The topics of terrorism and national security have become an inherent part of our country’s dialogue since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Each year, the importance placed upon homeland security continues to grow. Border protection is increasing in priority. Airport security is being ever-enhanced. Cybersecurity is reaching top precedence for government officials. Contingency plans for natural disasters are more developed than ever before.
Shortly after September 2001 was the inception of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Today, over 200,000 federal employees work within the Department’s many arms, protecting and guarding the nation from both man-made and natural crises. And that number only continues to grow. Amidst job recessions and economic struggles, trained homeland security professionals remain in high demand.
If you are devoted to protecting others and keeping the population safe, a homeland security career may be the right path for you. Perhaps that is why you are here. You may be considering college-level homeland security training, but are unsure of the career options available to program graduates. You may be asking exactly what can you do with a homeland security degree?
It is important to know that a homeland security degree will prepare you for some of the most intensive, critical careers in America – from military to corporate and federal to personal security. This degree will arm you with the skills and knowledgebase needed to safeguard the freedom and safety of all U.S. citizens, close friends and distant neighbors alike. With the right education under your belt, you will be prepared to step up as a leader in times of national need.
As a frontrunner in homeland security education, Goodwin College knows first-hand the variety of career options available to those holding a homeland security degree. We also know that these positions can be highly competitive, which is why our associate degree program is specifically designed with career success in mind. Here are some of the many careers you can land upon completing Goodwin’s homeland security program in Connecticut.
- Border Patrol Agent – Border patrol agents are employed along the 7,000 miles of physical U.S. boundaries. These professionals have two primary initiatives in their homeland security role. This first is to prevent the illegal entry of persons into the country, namely so that criminals cannot flee to America. Border patrol agents also promote homeland security by stopping people from bringing illegal items and substances into the country, such as weapons or drugs.
- TSA Specialist – In the same token of border patrol agents, TSA agents specialize in the safeguarding of U.S. borders, protecting airports, seaports, railways, and other methods of travel from illegal or dangerous activity. These workers are employed by the Department of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and screen travelers for possible foreign or illicit paraphernalia. As an example, these are the professionals you encounter in airport Customs.
- Cybercrime Investigator – Cybercrime is becoming increasingly important, as system hacks on government, business, and personal accounts have become more and more common in recent years. Cybercrime investigators, as a result, are in high demand. These professionals primarily work in large corporations and are responsible for investigating criminal activity on the Internet and in system databases. For example, they may work to recover file systems on corporate computers that have been hacked. They may gather electronic evidence to document and prosecute crimes. They may also spend time testing security systems of large corporations, to ensure that private computer networks are completely confidential.
- Computer Security Analyst – Similar to cybercrime investigators, computer security analysts (also known as information security analysts) work to protect electronic information and the various computer systems that hold and move confidential information. These professionals have a strong understanding of computer science, technology, and the ability to problem-solve. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “These specialists make sure that important information gets to the right place and doesn’t get into the wrong hands.”
- First Responder – First responders, or emergency responders, work to help victims (individuals, businesses, and communities) of both manmade and natural disasters. While specific duties of first responders can vary, all of these workers are involved in the mitigation, preparedness, and recovery of those affected by catastrophe. These are the professionals you may see first at the scene of an accident. These are the professionals you may see fighting fires or saving others from hazardous situations. These are the people you may on national disaster response teams like the American Red Cross, taking action in drastic and damaging events like Hurricane Katrina.
- Corrections Officer – Corrections officers work in correctional facilities such as prisons to oversee operations and supervise inmates. On a daily basis, these officers are responsible for maintaining the security of their facility – monitoring visitors and inmates, as well as prison parameters and inmate activities, to ensure that each individual stays safe. In a correctional facility, safety and security are of utmost priority. Correctional officers need to regularly administer security checks and patrol the prison for any dangerous or emergency situations. If an inmate or staff member is in trouble, corrections officers work to diffuse those situations immediately.
From corrections to computer security, border protection to first response, the options are endless for those holding an associate’s homeland security degree. The career path you choose will be largely dependent on your interests and passions, as well as the education you pursue. According to some recent studies, those holding homeland security or related degrees (such as a law enforcement or criminal justice degree) will earn an average of $15,000 more per year than non-degree holders.
To learn more about the different homeland security careers, or to get started on your homeland security degree today, please call Goodwin College at 800-889-3282 or visit goodwin.edu/protectors.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.