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Survey shows hiring on rise in intelligence community

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Job opportunities for entry-level analysts within the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) are expected to increase overall during the coming year, with positions in cyber intelligence making the most gains, according to a survey of intelligence professionals just released by the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences at Mercyhurst University.

The survey, conducted Jan. 3-24 by Mercyhurst student analyst Ross Hagan, polled an estimated 33 IC professionals with direct or indirect knowledge of potential hiring over the next 12 months.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents said they agree that hiring for entry-level analysts is likely to increase, with approximately 88 percent pointing specifically to increases in the field of cyber intelligence. According to the survey, this finding is consistent with several reports detailing major increases in cyber intelligence hiring over the past four years, including the recent Cybersecurity National Action Plan. In addition, the Air Force is looking to add about 1,400 positions by the end of this year, adding to its force of approximately 9,500 civilian cyber employees. Counterterrorism also earned strong support for hiring.

Based on those surveyed, hiring in the areas of counterintelligence, leadership analysis, CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) proliferation, political intelligence and counternarcotics analysis were likely to remain the same, with geospatial intelligence and targeting analysis likely to increase or remain consistent. No field showed evidence to support that they were likely to decrease hiring.

Survey results diverge when assessing the impact President Donald Trump’s administration will have on hiring practices. In reference to the statement, “The recent presidential election is likely to positively impact entry-level analyst hiring over the next 12 months,” those polled noted:

Strongly Agree: 15.8 percent

Somewhat Agree: 15.8 percent

Neutral: 42.1 percent

Somewhat Disagree: 21.2 percent

Strongly Disagree: 5.3 percent.

The survey posits that Trump’s current hiring freeze is likely to be modified and intel analysts will be hired before year’s end.

To view the complete report, go here. Hagan was assisted by intelligence studies associate professor Kristan Wheaton.