Homeland security touches nearly every professional field. It’s in both the public and private sectors. It’s at the federal and increasingly the state and local levels. And it plays a part in such sectors as technology, finance, and insurance. Through an online masters degree in homeland security, students can advance their skills in such areas as homeland security preparedness, mitigation, and management; cross-functional and media communications; infrastructure, cyber, and border security; and threat analysis and resolution.

Why a Master’s Degree?

Programs in homeland security are offered at every degree level. Even if you haven’t studied homeland security, a master’s degree could provide you with the necessary background. This advanced degree might be ideal for federal, state, and local officials, as well as those in the private sector who are looking for gain knowledge in homeland security topics. It can also be a way for those with bachelor’s degrees to enter the field, or those who already have a bachelor’s in homeland security or related field to advance. Some positions, such as in emergency management, may also require a master’s degree.

Getting Into a Master’s Degree Program

Requirements for online masters degree programs in homeland security will vary from school to school. Though generally, here’s what you can expect to obtain:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA
  • Recommendations
  • Official transcripts
  • Official GRE scores

Inside a Homeland Security Master’s Degree Program

A master’s degree in homeland security takes about two years to complete, depending on the program and if it’s full time. During this time, students can expect to gain a fundamental understanding of homeland security. Areas of study might include national security and intelligence; border security; laws, policies, and ethics in homeland security; communication and media in homeland security; and critical infrastructure and cyber security. Students will likely also have the opportunity to choose a specialization for more in-depth study, such as in public health preparedness, geospatial intelligence, information security and forensics, or agricultural biosecurity and food defense.

Even through online programs, students can have the opportunity to develop their leadership and collaborative skills. They might participate in simulation and experience public service leadership roles. Or, they might work on a project that can also add to their personal portfolio.

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

A master’s in homeland security can open the door to a number of diverse opportunities, depending on the student’s experience, interests and specialization. Homeland security touches both the public and private, in such sectors as healthcare, government, law enforcement, and business continuity. Graduates might find work for a corporate security firm, government agency, homeland security agency, law enforcement agency, private security firm, or nonprofit organization. Potential jobs graduates could pursue include border patrol agent, counterterrorism enforcement agent, homeland security manager, and intelligence analyst.

For those interested in furthering their education to the ultimate conclusion, there are opportunities to study homeland security at the doctoral level. Professionals who want to further specialize and become experts in their line of work might be drawn to such a program. Those interested in contributing scholarly research to the field might also want to pursue a Ph.D. in homeland security. A doctorate can also be a path to a career as a professor at a college or university, as postsecondary teachers typically need a Ph.D.