What Can I Do with a Homeland Security Degree?

Earning a homeland security degree can prepare you for a variety of career opportunities with government agencies or private security firms. With the training you'll receive, you could have a career in airport security, emergency management or criminal investigation. Learn more about what earning a homeland security degree can do for you. Schools offering Criminal Justice degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Homeland Security Degree Programs

Homeland security degree programs have only been offered since the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2002. Degree programs may be available at the undergraduate or graduate level. In addition to standalone degree programs, some schools offer certificate programs or homeland security concentrations within their criminal justice degree programs. In a homeland security degree program, you can expect to study topics that include:

  • Criminal justice
  • Emergency response
  • Psychology
  • Information systems
  • Public safety policy

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Common Courses Basics of homeland security, environmental security, emergency management fundamentals, intelligence systems and structures
Concentrations Cybersecurity, terrorism and anti-terrorism, peacekeeping and security, epidemiology
Degree Level Undergraduate (associate's and bachelor's degrees) and graduate
Continuing Education Various certificates (emergency management, homeland security planning, etc.)

Other Career Requirements

In addition to completing a degree program, if you're interested in a career in homeland security, you'll likely need to apply for and receive security clearance. If you have any prior criminal history, you may find it difficult to obtain the necessary clearances. Some careers, especially those in law enforcement, will require additional training and licensure.

Career Options

Emergency Management Professional

As an emergency management professional, you'll work to help communities prepare for and respond to hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and terrorist attacks, as well as a variety of other emergency situations. You'll communicate with other agencies and government departments to coordinate plans and allocate resources in order to respond to emergencies in a fast and efficient manner. You might work closely with a variety of related transportation, health, environment and relief organizations.

Information Security Management

If you work in information security management, you'll protect valuable data and the systems that store it. Your most important responsibility will be to ensure that information is protected and that computer systems are secure. Some information security management professionals work for federal government agencies like the CIA or NSA while others work in the private sector.

Law Enforcement

If you choose to work in law enforcement, you may pursue a career as a police officer, immigration official or border patrol agent. You may also work as a customs agent or in an airport as an agent with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Special agents investigate terrorist threats and activity.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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