How Intelligent Do You Have To Be To Get A Career In Intelligence?

Jobs in the CIA are often left out of the normal equation of careers. It is often believed that in order to get hired by the the agency, one must be extremely intelligent. However, a massive IQ is not always necessary in order to get one of these coveted jobs.

IQ as a Gateway to the Central Intelligence Agency

All agents likely score above average on an IQ test. As the individuals who are most directly responsible for keeping the United States safe, these professionals need to be intelligent, aware, and mentally and emotionally stable. Having a poor score on an IQ test is enough to disqualify you from being accepted into the agency. However, it may not be necessary to have insanely high IQ scores. Those with an above average intelligence and a special skill set can still make it into the Central Intelligence Agency.

Having an extremely high IQ score could, in itself, make you an appealing candidate for the US secret service. However, IQ alone is not going to get you accepted in to the agency. A battery of tests will screen applicants on a variety of factors. Agents need to be mentally sound, trustworthy, able to handle extreme stress, able to work well with others, and a wealth of other personality traits that are necessary to the job. Having a high IQ is only one component that the agency is looking for in its agents.

Here are some more pointers on what it takes to become an agent:

Specialized Skills

The path of entry for many agents is having a specialized skill set. Some agents are appealing simply because they have a large IQ and can process the information given to them quickly. But language abilities, ability to solve codes, and the ability to work quickly under pressure are also extreme assets that a the secret service may be interested in.

Since the secret service has such a wide range of positions to fill, the agency needs people who are the best in their respective fields. Studies in psychology and international relations can be particularly valuable for getting accepted into the agency. Students should have exceptional grades in their fields of study, which may indicate intelligence but does not necessarily correlate.

More about the secret service:

Another special skill that is useful for agents is the ability to speak many languages fluently. People who have shown mastery of several languages are of immediate interest to the CIA. These individuals can help understand messages and codes sent by other nations, and they can also help with surveillance of high profile individuals in other nations. In short, there are many things that can qualify an individual for a Central Intelligence career, and intelligence is only one component of the job description.

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