for different tasks and jobs, and learn things like how to spy on someone. Remember that this training is extremely difficult and tough, and you will need to handle a lot of stress. Also, you will need to stay away from your family.
But, if you have received an offer from the CIA, do not forget to congratulate yourself. Because, of all the people who have done everything they could and learned everything about joining the CIA, only 17% get conditional offers. Once you are in, be ready for a life that may not be as similar to the reel as you thought it would be, but exciting nonetheless.