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Becoming a Secret Agent

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Spies drive Ferraris, jet-set around the globe, party with models and billionaires, whip out their karate skills and use cool gadgets, right? Not quite - get the inside scoop on what it takes to be a spy!

Secret Agents - The Life of a Spy

Secret agents, or spies, work for the Central Intelligence Agency to uncover confidential information about hostile countries, usually regarding their military or naval affairs. While secret agents travel around the world to carry out dangerous missions, they're not always in the lap of luxury. Sometimes they get sent to really crappy places where there's no electricity or running water! Secret agents - the key word here being secret - can't reveal their identity or talk about their work, so they have to lie and tell everyone they're a truck driver or a spoon salesperson. So if you can't keep a secret, then you better have a back-up career choice.

Secret Agents - What It Takes

The CIA isn't like the circus - you can't just run off to join them. You need to have a college degree and earn a minimum 3.0 GPA. Any field of study can prepare you for the CIA, but they prefer computer science, engineering and economics. It also helps if you're fluent in another language, especially a hard-target language. What's a hard-target? Check out the glossary below!

Secret Agents - Talk the Talk

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn these spy terms.

  • Double Agent - An agent who works for two different governments, but gives false info to one of them.
  • Rabbit - The person who is being spied on.
  • Dead Drop - A secret location used to pass items and information between agents without having to meet.
  • Hard-Target Country - A country that's hard to spy on, like China, Russia and North Korea.
  • Cryptography - Changing information into a secret code so that unauthorized third parties can't read it.

Secret Agents - Did U Know?

  • As expected, a secret agent's salary is top-secret! But we've heard through the grapevine that it's not good, especially considering how risky the job is.
  • The most famous fictional secret agent is Bond, James Bond. Others include Austin Powers, Agent Cody Banks, Johnny English and Ethan Hunt from Mission: Impossible.
  • British actor Daniel Craig plays the latest 007 agent in Casino Royale - it opens in theaters on November 17, 2006!
  • Head to the official CIA website to get more info about becoming a spy. You can also take a personality quiz to find out if this is really the career for you!
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