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What Do Counterterrorism Analysts Do?

A counterterrorism career requires excellent research, critical thinking, and analytical skills put to use in service of the defense of the United States.

The battlefields of today are far different than they were a generation ago. Threats come from a diverse group of actors whose motives, networks, and leadership structure are often murky at best. In response to this changing landscape of global conflict, counterterrorism professionals are in high demand. If you are interested in serving and protecting the United States by helping to combat terrorism, you should have an idea of the responsibilities and skills required to be a counterterrorism analyst.


Counterterrorism analysts, as the name suggests, are responsible for analyzing, understanding, and relaying information on terrorist groups around the world. The job entails sifting through intelligence data to understand what is relevant and what isn't, then formulating a reasoned assessment of a terrorist group's plans and abilities, as well as their motivations, operational structure, and ties to other groups or nation states. Counterterrorism analysts take this data and produce detailed reports, both written and oral, that enable the national security apparatus to identify and preempt attacks on American interests at home and abroad.

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Skills and Qualifications

At a minimum, federal agencies like the CIA and Department of Homeland Security require counterterrorism analysts to have a bachelor's degree in a concentration like International Affairs or Homeland Security Studies. If you want to stand out even more from other applicants, a master's degree can help move your resume to the top of the stack. Beyond the degree requirements, people with specific knowledge of a foreign country or region and those with foreign language proficiency are especially sought after for homeland security management jobs.

If you can see yourself taking on the challenging responsibilities required in homeland security management jobs, the Tulane School of Professional Advancement can help get you there. We offer both bachelor's and master's degrees in Emergency & Security Studies that can put you high on the list of applicants for these rewarding positions. We offer a range of financial assistance options that can greatly ease the financial burden of pursuing the career you want, including programs for veterans and active duty military. Learn more about our admissions process, and get started on your application today.

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