Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing the performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Security Clearance: Although not required for all positions, obtaining a security clearance is important when trying to enter the field of counter terrorism. While not all positions require applicants to already have one in place, most do require that applicants be able to obtain a clearance. It is important to understand what is required to obtain a clearance, the limitations, and how one is obtained before beginning the job search; check out our guide to security clearances to get you started.
Never trust a company offering preapproval for a clearance, no matter how small the fee they are charging. This is almost certainly a scam.
Advanced Degrees Preferred: While your degree prepares you for a variety of career options, you may decide to use your degree as a foundation for advanced degrees or other career options. Often, advanced degrees beyond the undergraduate level include areas in International Relations, National Security, Middle Eastern Studies, Homeland Security, Intelligence Studies, Political Science, and Public Policy.
Desirable Backgrounds: To help our nation prevent acts of terrorism against the U.S. and U.S. targets, there is a preference for candidates with the following:
- Knowledge of area studies in Central Asia and the Middle East
- Comprehension of languages such as Chinese, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Arabic, Farsi, Persian, Urdu, Pashto, or Dari languages
- Expertise in financial security, international banking, international migration, religious conflicts, international organizations, physical sciences, engineering, or computer science
- Previous military experience