Guest Post: Careers and Higher Ed. Opportunities

Education and Employment in Homeland Security and Emergency Management by Jesse Hartwell

After 9/11, our nation radically changed the way we deal with issues of homeland security and national emergencies. The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA) work to effectively mitigate the effects of emergencies and disasters through strategic planning and policies. But how are individuals trained to work in these and other types of security and emergency programs? The answer: two of the fastest growing college degree programs in the U.S – Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Homeland Security – Degrees in Homeland Security can be earned at the Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s levels. Programs cover the main issues in homeland security, such as terrorism, biological hazards, and information security. Classes may also analyze existing practices and develop ideas for new policies and strategies through research and collaboration.

Emergency Management – These degrees can also be earned at the Associate’s Bachelor’s, and Master’s levels. Emergency Management courses prepare students in risk assessment, management and prevention, mitigation, and recovery. Since emergencies and disasters can range from terrorist attacks to natural catastrophes, students are trained to handle a wide variety of situations.

Careers – Most graduates of these two programs go on to careers in government agencies or the military. Some of these groups may include FEMA, Secret Services, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and other public agencies and the local, state, and federal level. Possible career titles include Emergency Management Specialist, Policy Analyst, Coast Guard officer, Border Patrol agent, or Intelligence Operations Specialist. These types of jobs are needed in every part of the country at all levels of government.

In fact, due to the increase of laws related to homeland security and disaster prevention and management, both of these fields will see significant job growth in the years to come. Disasters such as the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina have proven that our country needs to be more prepared to respond to emergencies. While police officers and firefighters are trained to arrive on the scene at a moment’s notice, it takes strategic planning and policies already in place to help mitigate the effects of such as disaster.

Jesse Harwell is a former private investigator who now owns and manages the site Master of Homeland Security.  It is a resource for students looking to earn a Master's Degree in Homeland Security.

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