b'There are no standard prerequisite courses for a career in the IC, but some attributes are valuable, especially for those seeking to join State or the CIA: an interest in international affairs; foreign travel and experience; the knowledge of one or more foreign languages, especially non-European languages; interpersonal skills; the ability to adapt to different circumstances; street smarts; an analytical mind; some professional work experience. The single most important aspect of intelligence analysis is the ability to think critically. This, of course, can be learned in many ways and in many venues. Understanding the principles of the scientific methodthe building of evidence, the testing of hypotheses, and trying to disprove hypothesesis what every intelligence analyst should have. Strong writing skills are a minimum requirement. In many cases, military experience is either required or highly desired. At the FBI, legal, forensic and cyber/IT training are valued. Engineering and scientific backgrounds are sought at NSA, NGA, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and CIAs DS&T. Mathematics, hard sciences, information technology and languages are especially important to NSA. DHS looks for people with skills in languages; chemical, biological and nuclear information technology; as well as skills in cyber security and law enforcement. For many agencies, a background in political science, criminal justice, psychology, or regional studies can be useful. A typical class of newly hired State Department or CIA officers will include individuals with business backgrounds, engineers, lawyers, scientists, accountants, IT specialists, artiststo name but a few of the range of backgrounds other than liberal arts majors. Anthropology and sociology, which help provide the keys to understanding foreign adversaries, are valued disciplines. For the FBI and Homeland Security, experience in law enforcement in a police department can be useful. The IC today 10'