These days, intelligence is a wide field of activity, carrying a multitude of tasks, in different aspects of life. This way, the espionage training is specialized for different departments, with different needs. Far from the glamorized Hollywood productions like “James Bond” or “Mission Impossible”, intelligence requires both field and desk operatives, nowadays. The field operatives, those with higher physical skills and closer to the Hollywood image are either recruited from the army and already trained for heavier physical challenges or trained for this purpose. These may range from martial arts to flying planes and jumping with a parachute.
The espionage training is directed towards the kind of missions the agents will be specialized for. Some will be more trained for covert spy work, some for handling surveillance equipment, some for counter surveillance, etc. Along the time the agent jobs have become more numerous and more complex. Many agents, today, for example are required to have high computer knowledge, as computers and electronic surveillance have become an indispensable arsenal for any intelligence agency.
Espionage training is also determined by country specific ways of handling intelligence. Thus, United States uses more technical operatives, as it is a country that, heavily, relies on technology, when it comes to surveillance and counter-surveillance. In the countries that rely more on human resources like the former USSR or other Eastern European Countries, the field agents are more likely to be trained into various activities and their training may include even development and improvement of paranormal skills, in exceptional individuals.
Professional spies have to be able to handle any challenges, in their mission, from physical battle, to weapons, computers, to recognize and track terrorists, particularly these days, to have enough education and charisma to infiltrate into different circles, gain credibility and perform deceitful tasks, if necessary.