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Going back to school for Masters in Intelligence Analysis

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Old 01-22-2013, 09:02 AM
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Going back to school for Masters in Intelligence Analysis

I am thinking about signing up for a masters degree in Intelligence Analysis. It is from a very reputable online university. I have found posting on this board very enjoyable and perhaps a formal education would increase my skills.

My wife has a very good job and promotions are regular. I have been at home for the last few years. My background is in computer science. I actually designed a really cool intelligence collection program but VC/angel funding never materialized.

Three courses a semester is no joke. About 9 chapters a week plus papers. A lot less posting on the message board, that is for sure. In addition extracurricular research would have to become in line with material for the course.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:24 AM
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"Intelligence analysis" is a pretty broad field and I wonder if it's even worthwhile judging by the analysis or lack of it that the US has experienced since WW2. Most of the CIA's secret budget must go for media hype because they missed every single important event in the last fifty years including the Korean invasion, Castro's socialist empire, the Berlin Wall, criminally raising an invasion army and abandoning them at the Bay of Pigs, the strange case of Lee Oswald and most of all 9-11.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:43 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
"Intelligence analysis" is a pretty broad field and I wonder if it's even worthwhile judging by the analysis or lack of it that the US has experienced since WW2. Most of the CIA's secret budget must go for media hype because they missed every single important event in the last fifty years including the Korean invasion, Castro's socialist empire, the Berlin Wall, criminally raising an invasion army and abandoning them at the Bay of Pigs, the strange case of Lee Oswald and most of all 9-11.
As you say it is a very broad area. The education could be used for everything from writing for periodicals to analysis for companies. I really don't see me working for the government ever again. Although that is was I said coming out of the Army and then after four years of school I went to work at SAIC.

Do you work for the CIA? Or have similar experience?
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"In the best cases, the analyst's prediction will not come true because the customer will act on the intelligence to change the predicted outcome to a more favorable one.", Robert M. Clark, Intelligence Analysis: a Target Centric Approach, (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010), 95.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:44 AM
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I'm always happy to hear about persons going for more education.

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Old 01-22-2013, 12:05 PM
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emptystep,

Best of luck to you.

Quote: Originally Posted by emptystep View Post
I am thinking about signing up for a masters degree in Intelligence Analysis. It is from a very reputable online university. I have found posting on this board very enjoyable and perhaps a formal education would increase my skills.

My wife has a very good job and promotions are regular. I have been at home for the last few years. My background is in computer science. I actually designed a really cool intelligence collection program but VC/angel funding never materialized.

Three courses a semester is no joke. About 9 chapters a week plus papers. A lot less posting on the message board, that is for sure. In addition extracurricular research would have to become in line with material for the course.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
(COMMENT)

I was a mentor for CI and HUMINT students a number of years ago. The problem with on-line programs are that they are usually dated and limited to OSINT of an UNCLAS nature. So keep an open mind.

Best of Luck
v/r
R
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:23 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by RoccoR View Post
emptystep,

Best of luck to you.

Quote: Originally Posted by emptystep View Post
I am thinking about signing up for a masters degree in Intelligence Analysis. It is from a very reputable online university. I have found posting on this board very enjoyable and perhaps a formal education would increase my skills.

My wife has a very good job and promotions are regular. I have been at home for the last few years. My background is in computer science. I actually designed a really cool intelligence collection program but VC/angel funding never materialized.

Three courses a semester is no joke. About 9 chapters a week plus papers. A lot less posting on the message board, that is for sure. In addition extracurricular research would have to become in line with material for the course.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
(COMMENT)

I was a mentor for CI and HUMINT students a number of years ago. The problem with on-line programs are that they are usually dated and limited to OSINT of an UNCLAS nature. So keep an open mind.

Best of Luck
v/r
R
Thank you for the except point. The school is APU. Your point about material be dated is noted. The instructors of the first courses I would take all point out how many of years of experience they have, a double edged sword. Although everything is unclassified the information databases I have access to is extremely vast with current materials.
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"In the best cases, the analyst's prediction will not come true because the customer will act on the intelligence to change the predicted outcome to a more favorable one.", Robert M. Clark, Intelligence Analysis: a Target Centric Approach, (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010), 95.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:34 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by emptystep View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by RoccoR View Post
emptystep,

Best of luck to you.

Quote: Originally Posted by emptystep View Post
I am thinking about signing up for a masters degree in Intelligence Analysis. It is from a very reputable online university. I have found posting on this board very enjoyable and perhaps a formal education would increase my skills.

My wife has a very good job and promotions are regular. I have been at home for the last few years. My background is in computer science. I actually designed a really cool intelligence collection program but VC/angel funding never materialized.

Three courses a semester is no joke. About 9 chapters a week plus papers. A lot less posting on the message board, that is for sure. In addition extracurricular research would have to become in line with material for the course.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
(COMMENT)

I was a mentor for CI and HUMINT students a number of years ago. The problem with on-line programs are that they are usually dated and limited to OSINT of an UNCLAS nature. So keep an open mind.

