Understanding Online Homeland Security Degrees
Over the years since 9-11, the field of homeland security has played an absolutely vital role in providing improved public safety for our citizens. If you're interested in public safety, problem solving, and investigative activities, you should consider a position in this field. Those with the drive and skill could go very far and find work in a variety of different areas.
Homeland security programs qualify graduates for work in numerous occupations. You could find work as a telecommunication specialist, a program specialist, a security analyst, an intelligence operations expert, a criminal investigator, or even and enforcement officer. In other words, the field covers nearly every aspect of law enforcement and public safety.
It can lead to jobs in nearly every public agency, as well. Along with local and state government positions, there are jobs in nearly every federal branch that a homeland security graduate will be qualified to enter. Jobs in the criminal justice field are found in the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the DEA, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Coast Guard, Customs Enforcement, Immigration, and even the Secret Service are all possible when you graduate from the right program in the homeland security field. Private sector jobs are also available, and if you're looking for a career that will be exciting, challenging, and rewarding then you can't afford to ignore the possibilities of a career in this field.
Current Programs Available
Associate degree: 2 years to complete
Bachelor's degree: 4 years to complete
Master's degree: 2 years to complete
Doctoral degree: 3 years to complete
Certificates: 6 months to complete
There are several different ways to enter the homeland security field. An associate's degree is the bare minimum and will cover the basics of security including planning and techniques. You'll learn the basics behind emergency services, threat assessment, crisis management, intelligence mechanisms, and more. Classes on international and domestic terrorism are also part of the basic curriculum in a two year associate degree program.
A bachelor's degree program is much more in-depth and takes a close look at things like global conflict, origins of terrorism, international terrorism, diplomacy issues, emergency management, and more. In most cases a bachelor's degree program will culminate with a capstone project that will allow them to display their mastery of the subject and qualify them for graduation.
Master's degree programs focus more on theory, research, and more. They'll also cover things like laws, ethics, national and international security, cyber security, and more. In short, they cover all of the specifics needed to assume high level or leadership positions in the field and are the best way to cement your future in the field. They'll also usually require capstone projects to be completed, along with exams.
Finally, doctoral degree programs focus on strategic thinking and crisis planning. The goal is to prepare students for jobs designing and managing various homeland security issues and it requires the completion of research projects, dissertations, and oral defenses of their projects. In some cases a residency requirement may also exist.
Basic Admission Requirements
The admission requirements will vary from school to school and will depend largely upon the type of degree one is trying to earn. Those enrolling in undergraduate programs, for instance, will need to have a high school diploma and in many cases will need to submit their resume, their personal statement or essay, recommendation letters, and more. Graduate degree applicants usually have to submit proof that they hold a bachelor's degree, and will also need to submit other qualifications like standardized test scores, essays, letters of recommendation, and more. Specific admission requirements will usually be found on a school's website, and it only takes a few minutes to look them up and determine what you'll need to submit when you apply.
Traditional vs Online Key Differences
Online homeland security programs are often designed with working professionals in mind. This makes it easy to focus on your current job or schedule and still fit your education into the program. Traditional programs take place in a classroom on a very structured schedule while online learning is available from your home, whenever you have the free time. This eliminates certain levels of stress, but it's important that students taking online classes be very motivated, disciplined, and able to complete their studies on their own. Those who need more direct contact with teachers may need to consider traditional programs. In either case, this program is worth enrolling in so long as you know what your preferred method of learning is.
Tuition is different for every program. Average costs for an associate's degree program run from eight to fourteen thousand dollars annually, while bachelor's or master's programs usually come to around eight to fourteen thousand per year. Certificate programs are around eleven to fourteen thousand. You'll usually have plenty of different financial aid options available, so finding the best way to pay for your degree isn't generally a difficult thing to do.
There are various accrediting institutions that offer accreditation to online homeland security programs. The ACICS (Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools) and the Higher Learning Commission are two national agencies that are respected, and numerous regional accrediting institutions exist as well. Accreditation is important because it allows employers to know that you've earned your education from a program that offers the fullest, best level of knowledge possible. Most employers won't even consider hiring you unless your degree came from an accredited program, and federal financial aid isn't available to programs without accreditation, so be sure to check into it before you enroll.All the schools carried on our site are accredited so you don't have to worry. We also display all the current information about the schools accredation on our site.
Finding the Right Degree
The key to finding the right degree is to know just where you want your career to take you. For instance, an associate degree is enough to let you enter the field, but will only allow you to assume entry level positions and may not qualify you for employment in some of the higher branches of the federal government. A bachelor's degree or master's degree is the option you'll want to consider when you're hoping to enter middle management positions or work in more advanced positions within the field. These degrees also allow you to specialize in various areas so that you can hone your skills and really take your career far. And a doctoral program is an option that will allow you to enter high level jobs, but is usually only worth earning for those who have work experience in the field.