Since the events of September 11, 2001, the United States has created and staffed a whole new piece of government, and called it Homeland Security. This agency has taken over the primary responsibility for keeping the US safe from terrorism, both foreign and domestic. This has led to interest in and a need for ways to get a Homeland Security degree.
A degree in Homeland Security is not actually a hard thing to find– a fair number of universities offer them now, including online colleges. They are available at associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels so most students can find one that fits their needs. Getting a degree in Homeland Security prepares people for jobs in the still-increasing market of the field.
Subjects covered in a Homeland Security degree range widely from political science to engineering and psychology. The idea is that someone with this degree will have a widely-based enough education to understand at least the fundamentals of possible threats from a variety of angles. A good grounding in the basics of these disciplines also allows students to understand the higher level coursework in security and emergency preparedness and response that follow the foundation classes.
Most national security programs are careful not to focus on any particular ideology or political views. The education given in these programs is in keeping people safe from potential threats, not in being politicians, and reputable degree-granting institutes recognize and implement programs to protect this.
People with degrees in Homeland Security find jobs at all levels of government, from working for the city as emergency responders (police, fire and paramedics) to those who work for the highest levels of the federal government. The Department of Homeland Security has a very large budget and employs 170,000 people who serve in a variety of jobs. All of them protect national security in some way.
Because security is such a broad job field, there are many internships to prepare new graduates for the job that they will enter. The education in this field is a basic grounding in the principles of the field, and then the students learn how to perform their actual jobs during an internship or while employed in an entry-level position.
Because the budget of national security is so big, and because they have assumed responsibilities that previously belonged to other federal agencies, the job market for those with security experience and educations is still growing. A degree in Homeland Security gives a person a good chance of finding a job within the field, at least at the moment, and is attractive to some people because of this in our currently low economy.
Choosing any major because of the job potential is fairly common, but generally a bad idea. These people often find that their jobs aren’t fulfilling, but take so much time that they can’t enjoy themselves at the things they truly want to do. Homeland Security jobs are often those that require the full commitment of the individuals employed in them, so it could be an especially bad idea within this field. For people who feel that these kinds of service-based jobs are their calling, though, they can be extremely fulfilling.