How To Become An Intelligence Analyst In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become intelligence analysts in Australia.


Are you a great problem solver, curious, and motivated to make Australia safer? Then, a career as an Intelligence Analyst could be worth considering.


Intelligence officers gather, examine, and infer information that impacts the programs and operations of an organization. Based on their analysis, they form policies and advise private and government organizations.


You usually need a bachelor's degree in intelligence operations, international relations, political science, or another related field to work as an Intelligence Analyst. Most workers also have a postgraduate qualification.


This blog discusses the job profile of an intelligence analyst, the skills you need to succeed in this role, qualifications, courses, degrees, graduate programs, the national average salary, and the steps to pursue this profession.



1. What Is An Intelligence Analyst?


Intelligence officers collect, analyze and validate the information, assisting in national security and improving policy and information systems.


They compile critical information into government organizations' briefs to form political and military intelligence strategies.


They track developments in political, social, military, and cultural matters to recognize and advise on threats to national security.



2. What Does An Intelligence Analyst Do?


Regular duties and responsibilities of an intelligence analyst may include the following:


  • Determine organizational and client intelligence, security, and classification requirements.

  • Make a plan to collect intelligence using suitable secrecy and surveillance measures.

  • Collect and assess data from various classified and unclassified sources. 

  • Identify social, economic, and industrial trends in data sources.

  • Conduct extensive research and apply critical thinking and logical reasoning on complex issues such as national security, terrorism, and other military operations.

  • Compile findings into briefs, presentations, and assessments for military officials, senior public servants, and other government officials.

  • Help organizations reform or create political and business policies.

  • Communicate with the military members, program administrators, and civilians and translate foreign material. 

  • Advise on policy and strategy.

  • Write and produce research papers.

  • Review current policies and legislation to find irregularities and out-of-date provisions.

  • Determine the authenticity of sources and accuracy of data gathered.

  • Perform risk and threat assessments and develop responses.

  • Evaluate financial implications and administrative and political feasibility of policies.



3. Skills For Success


Intelligence analysts need several specialized skills to execute their duties and responsibilities. Some of these include the following:


  • An interest in research

  • Superior interpersonal and liaison skills

  • Organizational skills

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

  • A curious mind

  • Quick-thinker 

  • Keen attention to detail

  • Highly self-motivated 

  • Able to classify information and keep it confidential

  • High levels of maturity

  • Able to think outside the box 

  • Excellent judgment 

  • Able to assess risk

  • Able to think logically and objectively

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills

  • Willing to travel for deployments 

  • Able to work individually and in a team

  • Exhibit the highest standards of honesty, professionalism, and integrity

  • Able to work in a challenging and high-pressure environment

  • Bi - or multilingual to translate documents from foreign languages

  • Multitasking skills

  • Excellent numeracy and literacy skills

  • Adaptability



Technical Skills


  • Good understanding of current and emerging issues 

  • Good knowledge of history and statistics to interpret and analyze massive data

  • Familiarity with analysis tools and automated systems such as databases, signal intelligence, imagery analysis, etc. 



4. What Qualifications Do I Need To Be An Intelligence Analyst?


Here is how you can qualify for careers in intelligence in Australia:


  1. You must be an Australian citizen.

  2. Gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (or equivalent)

  3. Complete a bachelor's degree in majors including international relations, politics, history, social sciences, arts, economics, language, engineering, science, or mathematics. An intelligence analyst degree is a prerequisite to entering a graduate program. 

  4. Background checks and security and psychological assessments may be required. These are essential to qualify for graduate programs with the Department of Defence. However, the level of clearance depends on the graduate program.

  5. Have a current driver's licence

  6. Overseas experience is desirable but optional.



5. How To Start A Career As An Intelligence Analyst?


If you are interested in a career as an intelligence analyst, here is a step-by-step guide on pursuing this career:



Step 1: Complete A Bachelor's Degree


The first step to becoming an intelligence analyst is obtaining a three-year bachelor's degree in information and technology, social science, and criminal justice. The coursework lays a theoretical and practical foundation for a best-practice approach to intelligence.



Step 2: Gain Experience


Though a relevant bachelor's degree is a minimum requirement, some employers prefer applicants with significant previous experience in place of a degree.


Look for graduate placement opportunities within ASIS, ASIO, the Department of Defence, or other government departments to gain the necessary experience.



