There are certificate, undergraduate and graduate level programs that will prepare individuals to work in business security; degree fields include security management, security administration, and security specialism. Student in these programs learn how to assess and handle security issues. Some courses and programs may be available online. To gain admission into these programs, some work experience is expected.
Career opportunities for program graduates could exist in corporate security, homeland security, corrections or law enforcement. Security professionals who have accumulated significant experience can pursue certifications that attest to their knowledge.
Certificate in Security Management
The prospective business security professional can pursue such certificate programs as security management, security administration and security specialist. Students develop the skills needed to measure security risks and assess possible damage while helping companies and organizations improve their security systems. Educational prerequisites may vary.
Courses examine aspects of criminal behavior and the effects on business. Sample courses include:
- Security law
- Loss prevention
- Electronic security
Bachelor's Degree in Security Management
Bachelor degree programs include security management and business or organization security. Students learn about the laws protecting business owners and study strategies for preventing potential crimes, such as robbery, computer hacking and arson. They are taught methods for evaluating a company's assets and how to operate private security systems in conjunction with law enforcement agencies. Admissions requirements may vary and include previous college credits, work experience and a minimum GPA score.
Classes include core courses and electives. Samples are:
- Information security
- Public safety and security
- Loss and crime prevention
- Organization leadership
Master's Degree in Security Management
Management professionals looking to move up the ladder in the field of business security may want to consider this graduate program. The knowledge and skills gained in this program allow graduates to apply what they have learned to security-related dilemmas. Other master's programs may be offered, such as business and organizational security management or security administration.
Transcripts from prior undergraduate work are usually required, as well as a minimum grade point average and letters of recommendation. The applicant may also have to submit an admissions essay. Students whose native language is other than English may have to take an English as a Foreign Language exam.
Required courses, as well as electives, are part of the master's program. Examples are:
- Business asset protection
- Emergency planning
- Security management and administration
- Management of critical incidents
- Security and information systems
Certificate holders will possess the skills to work in various security-related fields. These include:
- Corporate security
- Security analysis
- Law enforcement
Bachelor's degree graduates can enter various security-related fields. These include:
- Security management
- Emergency management
- Homeland security
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), security consulting firms are increasingly employed to protect a company's computer networks from hackers and viruses. In addition, government agencies have sought security professionals to counsel them on how to protect against crime, vandalism and terrorist attacks.
Information security analysts are expected to see a faster-than-average 18% increase in employment between 2014 and 2024, while security guards in general should see 5% job growth, which is a little under the national average of 7%. As of May 2015, information security analysts earned a median annual income of $90,120, while security guards earned a median salary of $24,630. Naturally, higher management-level positions within these fields tend to earn more than the median.
Continuing Education and Certification Info
Graduates of a security management degree program or professionals already in the security field can specialize in business security by earning an advanced certificate in organizational security. Students acquire management skills and technical expertise specific to the business security professional. Students learn ways to protect people, property, equipment, intellectual property and information from vandals.
The American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) confers three certifications in the security field. They are the Certified Protection Professional (CPP), Professional Certified Investigator (PCI) and Physical Security Professional (PSP).
The CPP is the highest designation earned by a security professional. Applicants must have nine years of security experience with three years as a manager, or a bachelor's degree or higher with seven years of experience in a security professional supervisory role. PCI and PSP applicants need a high school diploma or GED equivalent; five years of investigations experience with at least two years in case management is required for the PCI while five years of experience in the physical security field is needed for the PSP.
There are diverse education paths for students aspiring to work in the field of business security, ranging from certificates to graduate degrees. Work experience and certification are also critical for these professionals.