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Online Colleges for Security Management Degrees: How to Choose

A number of online graduate and undergraduate programs in security management and homeland security are offered at traditional and online scholastic institutions. Read on for some tips on how to choose the right school for you.

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Depending on a student's current level of education, there are several online security management degree options. We will discuss various degree levels and the online learning environment and give some details about both bachelor's and master's degrees at different schools.

How to Select an Online Security Management School

Career goals are important to keep in mind, since undergraduate programs typically lead to entry-level or mid-tier security management work. A school's online media resources are important to consider as well, since students may not have access to a full campus-based library.

Award Level

Students should choose a program level and program focus based on their career aspirations. Depending on their positions, they may need to be technically proficient in the use of CCTV systems and access control systems. Some careers require familiarity with the Joint Commission security standards and other security protocols.

Lower-level positions in security management require at least a bachelor's degree in management and prior experience in the security field. Graduates with a master's degree in security management compete for high-level security management positions in federal and local government or special protection and security services.

Educational Materials

Most online programs in security management offer full online immersion enrollment, meaning that students are not required to visit the campus at any time. Instead, students download course materials, follow on-line video lectures and lessons and participate in discussions through the virtual classroom platform. This offers scheduling flexibility, but means that students must provide for their own work environment and academic supplies.

Since students in online programs generally do not have access to campus libraries, they may wish to seek out programs with substantial online collections of media and informational materials. In some programs, students will be required to purchase a desktop publishing program to write reports, essays and assignments.

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List of Online Security Management Programs

Online Bachelor of Arts in Security Management

The Bachelor of Arts degree program in security management offers undergraduate training that usually takes 3-4 years to complete. The program requires a core of general electives that include humanities courses, as well as skills in communication and advanced mathematics.

Students can often choose from a variety of specializations such as loss prevention management, government security and information security. In order to graduate, students must complete assignments, written reports, online tests and a final project. The degree program covers central issues in security management, such as:

  • Principles and theory of security issues
  • International and global terrorism
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Legal and ethical issues in security management

Online Master of Science in Security Management

The online master's program in security management offers students the opportunity to pursue a more in-depth study of the principles and applications of international and national security. Students at the graduate level learn to identify, analyze, interpret and implement arising problems in security management and administration. Students are expected to complete assignments, readings and a final research seminar project. Core courses include:

  • Research methods in criminal justice
  • Risk, thread and critical infrastructure
  • Legal and regulatory issues for private sector justice
  • Information technology security

Schools with Online Security Management Degree Programs

American Public University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Security Management, which is flexible and offers monthly start dates for courses. Students in the program can pick from four concentrations: general, loss prevention management, government security, or information security. Students who have already completed some college credit may be able to waive some courses. There is no application fee to apply to this program and all undergraduate books are provided in an e-book format at no cost to the student. An online master's program in security management is also offered by this school.

The John Jay College of Criminal Science offers an entirely online Master of Science in Security Management. Full-time students can complete the program within 2 years typically, while part-time students usually take 3-4 years. A thesis is not required to complete the program, but students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher who obtain permission from the program director are eligible for the thesis track. By the end of the program, students are required to pass a comprehensive exam in the field of security management. Students have up to three attempts to pass this exam in order to complete the program.

John Jay offers an online bachelor's-level program in security management as well, and applicants need to hold an associate's degree to apply. The bachelor's degree requires students to complete an in-person internship, though students who are currently working in law enforcement are exempt from this requirement.

The American Military University (AMU) offers an online Master of Arts in Security Management. This program is designed for individuals who want to pursue careers in law enforcement, military service, security, or civil service. Applicants pay no fee to apply and can finish the online application in only 15-25 minutes, after which they will be paired with an advisor who will assist them in completing the rest of the application steps. AMU also has an online bachelor's program in security management.

In summary, both bachelor's and master's degree programs are available online in the field of security management. Students should consider their career goals, how much time they want to devote to their studies, and what type of course content they are most interested in before choosing a school to attend.

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