Step 3: Complete A Master's Degree


Potential future employees might prefer candidates with 1-2 years of a postgraduate qualification in criminal justice or criminology as it provides students with crucial soft and technical skills.


Moreover, as Intelligence analysts study and investigate data from the military, and law enforcement, a Master's degree facilitates your entry into specialist roles.



Step 4: Consider Pursuing A Career with ADFA


The most common roles for an intelligence analyst are in the Australian Defense Force Academy (ADFA) or the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).


The ADFA teaches students military and leadership skills and their chosen intelligence analyst courses. Those who meet their criteria can study for three years, fee-free bachelor's degree, and pursue a career within the academy.


Students earn a salary while studying and obtain a service obligation post-completion of their ADFA studies. Under this obligation, they must serve in the defence force for a period depending on their chosen graduation area.



Step 5: Apply For Intelligence Analyst Jobs


If you can't qualify for ADFA, you still have plenty of opportunities in private and government organizations and defence departments.


With a master's or a bachelor's qualification, start searching for open intelligence analyst positions on online job boards. Prepare an informative, concise, and well-presented resume with relevant qualifications and skills.


For certain positions, you may require a police clearance that you can obtain at your local Australia Post or online.


Industry bodies:




6. Where Do Intelligence Analysts Work?


From money laundering and illicit drugs to financial crime and national security, Intelligence Analysts work across a range of serious and organized crime issues.They may find work opportunities in various government and non-government organizations.


Graduate positions are available in government departments such as the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Department of Defence, and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS).


Some of the top companies that hire Intelligence Analysts in Australia are:


  • Water Corporation - $104,754per year

  • Department of Justice and Community Safety - $98,346per year

  • NSW Department of Communities and Justice - $96,789 per year

  • Australian Federal Police - $96,257per year

  • NSW Police Force - $88,016 per year



7. Potential Careers For Intelligence Analysts


Highly skilled analysts provide good intelligence that can save lives for a country or millions of dollars for an organization. The efficient skills combined with significant experience enable Intelligence Analysts to work across various intelligence roles and organizations.


Some of the potential Intelligent Analyst roles include:




8. Available Specialisations For Intelligence Analysts:


As an intelligence analyst, you can specialise in several areas based on your skills, interests, training, qualifications, and forecasted career path.


  • Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) Intelligence Analyst - They work with complex analytical systems that translate foreign signals, mathematical problems, and cryptography.


  • Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) Intelligence Analyst – They liaise with senior members of the military and government organizations and provide intelligence and tactics to high-ranking members of the ADF.


  • Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO) Intelligence Analyst – They analyze visual data from aircraft and satellites.



9. Work Environment For Intelligence Analyst


Intelligence analysts usually work several hours within an office environment alongside other intelligence professionals, law enforcement, and military personnel to drive operational activity.


They mainly require on-field exploration to understand situations best and conduct investigations. As the job requires local and international travel, flexibility with time is vital in this profession.



10. Job Outlook For Intelligence Analysts In Australia


Intelligence analysts are recognized worldwide for their specialized training and skills. They contribute to the planning, developing, and producing intelligence outcomes, disrupting crime, and making Australia safer.


According to the government's Labour Market Insights, the number of Intelligence and Policy Analysts (ANZSCO ID 2244) expects to grow strongly from 28,500 in 2021 to 31,000 by 2026.


Skilled workers will find more intelligence analyst jobs to deliver tactical, strategic, and operational intelligence in the coming years.



Working Arrangements


Around 80% of Intelligence and Policy Analysts work full-time for an average of 41 hours per week. It is comparable to the all-jobs average (44 hours per week).



Main Industries for Employment


Around 77.4% work in the Public administration and safety sector. 


Opportunities are also available in:


  • Professional, scientific, and technical services - 6.1%

  • Health care and social assistance - 4.5%

  • Other services - 3.2%

  • Other industries - 8.6%



Employment Across Australia


The Australian Capital Territory has a large proportion of employment compared to its population size. Here is the employment percentage in different cities is:


  • NSW - 20.5%

  • VIC - 18.6%

  • QLD - 13.5%

  • SA - 5.5%

  • WA - 7.4%

  • TAS - 2.0%

  • NT - 1.5%

  • WACT - 31.1%



Worker's Age and Gender Profile


The average age of Intelligence and Policy Analysts is 38 years. Most of them are between the age of 25 to 34 years.


Females constitute 62% of the workforce which is 14 percentage points more than the average of all jobs, i.e., 48%.



