MI6 is one of the most highly regarded, and secretive, organisations in the world. As Britain’s premier intelligence service – in conjunction with MI5 – MI6 play an extremely important role in keeping Britain safe from threats like terrorism, and other crimes. Naturally, getting a job with MI6 is no walk in the park. The good news though, is that there are a huge variety of careers to choose from with MI6. In this blog, we’ll give you a rundown of what MI6 jobs are available, and why they are important.
MI6 Jobs: Career Branches
MI6 has a number of career branches available for prospective candidates. These branches are as follows:
- Operational Officer
- Business Support Officer
- Corporate Services
- Science and Technology
- Trades and Services
- Language Specialist
These branches all have many different job titles under said category. In the next section, we’ll detail what these branches are, and the types of jobs available within them.
MI6 Operational Officer
Arguably one of the most popular MI6 jobs on the list, Operational Officers are at the very forefront of MI6 jobs and global operations. The Operational Officer branch plays host to a number of essential roles within the organisation, all of which are fairly people focused. The jobs under this branch include:
Just as they do in MI5, intelligence officers play an absolutely essential role in MI6 intelligence operations. The key difference, however, is that the role of an MI6 intelligence officer is fairly different to that of an MI5 intelligence officer. This is largely because the work that MI6 do focuses abroad, rather than at home. Therefore, MI6 intelligence officers spend decidedly more time working with contacts abroad. For this reason, one of the core requirements of working as an MI6 intelligence officer (as we’ll explain in the next chapter) is the strength of your interpersonal skills. MI6 intelligence officers can be broken down into three distinct categories:
- Case Officers. A Case Officer is someone who deals directly with specific contacts out in the field, building and managing MI6’s relationship with these contacts.
- Targeters. A Targeter is someone whose role is to work out how valuable information can be used in human intelligence assignments.
- Verification Officer/R Officer. Verification Officers manage the relationship between MI6 and the government, and are responsible for validating any intelligence received.
As an Intelligence Officer, you will receive constant on-the-job training. Therefore, it’s fundamental that you are someone who is willing to learn. In order to keep up with the task, MI6 will require you to partake in skills such as learning a new language, using new technology, taking management classes and other specialist activities – all of which are designed to enhance your ability to combat crime and terrorism.
Operational Data Analysts
The second role that falls under the category of ‘Operational Officer’, is Operational Data Analyst. Operational Data Analysts are responsible for analysing raw data that comes into MI6, and turning it into meaningful intelligence. As an Operational Data Analyst, you will work as part of a dedicated team of analysts. The majority of the information that comes into MI6 is complex and difficult to decipher. This is where Operational Data Analysts come into play.
When working in this role, you will need to take a highly flexible approach. Operational Data Analysts may be required to move locations during the working week, sometimes outside of London. Along with this, you must be someone who is capable of, and enjoys, solving complex problems and puzzles, and who can work in a collaborative and creative manner.
Interns and Professionals
MI6 have a fairly wide recruitment bracket, and to this end they aren’t just hiring experienced professionals. Along with hiring established experts in the field, they are also interested in hiring graduate/entry level candidates.
In order to qualify as an entry level candidate for MI6, you must have a 2:1 degree (or expect to receive this degree within the 6 months prior to application) and be a British national. Entry level candidates will receive extensive training at the beginning of their MI6 jobs/careers, and will be trained in all 3 of the previously mentioned roles – Case officer, Targeter and Verification Officer.
So, just because you don’t have any experience, don’t let this put you off. MI6 are always looking for capable and intelligent individuals, who can contribute to safeguarding the UK.
Of course, MI6 is also actively looking to recruit experienced professionals too. If you are an experienced professional, then you can apply either to an entry level position, or to a more senior position within MI6. In order to apply for the latter, it is recommended that you have at least 10 years of experience in an interpersonally based role, or a similar field to intelligence work. Likewise, any language skills that you can demonstrate will aid your application.
Business Support Officers
Just like any other business, MI6 requires a flexible and professional business and admin team. Business support officers play a fundamental role in the ‘behind-the-scenes’ areas of MI6: assisting with factors such as financial management (even the intelligence services have a budget!), essential paperwork and building relationships with other sectors. Working a business support officer provides you with a chance to utilise both your judgement and analytical skills, and your corporate knowledge, to provide the best possible service to MI6.
In conjunction with the above, there is also the option to work in what is known as corporate services. Corporate service employees are specialists, who play an essential role in the day-to-day operations of MI6. You’ll be working in areas such as intelligence records, financial management and creating business initiatives. Likewise, you could work in procurement or law. There are an enormous range of opportunities here, both overseas and on home soil.
Science and Technology
Naturally, technology plays a huge role in everything that MI6 do. As part of MI6’s science and technology department, you would have access to the very latest technological advancements, and no two days will be the same. You’ll use your technical knowledge to solve complex and interesting specialist problems. Positions within the Science and Technology departments of MI6 are available to both new graduates and experienced professionals. Furthermore, the MI6 jobs recruitment team aren’t just looking for people who are ‘lab-savvy’. They are also interested in recruiting Science and Technology staff who can use their skills to help with areas such a business development, project management and other essential departments within MI6.
Trades and Services
MI6 is kept afloat by the hard work of hundreds of people. Many of these individuals work within the trades and services department, which is responsible for a number of key areas within MI6, such as security, logistics, cleaning, delivery and telephone operating. That’s right, MI6 isn’t just about intelligence work. Even the most influential intelligence organisation in the world needs employees to fill the overlooked/underappreciated roles. The truth is that without these MI6 jobs, the organisation wouldn’t be able to run at all. In order to work in the trades and services department, you’ll need to exhibit qualities such as teamwork, enthusiasm and commitment. The trades and services department play an essential role in protecting the UK.
Last but not least, there is the language specialist department. Language specialists play an extremely important role in MI6 intelligence operations. Given the nature of MI6 work – much of which is done abroad, it stands to reason that a large amount of the intelligence gathered by MI6 needs to be translated. This is where the language department comes in. As a language specialist, you won’t just be translating. You’ll also be analysing, processing and attempting to make sense of what you’ve read/heard. You might also be asked to provide in-depth insights into cultural matters, helping to direct initiatives in particular regions of the world, which in turn could lead to MI6 obtaining life-saving intelligence data.