Career Paths With a Homeland Security Degree

A degree in homeland security can lead you down any number of career paths, all with one main goal: keeping the United States and its citizens safe. Let’s take a look at some of your options after you graduate and are ready to work in this field.

Homeland Security Career Options

Most of the people who earn homeland security degrees go on to work with the Department of Homeland Security in some capacity. This department allows you to take roles in a number of areas, and jobs outside of the government also focus on these topics, which include counterterrorism, disaster preparedness and relief, immigration and border security, and cyber-security. You could work directly toward making the United States safer in any of these areas, or you could serve as a consultant or political advocate. Homeland security students can also go on to work in law enforcement, with workers taking jobs such as federal protective services agents, border patrol officers, immigration enforcement, secret service agents, and more. For some, this can also be a stepping stone to the CIA or FBI.

Homeland Security Job Description

The tasks you do on a daily basis with homeland security of course depend on you job title and experience, but in general, you’ll work with teams of other homeland security experts to ensure that the United States is as safe as possible. Your tasks could include helping to create new laws, ensuring the safety of citizens in the witness protection program or at overseas embassies, protecting high-level officials, responding to natural disasters, and more. Homeland security teams also need doctors and nurses, lawyers, political strategists, interpreters, scientists, accountants, and more, so the sky really is the limit if you want to work in this field.

Homeland Security Education

You can get started working in homeland security with just a bachelor’s degree. For many students, this is a second degree; they come to the field after already working in an area such as medicine, law enforcement, political science, public health, law, business, or management. You can take classes in both general homeland security topics, as well as in topic specific to the kind of career that most interests you. In addition, this is a great field to look into if you were formerly in the military, as many of the skills you learned while in service are relevant to homeland security.

Guide to Homeland Security Degree Programs

Kaplan University – Kaplan University offers online degrees: BS/CJ: Homeland Security and MS in Homeland Security. This program prepares students for management-level positions with employers such as the Department of Homeland Security and other federal, state, and local agencies. The program emphasizes the application of theory, current knowledge, developing trends and legal doctrines.
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Walden University – Walden University offers online homeland security degrees: BS/CJ: Homeland Security, MPA in Homeland Security, and MPA in Terrorism/Mediation. Courses include: Public Policy Implications of Terrorism Legislation and Policies, Terrorism: A Systemic Approach for Emergency Preparedness, and Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis.
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Ashford University – Earn your online Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security and Emergency Management degree from Ashford University. This degree gives you a view of homeland security at the federal, state, and local levels. Ashford University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510-748-9001, wascsenior.org.
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Bush School of Government at Texas A&M – The Bush School of Government at Texas A&M offers certificates in homeland security: Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security, Graduate Certificate in Critical Infrastructure Protection, Graduate Certificate in Emergency & Crisis Prevention, Graduate Certificate in Intelligence, and Graduate Certificate in National Security Policy. These certificates can be completed in 10 weeks.
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St. Joseph's University – St. Joseph's University offers online degree programs in homeland security: MS in Homeland Security and Homeland Security Certificate. This program is made up of six courses that cover the fundamentals of homeland security issues and procedures, including the detection and analysis of illegal financial transactions, an overview of terrorism and risk assessment.
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