11. How Much Does An Intelligent Analyst Earn In Australia?


The average Intelligence Analyst's salary in Australia is AU$ 85,839 annually. Work experience, geographical location, role seniority, work responsibilities, and skills determine the intelligence analyst's salary.



Salary Based on Work Experience:


  • Early career Intelligence Analysts (1-4 years of experience) - AU$78,962 per year 

  • Mid-career Intelligence Analysts (5-9 years of experience) - AU$91,963 per year 

  • Experienced Intelligence Analysts (10-19 years of experience) - AU$101,034 per year 



High-Paying Cities For Intelligence Analysts


  • Melbourne City Centre - $104,823 per year

  • Perth - $99,514 per year

  • Canberra - $91,644 per year

  • Darwin - $90,910 per year

  • Sydney - $86,939 per year

  • Barton - $81,310 per year

  • Adelaide - $80,750 per year

  • Melbourne - $80,715 per year

  • Brisbane - $78,093 per year



12. Frequently Asked Questions



What Is The Best Degree For an Intelligence Analyst in Australia? 


Before applying for analyst roles, you may complete a university-level bachelor's (followed by a master's degree). You may consider intelligence analysis courses in Australia:



Undergraduate Courses




Postgraduate Courses




What Type of Analyst Gets Paid The Most?


Based on their qualification and training, Intelligence Analysts can pursue diverse roles within the government and non-government organizations. Below is the estimated salary of the most-sought Intelligence Analyst roles in Australia:


  • Commissioned Defence Force Officers - Over $111K

  • Detectives - $86K to $111K

  • Intelligence and Policy Analysts - $86K to $111K

  • Intelligence Officers - $86K to $111K

  • Police - $68K to $86K

  • Policy and Planning Managers - Over $111K



How Long Does It Take To Become an Intelligence Analyst?


The time you take to become an intelligence analyst depends on the role you apply for. Highly specialized analyst roles may require postgraduate qualification, years of training, and experience.


A university-level bachelor's degree takes three years, while a master's degree completed at a university takes two years. So, the total time you spend on your studies is five years.


However, if you choose an ADFA pathway, you can complete a degree in three years and get a guaranteed job after course completion. 



Do Intelligence Analysts Get Paid Well?


Yes. It is one of the most lucrative careers in Australia. The average salary for an intelligence analyst is $88,395 in Australia. Your role and the organization you work for are the main factors that determine your salary.


Your pay will rise as you expand your knowledge and experience and take on more responsibilities.



Can You Become an Intelligence Analyst Without A Degree?


An undergraduate or graduate education in relevant majors is needed as it helps develop the skills and knowledge to gather intelligence from various sources and in multiple forms and examine available information.


Intelligence analysts with an advanced degree like a Master of Arts in International Relations can pursue specialization and higher-level job opportunities.



Are Intelligence Analysts In Demand?


Yes. Intelligence Analysts are in high demand across various grave and organized crime threats to keep Australians safe.


The role allows them to apply their superior intellect, judgement, and interpersonal skills and use cutting-edge technology to provide Army operations with essential intelligence support.


Many organizations, including the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, recruit intelligence analysts to lead successful intelligence operations and tackle threats to Australia's security or economic interests.



Is it Hard To Get an Intelligence Job?


Intelligence Analyst jobs are available to people from any sector and at all career stages. However, the occupational demand and the number of job openings vary based on a country's political and social state.


The ease of getting a job depends on your background, skill level, discipline, aptitude and insight, and the industry you apply in.


You can quickly get an initial break in this role if you are a highly motivated applicant with a curious mindset, quick thinking, excellent judgment, and risk assessment skills.



How Stressful is an Intelligence Analyst Role?


The job of an intelligence specialist can be challenging and, at times, stressful. They work on an operational pattern outside regular working hours to disseminate information on time. Some positions also require them to be available for rostered hours.


Intelligence Analysts often require working with people from various levels of society, including government officials, civilians, military members, etc., in demanding and high-pressure environments.


Furthermore, the job may occasionally require local and international travel.



13. Conclusion


Intelligence analysts are indispensable in providing timely, relevant, high-quality, actionable intelligence to lessen criminal threats to Australia. In this role, you influence all levels of decision-making in the organization and make a real impact.


If you want to make a meaningful law enforcement career, follow the steps above to begin your journey as an Intelligence Analyst.


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