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College Major of the Week: Homeland Security Programs

October 01, 2009 By: Category: College Major Info, Homeland security programs

Lions, tigers, bears, hurricanes, swine flu, terrorists! Hopefully these aren’t things you encountered on your most recent trip to the zoo. But if you did, a degree in homeland security sure would come in handy…

A degree in homeland security is for those of you dreaming to protect our nation in any capacity—from natural disasters to terrorist threats, border patrol agents to computer programmers. Homeland security degrees can be applied any job that requires anticipation and intelligent action to minimize our nation’s vulnerabilities and protect the systems that ensure our American way of life. Such jobs exist in all fifty states, and on all surfaces of the planet.

Homeland Security Programs

 Homeland Security Photo by First Assembly of God

Finding Homeland Security Programs:
Several universities, online and on-campus, offer masters and undergraduate homeland security programs. Take the myUsearch college match quiz to find homeland security programs that meet your needs (shameless plug).

Employment for Graduates of Homeland Security Programs:
Many graduates with homeland security degrees are hired by the government, but there are opportunities in private companies and nonprofit organizations as well.

Federal Department of Homeland Security:
•    Created in 2001 in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11 to coordinate responses to threats to homeland security
•    Located in Washington but with job opportunities in many states
•    Employs over 180,000 workers
•    Include jobs as air marshals, computer program analysts, coast guard officers
•    Opportunities available for contract workers, such as those employees working indirectly for the department in research laboratories
Other Federal Agencies
•    Includes Departments of Labor, Department of State, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and FBI
State Employment
•    Work for state homeland security departments or in state jobs like paramedics, policemen, fire fighters, public works safety supervisors, just to name a few…
Private Employment
•    Opportunities are varied and diverse but include private security guards, body- guards, teachers and professors of security professions, biological hazard prevention and cleanup officials…

Qualifications for Employment:
Since the job is special, so are the qualifications, especially if you work for a federal or state government. First, you will undergo a background check for security clearance. Though this may require a longer wait time before being offered a job, it’s necessary to ensure that those handling our most sensitive security information are trustworthy. Second, it is required that homeland security employees be U.S. citizens. Requirements for private employees vary.

Job Outlook for Graduates of Homeland Security Programs:
A degree in homeland security is especially useful because it is so flexible and widely applicable to a variety of professions. Not all jobs involve emergency situations either; there are a great number of jobs that simply require knowledge of creating and maintaining safe and secure systems such as computer technicians and architects designing a building that requires an especially secure environment and structure.

With two ongoing wars, climate change causing disasters all over the country, new computer viruses appearing daily, and unknown security threats of the future, there is a high demand for professionals with homeland security degrees. Whether you are most comfortable behind the scenes protecting computer data and city infrastructures, or on the forefront as an emergency or law enforcement official, a degree in homeland security can get you there.

A Few Employment, Volunteer, and Education Links:

www.usajobs.opm.gov/homeland.asp
www.citizencorps.gov/programs
www.orau.gov/dhsed
www.studentjobs.gov/e-scholar.asp