Thinking about working in intelligence? Then the MI5 graduate scheme could be the perfect option for you. Working in intelligence can be one of the most stressful yet exhilarating and exciting jobs out there. I mean, you’re protecting the entire country from internal and external threats, so your work can make a tangible difference in the country, which is pretty exciting I’d say. But, you may not know where to start. That’s what this article is here to do – to answer the question: what is the MI5 graduate scheme?

What is the MI5 graduate scheme?

What is the MI5 Graduate scheme and how to apply?

The simple one to begin with. What is the scheme? Well, it is a series of development programmes that develop the skills that will help to keep the country safe. This can lead to a promotion within MI5, or give you the transferable skills to take into a new company or profession. 

What kind of roles can you apply to?:

what kind of roles in MI5 graduate scheme?

There are four different programmes that you can apply to. These include the Intelligence Officer Development Programme, the Intelligence and Data Analyst Development Programme, the Technology Graduate Development Programme and the Business Enablers Programme. These will each have their own entry requirements, salaries and useful skills, so it’s worth having a good look at each option before deciding which one to apply to, should you decide to apply. 

What is the cohort size?

What is the MI5 Graduate scheme and how to apply?
Source: MI5

So, now that you know what the MI5 graduate scheme is, next you’ll want to know how likely your application will succeed. Well, as you can assume, it is incredibly competitive. MI5 reckons that they receive around 10,000 applications for the scheme for only about 60 places. That means that only about 0.6% of applicants actually receive a place on the programme. It’s not surprising that it’s that competitive. You’re working for the government in a high-stakes role, naturally, they’re not going to let just anyone join. 

What are the benefits of the MI5 graduate scheme?

What is the MI5 Graduate scheme and how to apply?
Source: Flickr

Before deciding whether to apply, you may want to know some of the benefits of working at MI5. Well, should you get on the grad scheme, you’ll start off at a roughly £33,000 salary (this varies ever so slightly depending on the programme) with a guaranteed salary increase after one year. There are flexible working hours, meaning that you won’t necessarily be working the traditional 9-5. They offer a loan of up to £2500 to help with renting, as well as a season ticket loan to go towards travel costs, car park costs or purchasing a bike. Additionally, there are sports clubs, fitness classes, societies and language classes available to employees. Those are some pretty nice benefits if you ask me. 

How do you apply to the MI5 graduate scheme?

What is the MI5 Graduate scheme and how to apply?
Source: MI5

So, lastly, but most importantly, how do you apply to the MI5 graduate scheme? Well, you can do so on their website. But first, you have to meet some eligibility criteria. Firstly, you have to be a British citizen to apply (dual nationals can apply but MI5 will “impose general restrictions on the use of that nationality”). Then, you must be at least 18 years old to work for MI5 (though you can apply as a 17-year-old if you’re that eager). Finally, you must be a UK resident for 7 of the previous 10 years, although this is looked at on a case-by-case basis depending on circumstances.

So, to answer the question, what is the MI5 graduate scheme? Well, it is the scheme run by MI5 that allows graduates to kick-start a career in intelligence. It’s hyper-competitive to apply but if you’re lucky enough to get on the scheme, there are plenty of benefits to joining the agency.

No matter what career you’re thinking of going into after graduation, finding a grad job is going to be difficult. Check out this list with tips on how to find a graduate job.