Are You FBI Material?

The modern-day FBI is looking for candidates with some surprising backgrounds.

Ever since Jimmy Cagney played an agent in the 1935 feature film G-Men, the public’s imagination has been captured by the FBI. Since then, iconic figures like Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs and Mulder and Scully in The X-Files have only stoked those fires.

You probably think that your chances of becoming an FBI agent are about as likely as becoming a pro football player or an astronaut, right? Well, think again.

So how can you actually become an agent yourself? If you think it’s all about how well you shoot a gun and conduct intense interrogations, you’re wrong.

According to the FBI, there are five different “entry programs”; through which job applicants can be considered for the role of Special Agent. And the surprising news? Some of the paths are anything but rarefied, special-ops kind of careers.

In fact, there’s a good chance that normal workaday people have what it takes to be a G-Man.

1. Accounting
If you’re an accountant, you might not think of yourself as FBI material – but the Bureau begs to differ.

In fact, if you’re a certified CPA with a bachelor’s degree, and at least three years of accounting experience or the corporate equivalent, the FBI would be very interested in talking to you. Now that would be quite an interesting career change, wouldn’t it?

2. Computer Science/Information Technology
If you’d like to inject a little intrigue and excitement into your computer career, you might consider working for the FBI.

Given that many investigations have now shifted into the digital world, it’s no surprise that the FBI is looking for computer experts. Investigators regularly comb through massive amounts of digital data in order to find the clue that might solve a seemingly unsolvable crime or prevent a terrorist attack.

The FBI is looking for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or electrical engineering, or any bachelor’s degree accompanied with a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification or Internetworking Expert (CCIE) certification.

3. Language
Based on current Bureau needs, fluency in certain languages is absolutely critical.

With a four-year bachelor’s degree in any discipline – plus knowledge of Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hebrew, Hindi, as well as many more languages, you can qualify for this FBI enrollment path, assuming you can pass a high-competency test.

So if you’re fluent, you have a chance to put those skills to good use. And you thought those language classes your mother made you take weren’t worth anything.

4. Law
Another way into the FBI is by becoming a lawyer. You must qualify by earning a JD from an accredited law school. Prior to law school, people generally earn an undergraduate degree in a discipline such as English, political science, or criminal justice.

5. Diversified
The FBI’s fifth and final enrollment program could actually be called “other”; because it covers every other discipline that the Bureau deems valuable. Are you a psychologist, detective, scientist, or mathematician? This may be your ticket to becoming a Special Agent.

If you’re interested in this program, you’ll need an undergraduate degree such as a BA or BS, plus three years of full-time work experience in your area of expertise. Or for those with an advanced degree, you need two years of work experience.

So, as you can see, the modern-day FBI has come a long way from Tommy guns and bootlegger busts, and, as a result, is actively seeking a wide variety of agents with different talents and backgrounds. Chances are, with the right training, you too could join the proud ranks of the FBI.

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Posted in Education, Employment.

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