The Central Intelligence Agency or the Federal Bureau of Investigations? Both are world famous prestigious organizations. Many people are interested in those two organizations because of their scope of work which deal with highly classified and sensitive information regarding major security threats. The CIA mainly deals with international intelligence operations but they don’t deal with law enforcement. The FBI has both law enforcement and intelligence responsibilities but as read by the name mainly deals with internal matters of the country. Both companies have their own specialties and attractive factors.
The FBI is more active in the field. That is because of the law enforcement power they have. So technically they can even take a CIA officer into custody. They do surveillance, take people into custody and prosecute suspects. Their main scope of work includes protecting the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage. They mainly protect the country from all kinds of crimes including white-collar crimes, cyber-attacks and terrorist attacks, which seems interesting. It also includes combatting public corruption and protecting civil rights, which is quite similar to the police department’s scope of work as well.
Whereas the CIA mainly focuses on international affairs which may threaten the president and the senior national security team. They get directions from the president to conduct covert actions and safeguard secrets to keep the nation safe. When comparing the scopes, prima- facie CIA scope seems more interesting as it deals with more sensitive and secretive important factors regarding the nation. It will be more exciting to work on highly sensitive national secrets and taking steps to safeguard them. Both the CIA and the FBI have vast areas where you can work, such as in the Field, Technical, IT and intelligence. The CIA also functions in many other countries. It will be fascinating to be stationed in a foreign country to represent your own nation and assure national security of your homeland.
Bachelor’s degree is compulsory to get a job in the FBI and the CIA does not mandatorily need one. Of Course, they recommend having a degree but it is not compulsory as for the FBI. The CIA counts social experience as well. Also, for intelligence analysts and overseas officers, a degree is compulsory. It seems that the CIA has more variety and expertise while the FBI is with limited scope like in any other job. Once you join the CIA, you will have to go through an 18 months intensive training program. Therefore, when you look at qualifications and training, the CIA seems more professional and forearmed.
One interesting fact about the organizations is their secrecy. The CIA seems to be handling more secretive and sensitive information. They always tend to keep their work under cover. The employees are not allowed to disclose their whereabouts and what they do in most circumstances. Even if you get involved in very interesting and exciting matters, you will have to keep them for yourselves without discussing with others for the sake of national security. I assume it won’t be a problem when your family understands your situation. Also, it feels somewhat exciting to work undercover in critical matters to protect your country. However if you are the kind that likes to investigate matters of the ‘US persons’ regardless of where they are located or residing, then CIA is not for you. The CIA prohibits collecting information about the US citizens and companies despite where they are located or functioning, unless it’s specially permitted in limited cases. The CIA only gathers information about foreign nationals and companies.
According to available details it appears that the CIA has a more attractive salary and benefits package than the FBI. However, candidates who wish to join the organizations, do not give priority to the salary and benefits but they prefer the job profile.
However, there are instances of both the organizations having issues. Most recent and the biggest leak of its history in the CIA occurred in 2016 when one employee disclosed unauthorized classified information. The FBI is also continuously having issues with the President resulting in firing the Director in 2017 and criticizing the report about Russia in presidential elections stating that it’s wrong.
Even if you prefer the CIA or the FBI, the reality of both organizations is way different to the fabricated fantasies we see in Hollywood. They both do not spend their lives zipping margarita, participating in fascinating parties and traveling around the globe. They work very hard to keep the country safe. In recent days with rapid terrorist activities, drugs and white-collar smuggling, both the CIA and the FBI are working very hard and doing a great job in order to keep the country safe. The employees of both organizations are not tracing fame and power but patriotism to the homeland.