What is an Intelligence Research Specialist in Homeland Security?

An intelligence research specialist in the Department of Homeland Security is an information analyst who monitors data, identifies potential threats and provides response recommendations. Intelligence research analysts must know how to quickly recognize red flags and interpret complex clues to efficiently identify threat possibilities. They create and disseminate intelligence reports to various federal agencies.

Intelligence Research Duties

Intelligence researchers gather data, analyze information and seek clarification from other intelligence and law enforcement agencies. They regularly receive large volumes of incoming requests that they process through applying standard screening methods. They synthesize vast amounts of information and translate it into strategic recommendations and intelligence assessments. They evaluate the accuracy, validity and reliability of all information received in order to ensure smooth security operations and decision making processes. They also prepare period evaluations that concisely and coherently review security shifts that must be addressed in policies. Entry-level intelligence research specialists will primarily analyze highly sensitive data to identify vulnerabilities and provide recommendations.

Upper Level Research Specialist Duties

Senior intelligence research specialists will receive various reports from internal employees and external partners. They review and make critical decisions regarding operational responses based on the information they receive. For instance, this may concern foreign targets, methods of covert operations and information used to possible arrest or neutralize terrorists. They must maintain awareness of international social, political and economic situations that may significantly impact homeland security. They orchestrate and organize special research studies that provide very comprehensive assessments of specifically sensitive issues or exceptionally complex international matters. They integrate valid intelligence to produce actionable reports on criminal tactics and operational capabilities as well as terrorist operations and counter-terrorist programs.

Mandatory Requirements

Any intelligence research specialist position in homeland security will require the candidate to be a U.S. Citizen or National who passes a thorough background investigation that includes drug testing. Candidates usually must complete a six month to one year probationary period and maintain security clearance. To qualify for an entry-level position, candidates must have at least a few years of specialized experience in processing, analyzing and interpreting highly sensitive information. Candidates must have impeccable writing skills, so they can create compact and succinct intuitive reports. Anyone who applies for a senior position will need at least five to 10 years of experience in a government agency executing research studies, developing methodologies and evaluate highly complex intelligence data.

What Education Do They Need?

Intelligence analysts will need to have at least a bachelor’s degree to apply for positions, but most government agencies will hire candidates with master’s degree. However, job candidates are free to choose from a variety of academic majors. This includes a Master of Science in Security and Intelligence Studies that provides training in intelligence analysis, operations and military tactics. Students who earn a Master’s in Cyber-intelligence Management will receive advanced instruction in the research methods and analytical methods skills required by the intelligence community. A Master’s in Global Intelligence will provide graduates with opportunities to explore the practical knowledge and theoretical framework of international security and intelligence structures.

Related Resource: Security Specialist in Homeland Security

Anyone who wants to become an intelligence research specialist in homeland security should explore the Department of Homeland Security’s website and the official USA Jobs’ website for more information.