Protecting the security and safety of our country has become more challenging than ever. With an increase in global terrorism to the growing unpredictability of large-scale climate events, it’s no wonder that the demand for homeland security professionals has become one of the fastest-growing professions worldwide.
While most positions tend to be with local, state and federal agencies, many opportunities exist in private industry and the nonprofit sector.
“I’d say there’s not an industry or business out there today that’s not impacted by homeland security,” said Rich Cooper, former business liaison director at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, Careers in homeland security: Many jobs, one mission.
Much of that industry growth focuses on the role of technology, intelligence and law, and advancing in any of these high-demand specialties typically requires a master’s degree in homeland security, as well as a background in emergency management, public administration or cybersecurity. So if you’re interested in a career guiding and supervising critical domestic and global security decisions, consider these in-demand jobs set to experience robust growth in 2016 and beyond.
Policy analysts research, evaluate and shape public policy, usually for a think tank or nonprofit agency that provides support to federal or state agencies. Their work collecting information, analyzing strengths and weaknesses of potential policies, and describing fundamental ideas and concepts guides policymakers in their decision making.
Emergency Management Director
From terrorism to natural disasters and secondary disaster situations like chemical spills, nuclear incidents and power outages, the role of an emergency management director focuses on three critical missions: preparedness, response and recovery. They help organizations and agencies avoid these crises and, when that’s not possible, mitigate the impact through search and rescue efforts and the coordination of disaster relief activities.
Business Continuity Expert
The goal of any private sector business is to keep its critical infrastructure up and running in the event of any catastrophe, whether natural or technological. A business continuity expert works toward developing a stronger and more resilient plan to keep a business operational before and after a disaster event occurs.
Information Security Specialist
Information security specialists protect all types of information and the systems, computers and data responsible for that information. This job usually requires some background in computer science as well as extensive familiarity with data and information and current trends in cybersecurity.
Infrastructure Protection Specialist
One growing concern as a potential threat to security is how to “harden” soft targets, such as those related to transportation, utilities, financial markets and the public health system. An information protection specialist understands how these systems work as well as how to make them less vulnerable to external attacks.
So, if you are a professional with an interest in taking your career to the next level, a graduate degree in homeland security can help you become a law enforcement, counterterrorism, intelligence or emergency management expert and emerge as a leader in one of these high-demand careers.
Written by Thomas Edison State University