Through a bachelor's degree program in public safety and security, students gain an understanding of how safety and security agencies operate, focusing on how to analyze safety and security risks and devise plans to counter those threats. Many programs also teach managerial and leadership skills. Because this can be a stressful field, students may learn self-care and stress reduction techniques to help them stay focused on their jobs. Prospective students of a bachelor's program must have a high school diploma, possibly an associate's degree and/or relevant professional work experience. Possible state licensure may also be required for this field before seeking employment.
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Bachelor's Degree Programs in Public Safety and Security
Students in this program learn about the various ways federal and state agencies communicate and share information with private security agencies. The differences of working in one agency versus another and how working in the public sector differs from working in the private sector can also be covered. Current events are often explored since security threats change rapidly, and students must learn how to find and interpret information on evolving threats. Students are taught not only how to handle disasters and emergencies, but how to prevent them from occurring. Course topics include:
- Working with federal and local agencies
- Emergency management
- Risk management
- Media and public relations and disaster and crisis response
- Bio-hazard weapons and weapons of mass destruction
Popular Career Options
Many graduates of public safety and security programs pursue employment with government agencies. However, other career options are available in the private sector. As more companies take their operations internationally, the need for safety and security for employees and buildings abroad has become important. Individuals may find employment with private companies providing protection and security services. Career options beyond employment with government agencies can include:
- Private or corporate investigator
- Executive protection officer
- Industrial espionage security specialist
- Personnel security specialist
- Executive protection officer
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't provide information specific to security specialists, it did state that private detectives and investigators would see a 5% growth in employment opportunities from 2014 to 2024. Growth is attributed to heightened security concerns and the need to protect confidential information. The mean annual wage for these workers was $52,840 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Depending on the job position and the state in which an individual is employed, there may or may not be licensing requirements that include continuing education. Many seminars offered by local professional organizations will usually meet the requirements. However, master's degree programs in public safety and security are available for individuals who are interested in continuing their education.
An undergraduate degree in public safety and security provides technical and hands-on training in all aspects of handling crimes and threats. Those who earn a degree in this field have a number of career choices, some of which require state licensure.