Homeland security entails the preparation for, prevention of, and response to both natural and man-made disasters, from hurricanes to terrorism, on both a national and local level. People who are passionate about dealing with the aftermath of attacks and natural disasters may be fit this field. Through an online homeland security bachelor’s degree, they can gain a broad view of emergency preparedness and security that can pave the way for a number of different careers in the field. Programs typically teach students skills in both areas, from emergency planning and response to cultural and political causes of terrorism and potential solutions.

Why a Bachelor’s Degree?

An online homeland security degree is often the starting point for those looking to enter the field. For students already with an associate degree in homeland security or brand-new freshmen, it can provide them with the skill set and knowledge to go into emergency management and government positions. At the same time, the degree can also prepare for graduate level for those students seeking a master’s degree in homeland security to truly become experts in a particular area of the field.

Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program

The application process for online homeland security degree programs will vary from school to school. But here’s what is usually expected of applicants to these programs:

  • High school diploma or its equivalent
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • University-approved examination

Inside a Homeland Security Bachelor’s Degree Program

Bachelor’s degrees typically take about four years to complete. This may be more or less depending on the program requirements and the student’s prior education. During this time, students can expect to take course work in such topics as domestic and international terrorism; diplomatic, technological, and intelligence approaches to national security; and multi-jurisdictional coordination. They may also learn more about the inner workings of the American criminal justice system and corrections systems. By the program’s end, they will be able to manage domestic risks and operational systems, analyze terroristic threats to domestic security, evaluate data and analyze the validity of the information, and evaluate the ethical implications of homeland security measures.

This degree often has a strong research and writing component, including legal and social science research. Students may also be expected to complete a capstone project in a specific interest. This would provide them with the opportunity to apply and demonstrate their understanding of the concepts and skills learned during the program.

What’s Next for Homeland Security Bachelor’s Degree Holders?

A major area that graduates of homeland security programs may go into is working for the government, either at the federal, state, or local level. They may also be employed by corporate security firms, law enforcement agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private security firms. Professional careers relevant to the degree include homeland security agent, border patrol officer, private security consultant, public security manager, counter-terrorism agent, security analyst, and emergency response manager.

Additional training and experience may be required for some roles in federal service agencies, business security, terrorism prevention, the courts, the military, and corrections. In this case, a master’s degree in homeland security may be beneficial for professionals with a few years under their belt looking to advance. The graduate degree would allow for further specialization and expertise in a field of homeland security relevant to your experience and career goals.