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Intelligence Analyst

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What does an Intelligence Analyst do?

An intelligence analyst receives, interprets, and passes along information collected by field personnel. This is an intense, rewarding, and important position. You generally work for a government entity such as the CIA, FBI, NSA, or a branch of the military. There are also some positions within the public arena.

When field agents follow a lead to a drug manufacturing warehouse or gather information from an informant, they send that information to you, the intelligence analyst. You also receive updates and data from equipment, such as satellite images of compounds or recorded conversations between known terrorists.

With a critical eye, you scrutinize the information. How reliable is it? Do you have other evidence that supports it? How quickly could the scene change? You analyze phone records, photographs, field reports, and satellite images to establish who the key players are, what actions they’ve taken, and what they plan to do next.

Following this analysis, you make the big decisions about which human and material resources are needed in response to the situation. This is the tricky part of your job. If you’re wrong, someone could get hurt and undercover agents could get their cover blown, all at the expense of the taxpayer. But if you’re right, you could save a stadium full of fans from a terrorist attack, direct agents into the center of a major drug bust, or mobilize military troops towards a victory on the battlefield.