Hi, I’m Chris Savos, the Director of Proficiency1, a new online training community for professionals looking to build exceptional careers in national security and risk intelligence. We’re combining my 27 years of experience working in and around the Intelligence Community with our parent company JTG, Inc.’s 25 years of providing language, training, and analytics support to create classes that efficiently deliver practical skills and knowledge. We’re having a soft launch today with a selection of three courses from me that will quickly be joined by courses from other former practitioners and experts.
Our audience. We’re building courses for individuals trying to break into national security or risk intelligence fields and current professionals looking to excel and advance as analysts or managers of analysts. We’ll offer a much more focused and cost-effective means of professional development than going back to school. Proficiency1 will also be serving corporate clients, packaging our courses and developing new ones on request to help public- and private-sector enterprises train their analytic cadre.
Our instructors. Proficiency1’s instructors are a mix former and current national security and risk intelligence practitioners who also have teaching backgrounds. We’ve already recruited former senior officers from the CIA, FBI, and US military with extensive international experience who are now working in the private sector or think tanks or are teaching at the university level. Part of Profiency1’s mission is to connect with and help potential instructors bring their offline training material online, so let me know if you’re interested in joining us.
Our approach. At the outset, all Proficiency1 offerings will be self-paced courses students can take whenever they want on a computer, tablet, or phone. We’ll be squeezing all of the filler and fluff from our courses so that they deliver the necessary skills and knowledge in easily digestible chunks. We might have the occasional semester-length course, but most will be in the two-to-four-hour range. Our language courses will be longer because of how much ground they must cover.
Our curriculum. Proficiency1 courses will cover four pillars that are critical to national security and risk intelligence jobs:
- Professional and analytic skills. These courses will cover key skills ranging from analytic writing and critical thinking to mastering an effective executive presence and assessing foreign leaders.
- Domain expertise. We’ll offer substantive examinations of a diverse range of subjects, from China’s strategic culture and denial and deception to terrorism and WMD-related technologies.
- Leadership and management. Although relevant for any supervisor, these courses will be heavily influenced by the challenges our instructors overcame in managing analysts and complex analytic programs.
- Foreign languages. We’ll eventually have courses in several critical languages that will raise a students from no proficiency (0) to elementary proficiency (1).
In the weeks to come I’ll be posting a lot more about what we’re up to at Proficiency1. We’ll also have posts from our instructors about their courses, as well as tips, tools, and resources for people working to build great careers in the national security and risk intelligence fields. Please follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter and learn more about us at Proficency1.com.