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Top 10 Intelligence Analyst Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications available to intelligence analysts, including requirements, benefits, and potential career paths.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for intelligence analysts in the job market because they demonstrate a commitment to excellence and knowledge of the field. They can also help an analyst stand out from other applicants by showing a level of expertise that employers value and recognize. Certifications also provide a way to keep abreast of current trends, technologies, and best practices in the field. Additionally, certifications can provide access to professional networks and resources that could be valuable in developing an individual’s career.

The purpose of this article is to review and explain how certifications for Intelligence Analysts can contribute to an intelligence analyst's career growth.

What are Intelligence Analyst Certifications?

Intelligence analyst certification is a professional credential that demonstrates an individual's expertise in the field of intelligence analysis. This certification is typically awarded by organizations such as the International Association of Intelligence Analysts (IAIA) or other industry-recognized certifying bodies. Achieving this certification demonstrates that an individual has acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to work as an effective intelligence analyst.

The certification process involves passing an exam that covers topics such as data collection and analysis, problem solving, communication and report writing, and decision making. Upon successful completion of the exam, candidates are awarded a certificate in intelligence analysis.

Having this certification can help individuals stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs in the intelligence field. It also demonstrates their commitment to their profession and shows potential employers that they have the necessary qualifications to be successful in their job. Additionally, holding a certification can give individuals access to higher-level positions within their organization as well as provide them with more opportunities for career advancement. Moreover, having a certified intelligence analyst on staff can give organizations greater confidence in their decision making processes, ensuring accurate information is used when analyzing data or responding to threats or crises.

Pro Tip: If you are looking to become an intelligence analyst, it is important to research and obtain certification. This can help you stand out among your peers and demonstrate your expertise in the field. Additionally, certifications provide opportunities for networking and professional development.

Related: What does an Intelligence Analyst do?

Top 10 Intelligence Analyst Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Intelligence Analysts today.

1. Certified Intelligence Analyst (CIA)

Certified Intelligence Analyst (CIA) is a certification program offered by the International Association of Professional Security and Intelligence Analysts (IAPSI). It is designed to recognize the skills, knowledge and abilities of intelligence analysts in the field of security and intelligence. The CIA certification provides an opportunity for intelligence professionals to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to excellence in the field.

The CIA certification requires successful completion of a comprehensive examination that covers topics such as: intelligence analysis techniques, data collection methods, information security, risk assessment, counterintelligence, terrorism analysis, threat assessment, legal issues related to intelligence gathering, and more. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions as well as written responses.

It typically takes three to six months to prepare for the exam depending on your level of experience. Preparation can include reading textbooks on security and intelligence topics, attending seminars or conferences related to security and intelligence topics, studying for practice exams online or through books available from IAPSI or other organizations offering study materials for the CIA exam.

To become certified as an Intelligence Analyst (CIA), you must first submit an application with supporting documents such as proof of education or work experience in the field. Once approved by IAPSI, you will be able to register for the exam which costs $395 USD. After passing the exam you will receive your certificate within 2-4 weeks.

The cost of maintaining your certification includes a renewal fee every two years which is currently $95 USD. You must also complete 30 hours of continuing education credits over two years in order to maintain your certification status.

2. Certified Business Intelligence Analyst (CBIA)

A Certified Business Intelligence Analyst (CBIA) is a professional designation that recognizes an individual’s expertise in the field of business intelligence. The certification is awarded by the International Institute for Business Analysis (IIBA), and it covers topics such as data warehousing, data mining, analytics, reporting, and dashboards. To earn the certification, individuals must pass an exam that tests their knowledge of business intelligence concepts and techniques.

The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete. It costs $395 USD to take the exam. In order to be eligible for the CBIA exam, applicants must have at least two years of experience working with business intelligence tools or technologies.

To prepare for the exam, individuals can purchase study materials from IIBA or attend one of their training courses. Additionally, there are many online resources available that provide practice exams and other helpful information about the CBIA certification process.

3. Certified Data Scientist (CDS)

Certified Data Scientist (CDS) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the skills and knowledge of individuals who are proficient in data science. It is offered by the International Institute of Analytics (IIA), an independent, non-profit organization that provides education, research, and resources in the field of analytics.

The CDS certification is designed to assess a candidate’s ability to interpret data, apply analytical techniques, and communicate results effectively. The certification requires a combination of coursework and exams. Candidates must first complete an online training program that covers topics such as data analysis, machine learning, statistics, and programming. After completing the training program, candidates must then pass two exams: the Certified Data Scientist Exam (CDS-E) and the Certified Data Scientist Practical Exam (CDS-P).

