Which Degrees Will Prepare ME for a Public Service Career?

Careers in public service can range from fire fighter to program administrator for the federal government. This article explores which degrees will prepare you for which careers in the public service field. Schools offering Public Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Program Overview

Depending on your intended career focus, there are many degree programs and training programs that target public safety and security, including undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees. There are also certificate training programs and other non-degree options to explore for different public service careers.

Important Information for This Field of Study

Common Courses Contemporary public safety practice, public safety planning, legal issues and public policy, public safety administration ethics
Concentrations Criminal justice, cybersecurity, diversity awareness, emergence management, fire service administration, homeland security, terrorism and critical infrastructure
Online Availability Many public service degree programs are fully available online
Possible Careers Security management, homeland security, cybersecurity, law enforcement
Median Salary (2018)$55,760 (All law enforcement workers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)1% (All law enforcement workers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Public Safety and Security Degrees

Degrees in public safety and security prepare students for public service jobs in law enforcement, homeland security or emergencies services. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are available. Possible majors are listed below:

  • Homeland security degree programs prepare students for jobs with local and federal government. You can learn about emergency preparedness, transport security, terrorism prevention, intelligence management and working with public health systems.
  • Emergency management programs prepare students for jobs in the emergency services field, including firefighting, medical response and law enforcement. Courses cover disaster prevention, emergency planning and response.
  • Criminal justice degrees prepare students for public service careers in law enforcement or continued study in law.
  • Public safety administration degree programs prepare students for management roles within public safety institutions.

Public Policy and Administration Degrees

Degree programs in public policy and administration prepare students for a variety of public service careers working with government agencies or non-profit organizations. These programs focus on management techniques and business skills while exploring how and why policies are created. While there are some associate degree programs offered in this area, the majority of programs are at the bachelor's and graduate level. Possible majors include the following:

  • Human services management degree programs provide students with an understanding of the role of public service. Students will learn basic public service administration skills.
  • Public administration programs teach students how to apply business skills and principles in the public service sector. Students learn to develop, fund and implement programs while working with other public service agencies.
  • Public policy degree programs examine how and why public policy is formed. Students look at the theories and principles behind policy and explore the effects on society.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Seton Hall University

    Seton Hall University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Seton Hall University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
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