When you research the applications for a Homeland Security degree, there is a good chance that you’ll discover the possibility of working for the Department of Homeland Security. While some professionals chose employment in areas of law enforcement, cybersecurity or public safety, there are plenty of other exciting and rewarding pathways available to you.
Some careers may require specialized on-the-job training, but a degree in homeland security can position you for success in several essential sectors.
Law Enforcement and Prevention
Law enforcement covers a broad spectrum of careers. The DHS Office for State and Local Law Enforcement coordinates with state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies across the country. These professionals enforce laws and coordinate emergency response communication. These departments need professionals who can act as department liaisons between law enforcement groups and as on-the-ground support.
Outside of what could be considered “traditional” law enforcement roles, Homeland Security jobs can include a wide variety of federal law enforcement positions, such as customs officers, and border patrol officers, and roles within other agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Some of these roles might require a degree to advance into higher-level positions with more responsibility.
In dramatized television shows, detectives are depicted as suave and secretive super agents, solving extravagant crimes. This could be you! While these depictions are not 100% accurate, detectives and criminal investigators, who are sometimes called agents or special agents, gather facts and collect evidence of crimes. They assess crime scenes and respond to a variety of emergency and non-emergency calls. They also arrest suspects, interview victims, and write detailed reports daily that will later be used by legal professionals.
According to the BLS, detectives are typically assigned to investigate serious crimes, such as assaults, robberies, and homicides. In large police departments, detectives are assigned to specialize in investigating unique types of crime. They are assigned cases and will work on them until the arrest and trial are completed or until the investigation is closed. Some previous law enforcement experience is usually required to become a detective.
Citizenship and Immigration Services
If you are interested in taking on a less physical but especially important role, consider a career in citizenship and immigration services.
Citizenship and Immigration Services is responsible for processing immigration and naturalization applications. They also play a large role in establishing policies regarding immigration services. Citizenship and Immigration Services serves as a liaison between the public and the Department of Homeland Security. Your responsibility in this role is to enhance the security and improve the efficiency of national immigration services by exclusively focusing on the administration of applications.
This is an extremely important and rewarding position. Those in citizen and immigration services help make someone’s dream of becoming an American citizen a reality.
Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate
Do you have a passion for technology and protecting data? According to US Legal, the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) directorate assesses vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks in the United States. This department is also responsible for disseminating accurate information about terrorist threats to federal, state, local, private, and international entities.
IAIP is responsible for developing a comprehensive plan to secure the key resources and critical infrastructure of the United States. They also recommend measures to protect these strategies with other federal agencies.
In IAIP, federal agencies grant you access to all information and intelligence about terrorist threats and vulnerabilities of the U.S. to terrorism, both foreign and domestic. This can become your path to playing a critical role in protecting the country!
Transportation Security Officers
Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) are the face of the Transportation and Security Agency (TSA). For many people, working as a TSO has led to a long, fulfilling career with the federal government. TSOs are responsible for providing security and protection for travelers across all transportation sectors. Besides just generally ensuring that all travelers have a safe and pleasant experience, their duties may also extend to securing high-profile events, important figures and/or anything that includes or impacts our transportation systems.
The role of TSOs is to protect the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.
Homeland security and public safety positions typically have multiple levels of rank, and advancement is determined by the level of education, length of experience, and on-the-job performance.
A degree in homeland security will prepare you for a variety of exciting and rewarding careers, setting you up for a successful future. Herzing has an accessible online homeland security program to help you begin your journey. Get started today!
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.