The CDS-E exam consists of multiple choice questions covering topics such as data mining, predictive modeling, statistical methods, programming languages, and database management systems. The CDS-P exam consists of practical assignments related to real world problems. Both exams require a minimum score of 70% in order to pass.

In total it takes approximately 12 weeks to complete the CDS certification process from start to finish. To get certified you need to register for the program on the IIA website and pay a fee which varies depending on your country of residence but typically ranges from $500 - $1000 USD.

4. Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)

Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) is a certification program offered by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). It is a professional credential that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated expertise in analytics. The CAP program provides a comprehensive body of knowledge and skills required to practice analytics at an advanced level.

The CAP program consists of three components:

1. A written exam: This exam tests your knowledge of analytics principles, methods, and tools. You must pass this exam to become certified.

2. An oral exam: This exam tests your ability to apply analytics principles, methods, and tools to solve real-world problems.

3. A portfolio review: This review assesses your experience with analytics projects and your ability to communicate effectively about them.

It typically takes 6-12 months to complete the CAP program, depending on how much time you are able to dedicate to studying for the exams and completing the portfolio review. To get started, you must first register for the program through INFORMS’ website and pay the registration fee ($495 USD). After that, you will need to study for and take both the written and oral exams as well as complete a portfolio review before becoming certified as a CAP professional.

The cost of the CAP program varies depending on whether or not you are an INFORMS member ($495 USD for non-members; $395 USD for members). Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with taking the written and oral exams ($150 USD each).

5. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is a globally recognized certification for information security professionals. It is administered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)². The CISSP certification is designed to validate an individual's knowledge and experience in the field of information security.

The CISSP exam consists of 250 multiple-choice questions and takes 6 hours to complete. To be eligible for the exam, individuals must have at least five years of cumulative paid full-time work experience in two or more of the eight domains of the (ISC)² Common Body of Knowledge (CBK).

To get CISSP certified, individuals must first register with (ISC)² and pay an application fee. After registration, candidates must pass the CISSP exam before they can become certified. The exam fee varies depending on your country, but typically costs between $699-$1,899 USD. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your official certificate from (ISC)².

6. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is a certification program offered by the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council). It is designed to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to identify, assess, and counter security threats posed by malicious hackers. The program focuses on teaching students how to detect and prevent hacking attempts, as well as how to respond in the event of an attack.

The CEH certification program consists of five modules: Introduction to Ethical Hacking, Footprinting and Reconnaissance, Scanning Networks, Enumeration, System Hacking, Malware Threats, Sniffing, Social Engineering, Denial-of-Service Attacks, Session Hijacking, Hacking Web Servers, Web Application Vulnerabilities, SQL Injection Attacks and Wireless Network Security. Each module consists of lectures and hands-on labs that cover topics such as identifying vulnerabilities in systems and networks; using tools such as port scanners and packet sniffers; exploiting known vulnerabilities; developing countermeasures for attacks; and understanding the legal implications of hacking.

It typically takes around 20 hours to complete the CEH certification program. To get certified you must pass an exam administered by EC-Council. The cost for the exam varies depending on where you take it but typically ranges from $500-$1000 USD.

7. GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)

GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC) is a certification offered by the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC). It is designed to provide IT professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to secure networks, systems, and applications. GSEC covers topics such as security principles, cryptography, authentication and authorization, network security, system hardening, malware analysis, incident response, and more.

The GSEC exam takes approximately four hours to complete. Candidates must score at least 74 percent on the exam in order to pass. The exam can be taken online or at a Pearson VUE testing center.

In order to become certified as a GIAC Security Essentials Professional (GSEC), candidates must first purchase the GIAC Security Essentials Certification Bundle from GIAC's website. This bundle includes access to the GSEC exam and a one-year subscription to SANS OnDemand training materials for $1,799 USD.

Once purchased, candidates have 12 months of access to all of the materials needed in order to prepare for the GSEC exam. Upon successful completion of the exam and payment of an additional $499 USD fee for certification processing and maintenance fees, candidates will receive their official GIAC Security Essentials Professional (GSEC) certification.

8. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Data Management and Analytics (MCSE: DM&A)

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Data Management and Analytics (MCSE: DM&A) certification is a professional-level credential that validates an individual’s skills in data management, analytics, and business intelligence. This certification demonstrates an individual’s ability to design, implement, and maintain secure and reliable data solutions using Microsoft technologies.

