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Terrorism & Counterterrorism Studies Bachelor's Degree Info

Students interested in terrorism and counterterrorism studies can pursue a bachelor's degree in either homeland security or criminal justice with a terrorism and homeland security concentration. Keep reading to compare these two programs and their outcomes.

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Essential Information

Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness students learn how to prepare and review previous plans for all types of national emergencies in the private and public domain, how to react to on-going disasters and how to enforce the proper procedure and protocol for recovery from the disaster.

Bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice with specializiations in homeland security and terrorism provide training to analyze and react to intel received and to execute counterterrorism operations nationally and internationally. Upon graduation from either program, students are prepared to work in homeland security positions, such as emergency management specialist or border patrol agent.

Both of these four-year degree programs require incoming students to have a high school diploma or equivalent prior to admission. Graduates may also pursue a master's degree in homeland security or criminal justice.


Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

This program offers students an in-depth education of the cause and effects of natural disasters, immigration issues and terrorist attacks. Some schools also offer a minor in homeland security and preparedness for students who want to focus on another aspect of their degree but still have the background needed for a homeland security career. A basic understanding of criminal justice will also be taught in the program. Students can add elective courses that focus on fire emergencies and responses, political issues and policies, criminal justice or public service. The following are examples of courses students can add as electives:

  • Investigation and analysis of emergencies
  • Criminal investigation procedures and protocols
  • Fire risk and investigation
  • International Government relations
  • U.S. Government and issues
  • Counter-terrorism tactics and psychology

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Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice: Homeland Security and Terrorism

The homeland security and terrorism program teaches students to combat the current ideologies, concepts and techniques of terrorism at the local, national and international level. The courses provide a basic knowledge of the legal system that students will need in anti-terrorist work. Some of the core classes for the homeland security major include:

  • Forensics
  • Terrorism and counterterrorism techniques and technologies
  • Introduction to terrorism
  • Terrorism weapons
  • Terrorism history
  • National security history

Career Options

The criminal justice degree gives students the knowledge to work for the Department of Homeland Security at several different positions. They could become U.S. border patrol agents, immigration inspectors, federal air marshals or work for the U.S. Secret Service.

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the homeland security department encompasses a wide range of career options from physical security personnel to IT experts. This department works around the clock to prevent future attacks, react to current issues, enforce immigration policies and oversee the Coast Guard. Employment should remain fairly stable as both full-time and contract workers will continue to be needed in the united effort to ensure safety within U.S. Borders.

To give a general salary idea for a few professions, emergency management directors earned a median annual salary of $67,330, police supervisors brought in a median of $82,090, and information security analysts earned a median of $90,120 per year as of May 2015, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov). Many active military personnel are involved with the homeland security department. Pay in that regard is based on rank and length of service.

Terrorism and counterterrorism studies at the baccalaureate level are available through homeland security degree programs, which focus on emergency preparedness plans and disaster response, or criminal justice degree programs that include courses in corrections, criminology and justice administration. Both options prepare graduates for careers with the Department of Homeland Security.

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