Associate of Homeland Security: Degree Overview

If you want to pursue a career in homeland security, you may start by earning an associate's degree in the subject. Get more information about the curriculum and future possibilities for graduates.

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Essential Information

In an Associate of Science in Homeland Security program, students learn about the practices of the Department of Homeland Security, its regulations, institutions and practices. Specialization options include international law, terrorism, and emergency planning. In addition to coursework, students may also have the opportunity to gain firearms training from a certified instructor. In order to apply to one of these two-year programs, students must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and submit standardized test scores.

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Associate of Homeland Security

These programs are designed to improve students' oral communication, problem solving, analytical, and writing skills. Students can expect to learn about risk assessment and management theories, the criminal justice system, and threat protection. Current police officers, fire fighters and EMTs may be able to waive certain classes. Specific coursework may include:

  • Operations planning
  • Emergency & health services
  • Philosophy, psychology, law
  • Composition
  • Anthropology
  • Leadership
  • Government

Career and Salary Information

Graduates are qualified to work in a number of fields, including intelligence, emergency response, law enforcement and security. Specific career options include security supervisors and airport security personnel.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of security guards and gaming surveillance officers is expected to add about 55,000 jobs during the 2014-2024 decade. This represents 5% job growth, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the mean annual salary for transportation security screeners was $40,050, and the mean annual salary for security guards was $28,460. This occupation is expected to have a declining job rate of 9% from 2014-2024.

Continuing Education Information

After earning an Associate of Science in Homeland Security degree, individuals may choose to enter a four-year bachelor's degree program in the field. Classes may instruct students on how communities can prepare and recover from manmade threats and natural disasters. Students also learn more about seaport security, communication between agencies and fire defense planning. Possible career options for individuals with a bachelor's degree in homeland security include immigration officer, secret service agent, corporate safety manager and security consultant.

In summary, through introductory coursework in the social sciences, associate's degree programs in homeland security provide a foundation for students looking to launch their careers in the field.

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