Whether you come from a background in the military, law enforcement, fire or medical services, education, or management, if you have a passion for defending and protecting our nation and mitigating the effects of natural or manmade disasters, there are plenty of opportunities to turn this passion into a rewarding career in homeland security.

With more than 300 mass shootings in 2017, the rise of ISIS and other terrorist groups, and natural disasters costing the United States over $300 billion last year, skilled professionals are needed more than ever to develop the aptitude to think and act more strategically in the face of hazards. Earning a master’s degree in homeland security is an excellent way to dig deeper into the structural, conceptual, and intellectual underpinnings and implications of the emerging discipline of homeland security, enabling you to advance your career in this essential field.

Careers in the Department of Homeland Security

As the chief cabinet department responsible for public security, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is one of the largest employers of homeland security professionals in the United States. According to dhs.gov, its broad-ranging mission is to:

  • Ensure resilience to disasters
  • Prevent terrorism and enhance security
  • Safeguard and secure cyberspace
  • Secure and manage our borders
  • Enforce and administer our immigration laws
  • Mature and strengthen the homeland security enterprise

These varying missions are carried out by the DHS’s 14 Operational and Support Components, which include agencies such as the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and United States Secret Service (USSS).

Because each of these agencies have specific responsibilities in support of the broader DHS mission, homeland security professionals have a wide range of career options available to them and should consider their background, passion, and interests when choosing potential career paths.

Professionals interested in a career in disaster relief may consider working for FEMA, where job titles include, among many more:

  • Disaster Emergency Communications Group Supervisor
  • Mass Care/Emergency Assistance Crew Leader
  • Federal Disaster Recovery Officer
  • Operations Specialist
  • Disaster Preparedness Manager
  • Community Recovery Assistance Specialist

Those with a background in law enforcement may be interested in working for the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) to provide protection to the nation’s highest elected leaders, whether at home or abroad. Job titles in the USSS include:

  • Special Agent
  • Uniformed Division Officer
  • Criminal Research Specialist
  • Personnel Security Specialist
  • Operations Research Specialist
  • Special Officer

Similarly, individuals with a military or law enforcement background may consider working for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) to better equip law enforcement professionals across the country with the skills to carry out their jobs safely and effectively.

Other Homeland Security Careers

Not all homeland security professionals have a background in the military, law enforcement, or the medical field, and not all have a desire to be on the front lines of disaster response. Many professionals come from business or technical backgrounds and want to apply these skills to serve their country through careers such as:

  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Intelligence Collection
  • Cybersecurity
  • Law and Legal Services
  • Human Resources
  • Computer Science
  • Education and Training
  • Business, Accounting and Budget
  • Medical and Occupational Health

Whether you want to begin your career in homeland security or advance your career in one of these wide-ranging fields, the Pace online MA in Homeland Security degree can help you achieve your goal. Our faculty members have decades of experience in homeland security and are experts at delivering the skills and knowledge you need to succeed. The program is 100% online and can be completed part-time, enabling you to advance your education without putting your professional or personal obligations on hold.

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