Cyber Intelligence Officer

Job Description:

Cyber intelligence officers gather information about where threats to information technology (IT) systems come from and how they work.

Job Category:
IT Industry

What you will do:

In this role you may:

  • identify common weaknesses in IT networks
  • use digital resources to gather information and evidence
  • use computer forensics to identify attackers and their methods
  • analyse threats to major security systems
  • monitor new threats and assess their impact
  • keep databases of threats and hackers
  • produce threat assessment reports and recommend actions
  • develop relationships with other organisations and share security knowledge (teamwork)
  • update your skills and knowledge


You’ll likely need:

  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • telecommunications knowledge
  • maths skills
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

As well as:

  • complex problem-solving skills
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition/drive)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • persistence and determination
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Cyber Intelligence Officer or work in the field of cybersecurity and intelligence, you typically need a strong educational background in relevant subjects and a set of skills that are essential for the role. While there are no specific subjects that are mandatory for this career path, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial in preparing for it. Here are some relevant subjects:

  1. Computer Science: Courses in computer science provide a foundational understanding of programming, computer networks, and cybersecurity concepts.
  2. Mathematics (Maths): Strong math skills are essential for understanding encryption algorithms, data analysis, and cybersecurity calculations.
  3. Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Proficiency in using computer systems, software, and network technologies is crucial for working in cybersecurity.
  4. Physics: Physics courses can provide a basic understanding of the physical principles behind computer hardware and networking.
  5. English Language: Effective written and verbal communication skills are important for documenting cyber threats, writing reports, and collaborating with colleagues.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • a graduate training scheme

You can do a degree or postgraduate qualification in one of the following subjects:

  • computer science
  • computer or cyber security
  • mathematics
  • network engineering and security

You could take a postgraduate course in computing or cyber security if your first degree is not in a related subject, or if you have a lot of industry experience.


You could do an apprenticeship like:

  • cyber security technologist higher apprenticeship
  • cyber security technical professional degree apprenticeship
  • In the UK, GCHQ also runs a cyber security degree apprenticeship.

You could start work with an IT security firm, for example as a support technician after completing school, then work your way up while studying for further qualifications on the job.

Other Routes
If you have a degree or relevant work experience, in the UK you could apply for the MI5 Intelligence and Data Analyst Development Programme.

For public sector work in the UK, you may need to go through UK Security Vetting. Similar checks will most probably occur in other countries too. This includes:

  • a counter-terrorist check
  • a security check (SC) – for access to information classified as ‘secret’
  • developed vetting (DV) – for access to information classified as ‘top secret’

For private sector work, you may not need to be vetted unless you’re working on government systems.

Working Hours and Environment:

You could work in an office or at a client’s business.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could become a specialised cyber security lead and then head of cyber security.

You could also work as a freelance security contractor.