fun facts What It's Like to Train with the CIA  

Aaron Edwards
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Thanks to the movies, the CIA can seem like it's full of badass international agents capable of killing a room full of people with a magazine. There are probably a ton of people who want CIA jobs just so they can learn to do that, but the truth is operatives are only a small part of the organization. CIA agent training isn't just about learning to be Jason Bourne. It's also about studying the world.

There are a ton of jobs at the CIA. Analysts, teachers, and investigators all play important roles at the agency and all require specialized training to make effective contributions. More than anything, the CIA is looking for smart, competent people who have an eye for detail and aren't afraid to work long hours to get the job done. If you think you have that within you, be prepared for a rigorous CIA training program that'll prepare you to defend the United States.

Do you have what it takes to join the CIA? Read this list and decide for yourself.

They Have Offices for Everything


They Have Offices for Everythi... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list What It's Like to Train with the CIA
Photo:  Central Intelligence Agency/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
The world is a big place, and that means there are a lot of threats out there. That's why the CIA has 13 different offices and with specialties ranging from Terrorism Analysis to Policy Support. If you want to work at one of these specialized offices, you need to receive specific training that will allow you to tackle its unique challenges. 

There Is a CIA University


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Photo:  Staff Sgt. Richard Colletta/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
It's not all field work and espionage. A lot of spy work is academic, which means you'll need to study. The CIA University has an ever-evolving curriculum that prepares its students for the technology, communication skills, and management abilities needed when assessing threats to the American people. 

There's a CIA Grad School


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Photo:  The Central Intelligence Agency/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
If you want to receive specialized training, the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis is part of CIA University. Course subjects include history, traditions and values, languages, and regional studies. You're also encouraged to train outside the university at military programs such as the Army War College. 

You Must Be Fluent in a Foreign Language


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If you're going to spy on people, it helps to know the language they're speaking. While it's officially described as "desirable" that you speak another language, that's kind of like saying it's "desirable" that you know how to shoot a gun in the army.

What languages do they want you to know? Well, the critical languages listed are Arabic, Dari, Korean, Persian, Chinese, Indonesian, Pashto, Turkish, Urdu, and Kurdish.