Online Degrees for Homeland Security on the Rise

Homeland Security

By S. Eggers

Consider the following news stories:

The Washington Post reported on that D.C. police are questioning a man who allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail Tuesday from atop his van on a busy downtown street as a form of government protest.

In Minneapolis, authorities unsealed terrorism-related charges Monday against eight defendants they said recruited young Somali-American men to return to their homeland to fight for an Islamist militant group, according to Reuters.

In a recent poll conducted for WorldNet Daily by the polling firm Wenzel Strategies, two-thirds (65%) of Americans expect an Islamic suicide bomb attack on American soil within six months.

And these were just the reports for the last two weeks in November 2009.

So two things are clear: threats to the homeland and the need for homeland security will only increase in the coming years. To meet those threats and fill those needs, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will need more and more people.

When the World Trade Center Towers fell on September 11, 2001, they forever changed the landscape of New York City. But the brazen attack also changed the psychic landscape of the country, and ushered in a new era of watchfulness, fear, and patriotism.

Up until that time in the United States, security for the homeland was not even a thought, let alone a concern, until that terrible morning. In the months following, the Bush Administration established the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to make a concerted and coordinated effort to vastly improve the safety and security of American citizens, both here and abroad.

The early efforts included enhanced airport security with x-ray screenings of carry-on baggage screenings, metal detector screening of passengers and the close checking of passenger identification. To better inform the American people, homeland security officials created a color code to designate various threat levels, from green, indicating safety through escalating threat levels blue, yellow, orange and red. And border crossings became tighter, too, even the U.S. northern border with Canada.

Homeland security requires coordination of a vast people, organizations and businesses. According to Business Liaison Director at the Department of Homeland Security Rich Cooper, no industries or businesses are not affected, at least in some way, by homeland security. (Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Summer 2006, p. 4.)

The most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 183,000people employed by the Department of Homeland Security, making it one of the largest Federal agencies.

But this is just the beginning of the story. Not only is the Department of Homeland Security one of the largest federal agencies, but it is also spans departments, including the Bureau of Diplomatic Security; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection, United States Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and the United States Secret Service.

Therefore, a career in homeland security offers a wide array of positions. Meteorologists save U.S. lives by predicting and warning of hazardous weather conditions. Architects build structures to withstand disasters. Physicians help prevent the spread of disease and treat the injured.

Additional homeland security careers include: air marshals, program analysts, Coast Guard officers, business continuity expert, emergency operations director, border patrol agents, IT specialists, attorneys, auditors, chemists, physicists, forensic nurses, intelligence operations specialist and policy analyst. Online educational choices to prepare for a career in homeland security are also diverse.

Online college degrees include: Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security and Emergency Management; Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management / Homeland Security; Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice / Homeland Security; Bachelor in Business Administration – Security Management; and Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) – Terrorism, Mediation and Peace. 

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