Best of Luck
v/r
R
Thank you for the except point. The school is APU. Your point about material be dated is noted. The instructors of the first courses I would take all point out how many of years of experience they have, a double edged sword. Although everything is unclassified the information databases I have access to is extremely vast with current materials.
APU not AMU? Huh. A buddy of mine took courses for his masters through AMU and had nothing but praise for them. Sure they're limited to OSINT, but the basic techniques and theories can be applied. I've taken unclas analyst courses through an intel agency and it was fine. The operational details and specific tools/methodology you pick up OJT anyway. The whole point of academic credentials is to build the basic techniques/theory and learn how to actually apply it working at the operational level.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:52 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by emptystep View Post
I am thinking about signing up for a masters degree in Intelligence Analysis. It is from a very reputable online university. I have found posting on this board very enjoyable and perhaps a formal education would increase my skills.

My wife has a very good job and promotions are regular. I have been at home for the last few years. My background is in computer science. I actually designed a really cool intelligence collection program but VC/angel funding never materialized.

Three courses a semester is no joke. About 9 chapters a week plus papers. A lot less posting on the message board, that is for sure. In addition extracurricular research would have to become in line with material for the course.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Quote: Originally Posted by emptystep View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
"Intelligence analysis" is a pretty broad field and I wonder if it's even worthwhile judging by the analysis or lack of it that the US has experienced since WW2. Most of the CIA's secret budget must go for media hype because they missed every single important event in the last fifty years including the Korean invasion, Castro's socialist empire, the Berlin Wall, criminally raising an invasion army and abandoning them at the Bay of Pigs, the strange case of Lee Oswald and most of all 9-11.
As you say it is a very broad area. The education could be used for everything from writing for periodicals to analysis for companies. I really don't see me working for the government ever again. Although that is was I said coming out of the Army and then after four years of school I went to work at SAIC.

Do you work for the CIA? Or have similar experience?
I think it would be hard for you to get any marketable skills and knowledge with a degree without any relevant experience, doubly so without any access to classified information. Military analysis as a career is pretty insular and for most it starts with a military career or one with the different intelligence services.

You're going to need some real world experience and credentials to garner any interest from publishers and then your specific articles would have to be on current events and that's hard without access to information about what's going on right now.

Roles in analysis for companies are usually used to complement their existing government contract roles and most of those folks come aboard with existing active security clearances. If you never had one or yours has lapsed for a few years it's too expensive for them to pay for a new set of screening and background checks. There are a LOT of discharging vets with active clearances that they would use before hiring anyone outside of that pool.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:56 PM
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Not very much intelligence for analysis here on the board. We'll miss you.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:54 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by pinqy View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by emptystep View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by RoccoR View Post
emptystep,

Best of luck to you.


(COMMENT)

I was a mentor for CI and HUMINT students a number of years ago. The problem with on-line programs are that they are usually dated and limited to OSINT of an UNCLAS nature. So keep an open mind.

Best of Luck
v/r
R
Thank you for the except point. The school is APU. Your point about material be dated is noted. The instructors of the first courses I would take all point out how many of years of experience they have, a double edged sword. Although everything is unclassified the information databases I have access to is extremely vast with current materials.
APU not AMU? Huh. A buddy of mine took courses for his masters through AMU and had nothing but praise for them. Sure they're limited to OSINT, but the basic techniques and theories can be applied. I've taken unclas analyst courses through an intel agency and it was fine. The operational details and specific tools/methodology you pick up OJT anyway. The whole point of academic credentials is to build the basic techniques/theory and learn how to actually apply it working at the operational level.
There appears to be a somewhat parallel routes APU and AMU just as there is for BS and BA in computer science. I have chosen the more of the humanities route in both cases.

OJT is where the rubber hits the road in most all instances, where one moves to the hot team or the maintenance team on the legacy system. Thank you for the insight.
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"In the best cases, the analyst's prediction will not come true because the customer will act on the intelligence to change the predicted outcome to a more favorable one.", Robert M. Clark, Intelligence Analysis: a Target Centric Approach, (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010), 95.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:57 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Big Black Dog View Post
Not very much intelligence for analysis here on the board. We'll miss you.
I can't imagine giving up the board. Unlike my wife I will not give up stopping to smell the flowers for a near 4.0 GPA. I will be around to bash righties. Although who knows, a little education and I might start bashing lefties.
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"In the best cases, the analyst's prediction will not come true because the customer will act on the intelligence to change the predicted outcome to a more favorable one.", Robert M. Clark, Intelligence Analysis: a Target Centric Approach, (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010), 95.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:59 PM
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:04 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Mr. H. View Post
If it were me, I'd stay home and while away the days here.
Give me a couple weeks.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:36 PM
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They have Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-up of 9-11 in their online library.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:05 PM
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