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What would I have to major in to get a job on homeland security? And what does a job in homeland security entail?

I am currently a junior in high school and have always been interested in some kind of job with the government or military. I grew up under the influence of my grandfather who was enlisted in the navy during the Vietnam war and and have since aspired to enlist or obtain a job related to the defense of the united states. However, I do not know what a job like homeland security entails and what i would be doing if I were to become an analyst or work for the department of homeland security. #police #military #law-enforcement #fbi #homeland-security #national-security

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Subject: Career question for you

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Ryan’s Answer

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Ossie, reading your post I couldn’t help but reflect on the influence my grandfather had on me. Similar as with you, he devoted his career to that of protecting others. While, I have never worked for the DHS, I do have many contacts there working in many different capacities.

In terms of what you can do that to help you gain a stronger understanding as to what a career with DHS may entail, may I suggest a few sources?
1) Seek out a local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) These are teams that provide you with free training sponsored by FEMA, and not to mention looks amazing on a resume. You can choose how little or much time you wish to devote as they are volunteer based. https://www.fema.gov/community-emergency-response-teams


2) I highly recommend completing the National Incident Management System (NIMS) 100 and 700 courses. These give a great foundation to the universal system of response. Again, these are free, however, very intense. You can take the courses as many times as you may like, and can do so via remotely.


3) If you haven’t yet, take a look at the Homeland Security careers page: https://www.dhs.gov/homeland-security-careers This will give you an example of careers, the process, etc.


4) Try to seek out an email for your local DHS field office. Mention to them you are interested in a career and welcome the opportunity to speak with someone further on opportunities, advice, etc. Most of the time a representative in the office will gladly assist in your request. https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office/field-offices


5) Lastly, NETWORK! Over the years I have found that a lot of opportunities that have come my way isn’t as much as what I know but who I know! You mentioned you are interested in becoming an Analyst, reach out to your states office and inquire about internships or volunteer opportunities. Be willing to stuff envelopes or make copies, as this will show your dedication but also allow for the chance of being around the profession you are seeking.


I hope this was helpful and wish you the very best in your career aspirations!

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Kyle’s Answer

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Hello there,


In 2003 I was recruited to the Department of Homeland Security/Immigration Customs Enforcement. I pent seven wonderful years there until I transferred to my current position with another police agency. I was recruited to DHS from College, however I never finished my degree. not all positions in DHS (to include law enforcement require degrees). DHS as a whole depending on the agency requires the minimum of 60 college credits. If you want to go through college, some courses you cold take are criminal investigations, terrorism, criminal profiling and behavior and it wouldn't hurt to take a political science course either. However, remember (U do not always need a degree). The FBI on the other hand are "special", they want a degree not in criminal justice or homeland security but accounting or a middle eastern studies degree. As far as getting onto the JTTF (joint terrorism task force) or another elite part of the FBI, you have to become a field agent first (usually five years) then you could apply to the JTTF or there SWAT Team. Homeland Security positions entail everything from dignitary protection to boarder protection, I worked in a lot of areas and was deployed around the country for illegal immigration, natural disasters, dignitary protection of the President and VP of the United States. I protected everything from federal buildings to helipads where Air Force One was stationed. I inspected cars, trucks, buses for illegal drugs coming into the US as well as Illegal aliens being smuggled in. Since you are in Junior High I encourage you to visit www.usajobs.gov, this is the official hiring site for the US government. Since you are interested in Law Enforcement enter in the keywords, Boarder patrol, Police Officer, Air Marshal, Nuclear Materials Courier, Criminal Investigator so that you can get an idea of what these positions are. Also put in internships, this will populate with all the agencies that are seeking interns. You may also want to try www.CIA.gov., read how they protect the Homeland as well. Remember the CIA, you have to have a degree

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Bill’s Answer

You need to provide more details about what particularly you want to do. If law enforcement is your thing then maybe DHS isn't a great fit and DOJ or Treasury would be better. And if you want to get a job with the FBI, you pretty much have to treat your academic career as though you want to go to Harvard, since the FBI tends to be very selective (and reportedly they like lawyers, although I know of people who have become FBI agents after a career in some other field). If you want to go into policy, then any number of degrees would be suitable, from engineering to history to economics.


What you've asked is so broad, it's like walking into an Armed Forces recruiting center and saying "I want to be in the military, what should I do?" There are some commonalities, but the Air Force is fairly different from the Navy from the Marines in terms of things you can specialize in, and experience you will have.

Thank you comment icon Thank you for your response. But I would actually like a job with the FBI as part of the counter terrorism task force as it fits more to my military state of mind. Ossie
Thank you comment icon The FBI CTTF is an elite group. They don't take just anybody. Most of the emphasis these days, for good or bad, is on radical Islam. Given those two facts, you need to make yourself stand out if you want to get hired by the FBI. The one thing that would be invaluable, in my opinion, is learning Persion or Arabic or Urdu. That is because on thing most of these analysts do is analyze communications traffic for threat detection. Being able to speak the language and understand nuance and subtlety without relying on a translator is critical. Bill Asher BACKER
Thank you comment icon One thing you can do is go through the material here: https://www.fbijobs.gov/downloads/FY14SAApplicantInformation73114.pdf Bill Asher BACKER
Thank you comment icon From that you can see that if you have a technical background (i.e., engineering/science degree) <em>and</em> speak a relevant foreign language, that is a profile they are looking for in their agents. Bill Asher BACKER
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