The need for Intelligence is growing and online universities can fill that market gap in information. Whether that is governmental intelligence or business intelligence information runs our lives. Making strategic decisions and finding looming threats are always important. In today's world much of the theoretical work could be conducted during online coursework making the integration of key information and analysis for strategic decision making helpful to different programs.
Why is intelligence so important?
The answer to that question depends in part on whether you are into government intelligence or business intelligence. Government intelligence helps find "bad guys" and look for looming problems that might impact national security. Likewise, it looks for holes in the defenses of other nations or the strategies these nations might be using that could harm our country.
General intelligence processes would apply to other businesses seeking to create advantages in the market. Typically, this would relate to the collection and analysis of information. Much of this information could be public by nature and we need to simply understand what we are looking at.
Businesses use intelligence information, depending on how you define it, for decisions all the time. Analysts analyze market information, review new patents, seek out partnerships, and buy emerging companies in order to bolster their position.
How can Intelligence classes be used in college?
If we think of intelligence as the collection and analysis of information for strategic purposes then we can teach different brands of it for decision making, marketing, consumer behavior, investment, etc... It could be either integrated into the current curriculum or it could be a stand along class.
Would intelligence courses have value?
For an institution intelligence courses as a stand alone program for government and business would make sense as the need for big data and data crunching has grown. It also fits within an emerging trend of STEM and science needs. As intelligence follows key scientific principles the same as what might be used in other fields it is highly relevant.
What type of curriculum should be included into an intelligence program?
According to an article in the Journal of Strategic Security intelligence courses should have the following (Luce, 2013):
(1) conduct a key assumptions check;
(2) ensure the course presentation embodies the principles of intelligence communication;
(3) encourage creative freedom; and
(4) build in mechanisms for feedback throughout the course.
Luce, A. (2013). Evaluating and Improving Online Intelligence Courses. Journal of Strategic Security, 6 (3).