How Do I Become a Spy?

The role of SPY  has many cultural connotations and myths, encouraged by the media. Spies are thought of as romantic figures that engage in many adventures, like 007 James Bond. However, spies often engage in more mundane activities such as surveillance and infiltrating into local groups. Learning to become a spy for the military or government agencies requires intensive training in a variety of tasks.

Understanding What Spies Do

Although some individuals go into the field aspects of intelligence operations, many more people are involved in the analytical and support areas of these projects. In fact, the majority of Central Intelligence Agency employees work in data collection and analysis, language translation and science-related tasks. Of course, these functions may be performed within the home country’s borders or far away in foreign lands. Many intelligence people work in teams that must coordinate their activities closely in order to facilitate sensitive operations. These tasks require a number of aptitudes and abilities. Intelligence agencies look for people that are good communicators with language skills, analytical abilities and a variety of other attributes.

Training For Intelligence Work

In the past, to become a SPY for the CIA, candidates had to complete 6 years of training and had to complete on-the-job experience before having the skills necessary to be of use to the agency. However, since 9-11, rapidly changing conditions have created a need to change long-established traditions. Today, the CIA may hire people to work at low security tasks before their backgrounds are fully checked. Agents are less apt to be associated with overseas embassies and are more likely to act in non-official capacities. Constructing new identities for agents to allow them to move freely within countries and groups is a common strategy that requires a high degree of adaptability. The agency evaluates agents on an individual basis to assign them to tasks based on their particular abilities.

Paths To Become A Spy

In some cases, spies are chosen from the military, from those individuals who already have a familiarity with a country or region, can speak the language and who already have formed associations with people in the region. These individuals may undergo additional training to work as a SPY to make contact with or learn the whereabouts of specific individuals. In other cases, agents that have trained at the CIA academy are used to perform operations that may involve other CIA agents. These agents must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree to get into the agent program. In yet other cases, workers engaged in specific homeland security activities may be enlisted to aid in surveillance and monitoring of specific targets. Because the activity of the SPY may change rapidly as the operation changes, people with military or homeland security training often have the diverse skills that are needed for these types of activities.

If your desire is to become a SPY for the government, military agencies or corporate entities, you should investigate the specific requirements for the kind of work you wish to do and become highly trained in these skills so that you can function effectively to perform tasks.


Check out “School for Spies“.