C is for Clandestine Service
Ever wanted to become a professional spy? Then look no further than the CIA’s Clandestine Service!
Now known as the Directorate of Operations, the Central Intelligence Agency formerly referred to this part Agency as the Clandestine Service, since it involves the collection of human intelligence and conducting Covert Action as directed by the President.
In short: this is where U.S. spies are trained to carry out their missions.
Important note: the CIA obtains information on foreign lands and people, whereas the FBI keeps tabs on U.S. citizens. There are also two other U.S. agencies that employ intelligence officers: the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA).
Although being a spy may sound cool, particularly if you’ve read a lot of thrillers or enjoy the James Bond movies, most intelligence work is actually more about – surprise! – using your brain to defeat the enemy. As this list of 10 myths about working for the CIA points out, intelligence officers don’t need to be superhuman, karate experts, or wear tuxedos to upscale casinos.
Indeed, given that much modern-day crime happens online, some Clandestine Service members spend a lot of time with computers, just like hackers.
Unfortunately, a lot of the gadgetry spies use in movies is just Hollywood flash. Then again, the CIA admits “our scientists and engineers do get to work on technology so advanced, it’s classified.”
If you like learning new things (including foreign languages), never being bored on the job, and getting to work in the field, then perhaps a career in the Clandestine Service is the cool job for you!
- Central Intelligence Agency Careers and Internships
- CIA Personality Test Quiz – this is actually a list of 10 myths about working for the CIA
- Language of Espionage (International Spy Museum)
- Lies I Told to Become a Spy (Salon, 3 November 2013)
- Meet Tony Schiena, the world’s most highly trained covert operative (Telegraph, 5 April 2016)
- An Overview of the Major U.S. Intelligence Agencies: What is the Difference Between the DIA, NSA, CIA and FBI? (You’re Entitled to be Wrong, 11 May 2011)
- Student Opportunities at the CIA
- Work Like a Spy: Career Advice From a CIA Operative (The Muse)
Related Films (and a Song)
- Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2003)
- “Party in the CIA” – Weird Al
- Spy (2015)
- Three Days of the Condor (1975)
Other Cool Jobs That Start With C
- Camera Operator
- Camouflage Specialist
- Candy Maker/Chocolatier
- CIA Analyst
Want to learn about even more cool jobs?
Pre-order the book, World’s Coolest Jobs, a collection of all the coolest jobs you never knew existed. On sale September 1, 2017.