If interested in a career in homeland security, getting a degree is just the first part of the battle. With many organizations and departments that fall under the DHS, it is difficult to know who is hiring who, when, for how long, and how much. With the technology for hiring being just as new as the DHS itself, it can be easy to think all their jobs are the same.
However, this is not the case as the size and scope of the department of homeland security encompasses more than the guy who screens bags at the airport. To prove it, we have researched 22 homeland security jobs you may not know about and even in departments you may have never heard of.
Higher Education Homeland Security Jobs You May Not Know AboutThese homeland security jobs and departments require an advanced education and/or experience.
- Red Team While there is some acknowledgment of what the red team is and what they do, there isn’t a whole lot about them on the official DHS site. Those turning to Wikipedia for answers can find that a red team assesses the security of an organization without them knowing. This team, also paired with net assessments, can conduct independent strikes on the DHS without warning and turn in results and recommendations for improved security.
- Loaned Executive Are you an executive with a lot of expertise to give? Then check out this little-heard of program within the DHS. It gives top executive-level talent from the private sector an opportunity to share their expertise with Homeland Security to fill special, discrete needs. Their goals are to solve problems, improve process, and realize their mission.
- Privacy Office This unusual office is the first of its kind to exist at the federal level. They help establish and implement privacy policies for new or proposed programs. They even work as part of the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act to help provide oversight and support.
- Transformational & Applied Research Directorate Work to detect nuclear threats as part of this homeland security job. They address gaps in the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture, as well as coordinate with other research and develop organizations. There are several areas these jobs fall into including exploratory, small business, academic, and near term research.
- Nuclear Technical Forensics This department exists to enforce the Nuclear Forensics and Attribution Act signed into law by President Obama in 2010. Nuclear forensics is the thorough collection, analysis, and evaluation of radiological and nuclear material. Their two main goals are to be stewards of the nation’s nuclear forensics and cooperate with other departments assigned with this law. The other is to advance the field of nuclear forensics and the ability to work with materials in a pre-detonation state.
- Cyber Security If you are really good at preventing hacks and protecting systems from viruses and other attacks, this may be the homeland security job for you. The center at which they work is charged with addressing threats and incidents affecting the nation’s critical information technology and cyber infrastructure. They also consolidate cyber and communications operations with other security agencies.
- Office of Health Affairs Think only hospitals and doctor’s offices need qualified medical personnel? This branch of the DHS is charged with providing health and medical expertise in support of their work. They often work with FEMA and other departments to provide medical oversight. They can also be first responders to a crisis.
- Office of Legislative Affairs Love politics but hate the idea of running for office? Then check out this department of homeland security. They serve as primary liaison to members of Congress and their staffs. The staff responds to inquiries from Congress, keeps government informed, and even make direct reports to the White House.
- Office of Public Affairs If you have a degree in public affairs or public relations, there is a DHS job for you. This office is the primary point of contact for news media, organizations and the general public seeking information. They are also asked to be the liaison to the federal government. Sub offices include a press office, incident and strategic communications, speechwriting, new media, and internal communications.
- Chief Financial Officer Although there is an individual CFO in the DHS, there is also this office which houses many other jobs. If numbers is your thing, you may be interested in this career. Divisions include budget, program analysis, financial operations, internal control, financial assistance, and others.
- Office of the General Counsel Lawyers and homeland security combine here. This department comprises all lawyers within the Department of Homeland Security, with over 1,750 dedicated attorneys at headquarters and at operating components. These lawyers provide legal advice, ensure that policies are implemented lawfully, and represent the DHS in venues across the country.
- Homeland Security Specialist A sort of blanket term, this job can be in several different departments. However, the main duties do involve developing, monitoring, and evaluating different types of programs. Often required to have at least a four year degree, they can also be asked to have experience in law enforcement. They can also go on to work in the private sector protecting data.
Lower Education Homeland Security Jobs You May Not Know AboutThose who don’t have an advanced degree or are still students can still get jobs in homeland security, a few of the rarer of which are listed below.
- Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties It may sound like a branch of the ACLU, but this actually exists within the Department of Homeland Security. They ensure all employees and the public are treated in a fair and lawful manner without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, or other factors. This particular position is an internship for law students.
- Counternarcotics Enforcement Get the DEA version of the DHS in this job. They stop the entry of illegal drugs into the United States and work to sever the connections between illegal drug trafficking and terrorism. In this article, the director of the department speaks more on what they do.
- Public Affairs Internship The office of public affairs isn’t all directors, journalists, and media relations specialists. They also take in students and entry level applicants. Applicants must be enrolled in college preferably in political science, government, public affairs, or communications.
- Office of Policy Fellowship An entry level job, it is designed to develop the next generation of leadership within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Fellows are recruited from the nation’s top graduate programs to put their academic achievements, intellect, and professional experience to use. The program lasts for two years and gives the opportunity to earn a permanent position within the department.
- Border Patrol Agent You always hear about how border agents are needed, but you may not know that they work with the Department of Homeland Security. One of the main duties of a border patrol agent is line watch, which involves the detection, prevention and apprehension of terrorists, undocumented aliens and smugglers. Agents are required to learn Spanish before going on duty.
- Product Seller Do you make or manufacture a product that the Department of Homeland Security would be interested in? There’s a job, or more accurately, a program for that. Also known as the Small Business Procurement Assistance section, innovators can sell their items to the DHS. Even those with an idea in the development stage can be worked with.
- Presidential Management Fellows Program Graduate level students who wish to go into leadership will be interested in this little known homeland security job. Students with a commitment to excellence in management of public policies and programs are sought for this two year commitment. The program spans the entire federal government and is administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
- Legal Intern Volunteers for both interns and externs (interns who can work from any location) are sought in this program. The law office of the DHS also has two other opportunities for legal students and recent graduates including a summer program and one for civil liberties. There is even an honors program.
- Acquisition Professional Career Program If still unsure about which department or job to take in homeland security, stop here. The program is especially for recent graduates who show promise. Participants get to choose from six major fields and can be assigned to D.C. to gain experience. The three year program allows those who complete it to be entered into the DHS at the GS 13 level.
- Student Jobs If you haven’t found what you were looking for in the above, click here. It is the database for all the jobs available in the federal government but just for students. Check within 300 different agencies to find what you are looking for, including the Department of Homeland Security.
If you know which area in the Department of Homeland Security you would like to work for, contact them directly to learn more about their requirements. In addition to student programs that may be available for those interested in a career at the DHS, there are also many scholarships and grants available for those still studying.