Homeland Security is More than You Think
Professionals in the field of homeland security prevent threats to the safety and well-being of our country and its citizens, including disease, terrorism and natural disasters. They also minimize damage in the wake of catastrophes.
A homeland security degree can train you to work in areas as diverse as cybersecurity, emergency management, transportation security and border protection.
If you’d like a great career in one of these fields, the best way to start is by earning either a homeland security degree or a criminal justice degree.
Where Can I Work with a Homeland Security Degree?
Since its founding in 2001, the Department of Homeland Security has now expanded to more than 240,000 employees nationwide. However, this isn't the only place you can find employment with a homeland security degree. Security jobs are also available in other organizations:
- Federal departments
- State and local government
- Private industry, such as security companies
- Non-profit organizations, such as environmental groups
- Educational institutions
Top Homeland Security Careers
There are many careers to choose from with a homeland security degree:
- Business continuity: Business continuity experts formulate contingency plans in case of catastrophic events and ensure that businesses and their infrastructures are up and running as soon as possible after a disaster.
- Emergency management: Specialists in this field deal specifically with planning for, preventing, and responding to disasters.
- Information security: Experts in information security use their knowledge of computer science to keep electronic data secure for government agencies and companies.
- Infrastructure protection: Professionals in this area protect our communications, transportation, utilities and other critical systems.
- Intelligence analysis: Intelligence agencies are a critical part of the homeland security system. Analysts interpret data that can help prevent security breaches and solve crimes.
- Law enforcement: Customs and immigration agents, border patrol, police officers, Secret Service—all are law enforcement professionals with important homeland security roles.
- Physical security: Physical security officers ensure people’s safety throughout the country, from shopping malls to businesses and airports.
- Scientific research: Scientists who work in homeland security may be involved in disease or bioterrorism prevention and work to reduce the risks posed by nuclear contamination, chemical threats and biological weapons.
Homeland Security Degree Programs
Homeland security degrees are offered at the associate's and bachelor's levels, and some schools also offer specialized certificates. If you are considering a leadership position, you will want to pursue a master’s degree with a concentration in emergency management, public administration or homeland security.
Salaries You Can Earn
Earnings are generous for those with advanced training in homeland security:
|Homeland Security Career||Median Annual Salary*|
|Information Security Director||$144,493|
|Disaster Recovery Director||$122,338|
|Emergency Services Director||$121,438|
|Public Transportation Inspector||$46,316|
Sources: Salary.com January 2014; Information Security Director; Disaster Recovery Director; Emergency Services Director; Public Transportation Inspector; Customs Officer; Department of Homeland Security.
*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.