Thursday, September 16, 2010

Intelligence Studies At US Universities: Who Does It? Who Does It Well? Where Is It Headed? (Dissertation)

One of the questions that seems to pop up with increasing frequency on the fora, blogs and email lists I frequent/subscribe to is "I am interested in a career in intelligence; where can I get a degree?"
William Spracher's recent dissertation, National Security Intelligence Professional Education:   A Map of U.S. Civilian University Programs and Competencies, not only answers this important question but also provides the first comprehensive snapshot of intelligence studies programs in the US.
NOTE:  The full text of the dissertation is embedded below or you can download the dissertation here.
Of particular interest to potential students will be Bill's descriptions of 14 of the most fully developed intel studies programs (beginning on page 136 with a handy summary chart on page 137) and the results of his survey of young intelligence professionals (beginning on page 76). 
Senior leaders within the intel community are probably going to be interested in the entire dissertation but I found the "crosswalk" of course offerings with ICD 610's intel core competencies (at Appendix C on page 235) to be particularly interesting.
Once caveat, though.  This dissertation, as useful as it is, is, in my opinion, just a snapshot of a quickly evolving target.  The dissertation was finalized in 2009 and I am sure that some of the info Bill uses was collected even earlier.  Bill recommends that the DNI stay on top of the trends in this field and, given the changes I have seen in just the last year or two, it is a recommendation with which I heartily concur.

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