The threat environment in the world is rapidly changing, and the intelligence community has to constantly adapt to meet the challenge. It’s not so much that the bad actors are changing, because many of them are old favorites—the U.S.S.R. in the Cold War and Russia in Cold War Two. It’s the way that intelligence professionals go about their business that we’re seeing a rapid shift. Here are the key changes we are witnessing:
- There is a greater reliance on the use of information technology
- Intelligence professionals are performing data analysis to stay abreast of the flood of openly available information
- Intelligence analysts are using artificial intelligence to carry out relatively mundane tasks of calculating, storing, and retrieving information, freeing up their time to do what they do best: think creatively
- They are facing increased threats in the cyber realm
The Georgetown University Master’s in Applied Intelligence is addressing those needs with a constantly refreshed curriculum. For example, information technology has been promptly addressed through the launch of a new course on “Advanced Analytical Techniques.” The shift from non-state actor threats is still addressed with course content on terrorism, but now the renewed intelligence community focus on state actor threats is captured in “Defense, Diplomacy, and Intelligence.” Finally, cyber intelligence has its own four-course focus area for students looking to specialize within the Applied Intelligence master’s degree.
Why Students Are Choosing Georgetown
I have been teaching in Georgetown’s Applied Intelligence program since shortly after it began in 2018, and have watched its astonishing growth into arguably the lead position in intelligence education. It is the largest master's program on intelligence in the country and, as far as I am aware, in the Western world. As the President of the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE), I have my finger on the pulse of educational programs in this industry. The current enrollment of 497 students and counting shows the comparative value of the program. I am personally aware of several students who left other graduate programs for Georgetown’s.
On-Campus and Online
Georgetown’s Applied Intelligence program is attractive not only because our program is meeting continually changing industry demands in the applied intelligence field, but because the School of Continuing Studies is physically located in the heart of Washington, D.C., with a robust curriculum that’s offered both on campus and online.
Our course schedules are suited for graduate students around the world planning on full-time, intensive study while looking for employment as well as for already employed intelligence professionals looking to “improve their game.” The online component is especially suited to the latter. I teach both on campus and online, and my online students receive the exact same educational content that they would on campus. Online students come from across the country and overseas, and include intelligence professionals in and out of uniform on deployment. The physical campus, located in downtown D.C. near the Convention Center and convenient to public transportation, is purpose-built for adult education and easy to get to for working professionals.
The faculty are, like me, mostly intelligence professionals in their own right, and bring to the curriculum constant improvement and refreshing of course materials to keep up with changes in focus. Course content now includes climate change, analysis augmented by artificial intelligence, and data analytics. Georgetown’s Applied Intelligence Program has established itself as the flagship program in the field, and it is the number one program where I recommend up-and-coming superstars to be.