Are you considering pursuing a homeland security degree online and wondering what the job prospects may be like after you’ve completed your courses? The homeland security field is very broad and jobs vary from entry-level careers, such as corrections or law enforcement, to more advanced careers such as forensics and homeland security researchers and analysts.
Having the right foundation and experience is crucial to work in this growing field. According to Wikipedia, last year the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had more than 229,000 employees.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites projections for many different career choices available in homeland security:
- Employment of information security analysts, including cybersecurity professionals, is “projected to grow 18% from 2014 to 2024,” much faster than the average for all occupations.
- Many DHS careers fall in the “Police and Detectives” field, such as asylum officer, immigration officer, border patrol agent, and immigration enforcement agent. The employment growth in this field is “projected to grow 4% from 2014 to 2024,” a little slower than average.
- Employment of floodplain specialists (Administrative Services Managers) for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is “projected to grow 8% from 2014 to 2024”, in the average range of growth.
When you decide to enroll in a homeland security degree online, there are a number of different courses you may be required to complete, depending on the school, program, or concentration you choose. For example, courses typical for a homeland security degree include:
- Cybercrime and cyberterrorism: These and similar courses deal with identifying cybercriminal activity and how law enforcement responds to these types of situations. Students will learn how to protect and gather data, as well as prepare crime reports for investigations. Some topics may include: data recovery, information systems security, digital crime, computer law, and computer forensics.
- History of Terrorism: Students will learn and explore various security threats and their effects on national security, culminating with the post-9/11 fight against terrorism. Some covered topics will include popular responses to foreign and domestic terrorism; political, cultural, and social causes of terrorism; responses to terrorism and policies of governing institutions; evolving definitions of terrorism, and the historical and modern impacts of terrorism.
The job duties of someone who receives a homeland security degree are vast and varied depending on your role or organization. An individual focusing on cybersecurity may be responsible for recovering and rebuilding critical infrastructure harmed by a cyberterrorist attack. Other duties may include detecting, analyzing, and mitigating a cyberattack; developing action plans to prevent future attacks; working with other IT professionals to secure critical infrastructure; and staying on top of changes in national infrastructure.
What you’ve reviewed so far:
- Researched the growth of the homeland security field, learning about the high demand projected through 2024.
- Reviewed the some of the types of courses that may be required when pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in homeland security.
- Reviewed jobs and job duties that may be required as a homeland security professional.
If you’ve decided that a bachelor’s degree in homeland security is the right fit for you, the next step is to research available online homeland security degree programs with an accredited university. Organizations like the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) strive to ensure that institutions of higher education meet acceptable levels of quality. Visit their website for guides on how to choose the online program that is best for you.