What Can You Do With A Homeland Security Degree?
The topics of terrorism and homeland security have become part of our national dialogue and news cycle since the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. If you are thinking about a law enforcement degree and wondering 'what does homeland security do,' then continue reading to learn more about pursuing this career path.
It is important to remember that this type of program is available at associate, bachelor and graduate levels of education. The types of careers you can pursue will depend on the level of education you have.
Some jobs in counterterrorism and law enforcement require you to be physically strong and fit enough for an active role. Many jobs, such as security screeners, are less physically demanding, and can be performed by most adults who pass the education and skill requirements a degree program provides.
Working for the Dept. of Homeland Security can involve many types of occupations and roles within this large agency. The most common entry-level homeland security careers fall within these types of roles: disaster preparedness and response, infrastructure protection, and intelligence activities, in both public and private sector work environments.
Those who earn a degree in this field can work in public safety roles, law enforcement, and private security, border protection, the military and government agencies.
Roles for those who earn a degree with homeland security in mind can include:
Transportation security screener. You know, the TSA--those folks at the airport who help you pass through the machines looking for foreign objects, the ones who tell you to take your shoes off and "Sorry, you're gonna have to throw that bottle of shampoo away. It's over the limit for liquids in carry on bags."
Emergency management. We need good leaders in the middle of a crisis. And we need good emergency management to help prevent man made disasters, and help when the unpredictable occurs.
Intelligence analyst. Someone who works in this occupation can help our armed forces and intelligence community analyze different forms of intelligence. In this role you can play a direct part in helping prevent terrorists and other enemies from bringing harm to our country. These types of positions are also available at some defense contractor companies, and some law enforcement agencies across the country.
Cyber security. According to this .pdf document about homeland security careers, provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is a critical and upcoming career area in the field. The BLS also states that there are countless careers in cyber security. If this career path interests you, consider choosing a minor in IT, along with your Homeland Security degree.
There are many agencies and organizations that hire graduates with homeland security degrees, including:
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- U.S. Coast Guard
- U.S. Customs Services
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
There are many campus based and online programs in homeland securities that can lead to many career outcomes. Whether you want to be on the front lines working security and law enforcement, or making an organizational impact at executive levels, you'll want to talk with several schools about career outcomes linked to their programs before making a decision.
Do you have a homeland security degree or work in the field? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Or you can contact us directly if you have insight about the field you would like to share in an interview or an article on our site!