What Can I Do with a Doctoral Degree in Homeland Security?

Graduates with a doctoral degree in homeland security may become decision-makers, professors at the university level or researchers. Homeland security is a relative new field. There is a need for graduates with doctoral degrees to contribute to the overall knowledge in the field and to teach at the bachelor's and master's levels. Schools offering Criminal Justice degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Options

Individuals with doctoral degrees in homeland security have many career options. They can work as administrators with government agencies, as college and university professors or as researchers who explore causes and prevention of catastrophic events.

Important Facts About Career Options for Homeland Security Doctoral Degree Holders

Top Executives Professors Researchers
Median Salary (2014) $102,750 $70,790 $104,920 (for all political scientists)
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 6% growth 13% growth 2% decline
Key Skills Clear spoken and written communication, excellent judgment and decision making, leadership, problem solving Critical thinking, social nuance, ingenuity, clear written and spoken communication Analytical and critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, excellent writing ability, clear spoken communication
Similar Occupations Administrative services managers, architectural and engineering managers, financial managers, human resources managers Biochemists and biophysicists, economists, geographers, psychologists Market research analysts, survey researchers, sociologists, anthropologists and archeologists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Graduates with doctoral degrees in homeland security may take positions in government agencies, such as the Center for Homeland Security or the U.S. Department of Defense, as executives or administrators. They may also take executive leadership jobs in emergency medical care, public safety, law enforcement or public administration. They will be prepared to envision and respond appropriately to catastrophic events. These workers have the knowledge and training to make decisions and formulate policy. They're able to take the results from current research in the field of homeland security and apply it to find solutions to complex problems.


Homeland security is a relatively new field. Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's and master's degrees in homeland security. Graduates with doctor's degrees can teach the classes that make up the degree programs, write the textbooks that students will use and develop curricula for degree programs.


There is a need for research in the field of homeland security that doctoral graduates can fill. This research will work to prevent and prepare for catastrophic events, such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Research may also involve a study of potential terrorist targets and an assessment of their vulnerability. The results of the research will be given to officials in law enforcement or emergency response. In addition, researchers may examine the underlying relationships, principles and realities influencing events in the field to get a better understand of what is happening.

Education Requirements

Doctoral degree programs in homeland security or related areas, such as security studies, are not common. Applicants should hold a master's degree, preferably in homeland security or another relevant field, such as history or political science. These doctoral programs require three or four years of study to complete and are sometimes offered online. Students usually work with advisors to create a program of study that meets their career goals. They hone their research skills and generally must complete a dissertation or final research project.

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