Over the past decade, much focus has been given to the link between homeland security and its role in preventing terror attacks by homegrown and international terrorists. While that is an important part of the field, homeland security is much broader in scope.
Beyond counter-terrorism, a homeland security degree is designed to instruct students on border security, airport security and waterway / seaport protection. It also prepares students to for natural or man-made disaster management while employing the latest technologies. It includes data gathering, human profiling, applications of legal provisions, emergency management, and much more. Additionally, as a graduate you may be responsible for helping to craft and implement policies on disaster preparedness and response.
Graduates in this field use their training to address these issues and more:
- Online predators and child exploitation
- Human trafficking and slavery
- Immigration and border enforcement
- The safety of travelers at U.S port of entries, such as airports and train stations
- The prevention of terrorist attacks
- Proactive and reactive approaches to natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and blizzards.
Although it may seem like homeland security is a new discipline, many of these concepts have been taught in the military and classrooms for years. National security has always been a top concern, but the 9/11 terror attacks brought a renewed focus to how the issues under the homeland security umbrella are addressed.
What Will You Learn from Courses in Homeland Security?
Here is a glimpse of what you will learn in a homeland security degree online program:
- The domestic and international impact of current trends and their impact on homeland security
- The ethical and legal aspects to help support decision making
- Quantitative and qualitative theories to analyze data, graphs, and information
- Analytical and critical thinking skills necessary for success in this field
- The latest homeland security options for before- and- after the fact decision making
- Legal tenets and frameworks that can be applied in the field of security
- How to appraise different scenarios, and determine multiple courses of action for maximum positive impact
Homeland security professionals come from many different backgrounds with a wide variety of expertise – all of which is necessary to support work that is being done on a daily basis. There is no homeland security “type” – you just need to have a desire to keep the United States and all of its citizens safe.
Domestic Security and Cyber Warfare
Online courses wouldn’t be complete without delving into the world of cybersecurity. It’s an arena where hackers rule. But this just doesn’t cover bolstering firewalls for federal and state institutions. The private sector is also besieged by external digital intrusions that seriously hamper economic activity.
“According to the 2016 Global Economic Crime Survey, cybercrimes keep climbing with millions of dollars at stake. A small group of their respondents (nearly 50 companies) reported over $5 million in losses while 33% of these reported losses over $100 million all related to cybercrime. In the same survey, only 37% of the respondents indicated that they are prepared for a potential cyberattack.
The number of cybercriminals is also increasing. The FBI said that a suspect can range from a computer nerd looking for a thrill, hackers loosely associated with companies looking for quick profits, organized criminal groups phishing for consumer financial information, spies, terrorists, human traffickers, denizens of the Dark Web, and more.
While pursuing your bachelor’s degree in homeland security, you will learn the history, policies, and laws that shape the battleground today. You will learn real-life examples of offensive attacks and how they were best defended. You will learn the importance of intelligence gathering and how it’s applied to defensive and offensive strategies; and you will learn to analyze the level of threat, and research real-life cyber conflicts that happened and are happening.
What Jobs Can You Get with a Homeland Security Degree?
The Department of Homeland Security oversees several agencies which include Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Office of the Inspector General, Science and Technology Directorate, Information Analysis, and Infrastructure Protection Directorate, the Secret Service, and all five branches of the military
Below is a list of what you can do with a homeland security degree:
- Border Patrol Agent
- Immigration Officer
- Asylum Officer
- Detention and Deportation Officer
- Protective Security Advisor
- Federal coordinating officer
- Intelligence operations specialist
- Program and management analyst
- IT specialist (information security)
- Security specialist
- Protective security advisor
- Intelligence operations specialist
- Biological scientist
- Criminal investigator
You could also be a program specialist for FEMA, where you can focus on search and recovery, fire, preparedness, mitigation (natural or man-made emergencies), and national security. You can visit the Department of Homeland Security for more details.
You Want Action? You Got It
What can you do with your homeland security degree when you don’t want to be tied down to a desk, crunching numbers? There are a number of “in the field” opportunities once you’ve earned your homeland security degree. You could patrol areas, ensure order, enforce laws, investigate crimes, and apprehend suspects. If you manage to get a job with an anti-terror agency, you will be at the forefront of this country’s fight against terror. This is a high demand area that is always seeking skilled professionals.
According to the Bureau of Local Government Statistics, the DHS employed approximately 183,000 workers in 2006 alone. They were deployed as air marshals, border patrol, coast guard, paramedics, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and first responders in case of emergencies.
The world has changed since 2006. Wars and internal conflicts have displaced millions of people, changing weather patterns are creating bigger and more frequent storms, and cybercriminals are employing more sophisticated tactics. There’s a lot of demand in the industry for people who are willing to serve.
What Can You Do with a Homeland Security Degree? Work for Homeland Security!
The Department of Homeland Security is the natural destination for somebody with a homeland security degree. Among the are competitive starting salaries and the potential for performance-based increases, flexible hours, and the ability to achieve and maintain a balanced lifestyle.
The agency also has a program for recent graduates where they are hired while also undergoing training to hone their skills.
Be a part of something special and help keep citizens of the United States safe by pursuing your Homeland Security Degree. The options are wide open as to what this degree can help you do in your future work endeavors. The career is rewarding and one that you’re sure to have an exciting time working once you’re ready to graduate.