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what type of degree would best prepare me for a career in homeland security?

I am interested in security firms that contract with the government for homeland security. #federal-government #federal-agent #contractors #private-investigations #federal-air-marshal #private

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Subject: Career question for you


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Anup’s Answer

Types of Homeland Security Degrees
Many accredited colleges and universities have responded to the security needs of our country by offering on-campus and online degree programs in homeland security. The increase in online college courses has made it easier than ever for students, working professionals, and parents to reach their educational goals and to begin a rewarding career in the field of homeland security. By obtaining a college degree online, students in all situations can easily make education a part of their daily lives.

Students enrolled in a degree program in homeland security will study topics like political science, psychology, engineering and disaster and emergency preparedness. Emergency training, counterterrorism, and national and local security are often stressed in the coursework. These programs teach students the "who, what, where, why, when, and how" of situations that pose a potential threat to national security.

In the last four years, many organizations in the United States have created new and highly effective security systems or expanded existing ones. Many of these companies and organizations have developed homeland security departments or initiatives. By earning a college degree in homeland security, students will be equipped to take advantage of the many new career opportunities that have recently been created in the field.

Students may earn a homeland security degree at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels. Certificate programs are also available that are closely related to homeland security, such as intelligence analysis, emergency preparedness, and disaster management.

Many homeland security professors are government experts who have significant technical and analytical experience working with and researching government-related issues. Under the instruction of such experts, students may learn about the most effective ways to strengthen the safety of essential systems such as energy facilities, nuclear power plants, and expansive computer information networks. They'll study how to obtain, disengage, and destroy a weapon that is active in a biological attack. They may learn how to recognize and effectively handle an attack on vital computer systems. They may also conduct analysis about how government officials in the past have handled situations in which national security was threatened.

Online Degrees in Homeland Security
Online degree programs in homeland security are designed to give students the information and skills they will need in order to assess and effectively handle threatening situations when they enter the workforce. Emphasis is placed not on any political ideology, but on the development of practices that will most efficiently solve problematic situations in which safety might be compromised.

Browse online degree programs in homeland security.

Career Training for Homeland Security Jobs
Degree programs in homeland security provide students with an in-depth examination of the Department of Homeland Security, and its laws, authorities, agencies, and exercises. Students will look closely at the legislation that gives power to the various DHS agencies. Students will also explore the responses of these agencies to terrorist acts and threats of terrorism.

Students are generally required to complete courses in identifying and handling hazardous materials, as well as courses on international terrorism and terrorism at home. Through the completion of required coursework, students become prepared to inspect, monitor, and coordinate crime prevention and safety protection strategies for private clients in a variety of situations. Students also learn techniques developed for the protection of properties, such as private homes and businesses.

Many two-year homeland security degree programs focus on the training of first responders such as police officers, firefighters, emergency medical workers and technicians, and other emergency professionals who are essential to the local community in which they live. Some programs offer certificates that emphasize specialized training within the broader subject of homeland security. Certificates can be obtained in crisis and disaster management, national security, telecommunications security, and computer information security, to name a few.

Other programs offer a concentration in homeland security within the boundaries of an academic major such as criminal justice, computer science, or sociology. The students who choose this approach to their homeland security studies may decide to concentrate their studies even further, exploring topics such as bioterrorism and computer network security. Still other programs offer degrees in homeland security with a pre-developed area of concentration, such as law enforcement and criminal justice, disaster management and emergency preparedness, or financial security.

Homeland Security Curriculum
Each homeland security degree program has its own unique curriculum, requirements, and set of prerequisites. It is important for students to gain as much information as possible about the various degree programs available. This way, students may make a wise decision about which college degree program is right for them.

A typical associate degree program in homeland security may include the following courses:

Introduction to Criminal Justice
Introduction to Homeland Security
Bio-Terrorism and its Effects
The Handling of Hazardous Materials
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Domestic Terrorism
International Terrorism
Constitutional Law
Emergency Planning and Disaster Preparedness
Students who choose to pursue a four-year bachelor's degree in homeland security may also be required to complete the following courses, or courses like them:

Political Science
Security Concepts
Theories of Security Management
Security Methods
Security Systems
Evaluating Security Programs
Security and Business
American Law Enforcement
Criminal Evidence
Security of Information
Security Personnel Law
The Workings of Organized Crime
Risk Analysis
Loss Prevention
White-Collar Crime
Depending on the concentration of studies and the degree obtained, students will be prepared to work in private or public businesses, private security, airports, police law enforcement, the FBI, the Secret Service, the DEA, U.S. Marshals, customs investigations, special agents, and border patrol, among others.

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Jason’s Answer

Hi Sydney, DHS has a number of focus areas so figuring out what most interests you would be an important first step. Is it cybersecurity, investigations, US Customs, intelligence, FEMA, TSA, etc. Sounds like you have some interest in being an Air Marshal? I would then gear your choice of degree towards that field while still encompassing criminal justice, political science, international relations, economics, psychology, etc.

Jason recommends the following next steps:

Review the DHS organizational chart and underline divisions you may want to work for some day
Align your degree choice to where your most interested
Select additional courses that support your interests
Search for internship opportunities locally to confirm your interest and where you want to grow your expertise over time