To earn the MCSE: DM&A certification, an individual must pass two exams: Exam 70-767 Implementing a SQL Data Warehouse and Exam 70-768 Developing SQL Data Models. Both exams are offered through Pearson VUE and cost $165 each. The total cost of the certification is $330.

It typically takes 4-6 months to prepare for the MCSE: DM&A certification exams depending on the individual’s experience level with Microsoft technologies. To prepare for the exam, individuals can take online courses or attend instructor-led training sessions. They can also access practice tests to help them assess their knowledge prior to taking the actual exams.

Once an individual has passed both exams, they will receive their MCSE: DM&A certification from Microsoft which will be valid for three years before needing to be renewed.

9. SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional

SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional is a certification program offered by SAS Institute, Inc. It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated proficiency in advanced analytics techniques and tools. This certification is intended for those who have an understanding of the principles and practices of data analysis, predictive modeling, machine learning, text mining, optimization, and other advanced analytics techniques.

It typically takes about six months to complete the certification process. In order to become certified, applicants must pass a written exam that covers topics such as data exploration and visualization; predictive modeling; machine learning; text mining; optimization; and other advanced analytics techniques. Applicants must also submit a project demonstrating their ability to apply the concepts covered in the exam.

The cost of obtaining this certification varies depending on where you take the exam and how many exams you need to take. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $200-$400 USD per exam. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with preparing for the exams or taking practice tests.

In addition to passing the required exams and submitting a project, applicants must also meet certain prerequisites in order to be eligible for this certification program. These include having at least two years of experience working with SAS software as well as completing an approved course in SAS programming or statistics prior to taking the exam.

10. Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification

Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification is a professional certification program offered by Tableau Software, Inc. It is designed to demonstrate proficiency in the use of the Tableau Desktop software and its features. The certification requires candidates to complete an online exam that covers topics such as data visualization, data sources, calculations, dashboards and story points.

The certification process takes approximately two hours to complete, including the time needed for registration and taking the exam. Candidates must first register with Tableau's website before they can take the exam. Once registered, they will receive an email with instructions on how to access the exam.

The cost of the Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification is $250 USD per person. This fee includes access to all course materials and practice exams as well as one attempt at the official certification exam. Additional attempts at the exam are available for an additional fee of $50 USD per attempt.

Once a candidate has successfully passed the Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification Exam, they will be eligible to receive their official certificate from Tableau Software, Inc., which will be mailed directly to them within two weeks of passing the exam.

Do You Really Need a Intelligence Analyst Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on the individual and their career goals. If you are looking to become an intelligence analyst, then having a certificate can be beneficial in helping you stand out in the job market. It can also give you a competitive edge over other applicants who do not have the same level of education or experience.

Having a certificate can demonstrate that you have specialized knowledge and skills in the field of intelligence analysis. It can also provide evidence of your commitment to continuing education and professional development. This could be especially important when applying for certain positions within the intelligence community, where employers may prefer applicants with higher levels of education or training.

However, it is important to note that having an intelligence analyst certificate does not guarantee success in obtaining employment as an intelligence analyst. Employers will still look at your overall qualifications, which may include experience, references, and additional certifications or degrees. The most important thing is to ensure that your resume accurately reflects your knowledge and experience so that employers can see why you would be a good fit for the position.

Ultimately, whether or not you need an intelligence analyst certificate will depend on what kind of career objectives you have and how much time and effort you are willing to put into achieving them.

Related: Intelligence Analyst Resume Examples

FAQs About Intelligence Analyst Certifications

1. What are the requirements to become an Intelligence Analyst?

Answer: Generally, intelligence analysts are required to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as political science, international relations, criminal justice, or economics. They must also have experience working with data analysis and possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills.

2. What type of certifications are available for Intelligence Analysts?

Answer: There are several certifications available for intelligence analysts, including Certified Intelligence Analyst (CIA), Certified Counterintelligence Professional (CCIP), Certified Cyber Threat Analyst (CCTA), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).

3. How long does it take to get certified as an Intelligence Analyst?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to become certified as an intelligence analyst will vary depending on the certification program chosen. Generally, most programs require between one and two years of study and practice in order to be eligible for certification.

4. What is the cost of getting certified as an Intelligence Analyst?

Answer: The cost of becoming certified as an intelligence analyst will depend on the specific certification program chosen. Generally, most programs range from $500-$2000 USD depending on the length and complexity of the program.

5. Are there any online courses available for becoming certified as an Intelligence Analyst?

Answer: Yes, there are many online courses available for becoming certified as an intelligence analyst. These courses provide the same content and training materials found in traditional classroom-based programs but can be completed at your own pace from home or work.

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