Forget the world of cocktail-sipping super-spies; intelligence analysts are hardworking, diligent and adaptable. This is a role that tests your intellect, your focus and your innovation.
What is an intelligence analyst?
Intelligence analysts work to protect the UK’s national security, ensuring its population is safe and secure. Intelligence analysts (sometimes known as an intelligence officer or an intelligence researcher) will work to prevent terrorist attacks, organised crime, cyber severe attacks and drug trafficking.
Intelligence analysts tend to work for one of the UK’s three main security enforcers, MI6, MI5 and Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). Analysts have also been known to work within special departments of the armed forces or the police.
Sometimes, intelligence analysts are hired after completing university. The MI6 graduate scheme or the Intel graduate scheme are both known to lead to exciting opportunities for graduates.
An intelligence analyst has a huge range of responsibilities which are of the utmost importance. Your responsibilities may potentially change if you work in different areas of national security.
The salary for an intelligence analyst depends on where you are working.
The most common responsibilities for an intelligence analyst are:
- Collaborate with several high-ranking officials, including cryptanalysts, linguists, mathematicians and scientists.
- Compile presentations and reports.
- Develop relationships with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the Home Office and the National Crime Agency (NCA).
- Gather intelligence.
- Interpret intelligence and data.
- Liaise with clients.
- Speak to sources regarding the validity of the intelligence you gather.
You will likely be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in your line of work. As your work covers the highest levels of national security, signing an NDA is likely to be a requirement in just about every job.
The salary for an intelligence analyst depends on where you are working. Other factors can also contribute but will be related to your abilities. The starting salary for a graduate analyst is usually around £36,000.
Qualifications are not essential for this role. Undergraduate or postgraduate degrees are helpful but are not required. Any degree you have will be welcome as the security services across the UK are looking for increased specialisms in various areas.
All services will have in-house training and development programmes.
Nationality is an important factor of the hiring process for this role. You must be a British citizen or have exceptionally strong ties to the country. If you hold dual nationality, you may be considered but might be required to give up your non-British citizenship.
Some have been known to apply for this role without a degree. You will need to have a lot of experience in the intelligence sector in this instance - though some employers have been known to accept candidates who have been in the armed forces too.
Training and development
All services will have in-house training and development programmes. You will need to attend external courses, security briefings, and individual one-to-one training.
External providers are also welcome; however, your employer must approve and rigorously test these. What courses you do are down to you; however, martial arts, languages and technology are generally the most desired by employers.
To begin with, you will likely be stationed at your first posting for around 18 months to three years.
You will likely be asked to complete a continuing professional development (CPD) for this role. The training providers your company uses or that you personally select will likely provide CPD training and support.
An intelligence analyst needs several vital skills to be effective. The skills needed to become an intelligence analyst are:
- Cultural sensitivity.
- Excellent IT skills.
- Excellent communication skills.
- Excellent organisational skills.
- The ability to work with others and alone.
These skills can be further honed through advanced training and development.
To begin with, you will likely be stationed at your first posting for around 18 months to three years. Usually, with entry-level jobs, you would not be given too many responsibilities; however, intelligence analysts are given many responsibilities early on. This will usually allow your employer to learn more about you and see how you respond to new challenges.
Generally, movement between jobs is restricted to three years. Most employers will encourage you to change your role as often as possible, although this is still down to you.
Intelligence analysts work to protect the UK’s national security, ensuring its population is safe and secure.
Not all intelligence analysts decide to stay in this role. Many intelligence analysts may look for slightly less intense work, either working as a security guard, a security advisor or in the armed forces or the police.
-  Intelligence analyst salary in United Kingdom — Indeed.com Retrieved 13 December 2022.
-  Senior Intelligence Analyst Salaries in United Kingdom — Glassdoor.co.uk Retrieved 13 December 2022.
-  How much does a senior intelligence analyst earn? — UKTaxCalculators.co.uk Retrieved 13 December 2022.