As we’ve all seen in headlines over the years, disaster and tragedy can strike at any time. Forget the Marvel characters. Our country needs real-life superheroes to protect us in the face of danger. If you desire a career that involves an exciting day-to-day work life, while giving back to your community, you may want to consider pursuing a degree in public safety. But what is public safety, exactly? And what does this field entail? Here, we will explore this topic so you can decide whether public safety is the right career path for you.
What is Public Safety?
At a high level, public safety involves protecting the public — safeguarding people from crimes, disaster, and other potential dangers and threats. In the United States, public safety is the dedicated responsibility of certain government organizations and local departments. Think police officers, security agents, emergency response teams, fire forces, parole officers, and more. No matter the role, the primary goal of public safety professionals is to prevent danger and to protect the wellbeing of citizens, communities, and organizations.
What is the Public Safety Career Path?
If you can see yourself working in a role that keeps others out of harm’s way, a public safety career may be for you. Perhaps you see yourself working in Homeland Security, protecting our borders from outside threats. Or, maybe you have a passion for solving murder mysteries and dream of becoming a detective. Law enforcement and other public safety professionals play a key role in our society. Some careers in the public safety field include:
- Computer Security
- Customs and Border Protection
- Cyber Crime Investigation
- Drug Enforcement Agency
- Emergency Management
- Fire Science
- First Responders
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- Law Enforcement
- Transportation Security Administration
While some of these roles involve risk, they are certainly rewarding in their own rite. First responders come to the rescue when anyone is hurt or facing an emergency. TSA officials ensure safe travel to and from. Emergency Management professionals make sure we are prepared for national disasters. Just how are you going to land one of these incredible careers? While these all have their own set of requirements, you will want to start with step one – a great education.
A Degree in Public Safety
A public safety degree can open the doors to a career that you are passionate about. And, it is what many employers – federal agencies, as well local departments – are looking for in job candidates. A bachelor’s degree program, like the one at Goodwin College, puts a focus on the skills and knowledge that is required in the public safety profession. Some courses include:
- Grant writing
- Public policy analysis
- Research methodology
- Risk assessment
- Safety and security planning
- Cross-cultural psychology
An advanced public safety program helps students learn and apply their learnings to real-world settings and dedicated career paths. The program at Goodwin College is interdisciplinary, meaning students can choose to advance through with a specialty focus – either Criminal Justice or Homeland Security.
The Criminal Justice track emphasizes criminal investigation, criminal procedure, and the development of the criminal justice system. Homeland Security focuses on emergency planning, personal and physical security, as well as the National Incident Management System.
While not all public safety career paths require a college degree, it can certainly help you prepare for and stand out among the competition. Employers of security officers and police officers, for example, do not generally require a degree, but the coursework of the program will certainly help launch a career for those just starting out. On the other hand, many federal agencies and advanced public safety roles – which come with great earning potential – require at least a bachelor’s degree.
Emergency Management Directors, for example, typically need a bachelor’s degree, as well as several years’ experience in disaster planning, emergency response, or public administration. There’s good reason for it, too. EMDs lead response teams during and after emergencies – saving lives and preventing further damage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, EMDs earn a median salary of $74,420 per year. This is one of those great careers that offers a mix of reward and challenge.
A career-focused school like Goodwin College can help you land a dream job that fulfills you personally and professionally, and helps you reach success. Our Public Safety program is offered days and nights, on campus, in a standard 15-week format. This flexibility is specifically designed to help students who are balancing work, home, and school, to still attain a quality education.
If you think the Public Safety program at Goodwin College is right for you, call 1-800-889-3282 to request more information, or visit us online at www.goodwin.edu/landingpages/public-safety.
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.