Industries & Professions /
Intelligence operations are closely linked to the world political situation. In general, people with specialized skills or backgrounds in the languages and customs of certain countries will continue to be in high demand. In the past, more than half of all U.S. intelligence activities were focused on the Soviet Union. While the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe and in the former Soviet republics greatly reduced the number and intensity of intelligence operations in these countries, other parts of the world now demand more urgent attention from all agencies. For this reason, the outlook for intelligence jobs remains good, and new officers will be hired every year. The United States has become focused on terrorist activity, particularly from groups based in the Middle East, and remains concerned with the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. As the number of countries with nuclear capabilities increases, and as economic, political, and technological changes worldwide become more frequent, strategic intelligence gathering becomes more and more important to governments all around the world. Increasingly, governments must be able to make decisions based on predictions beyond the foreseeable future. Intelligence has become one of the world's largest industries; in the United States alone, it is supported by a multibillion-dollar annual budget.