Bachelor's degree programs can lead to entry-level positions, while certificate programs are often available to those professionals who are looking to enhance their skills in crisis management. These programs prepare individuals for a number of difficult events that may affect public or private businesses. Such events include terrorism, natural disasters, layoffs and cyber security. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that emergency management directors are often encouraged to undertake voluntary certificate programs to refresh their knowledge of the field.
Bachelor's Degree in Crisis Management
Bachelor's degrees in crisis management can fall under titles such as emergency management or disaster management. Graduates of these programs are prepared to enter the public or private sector. Applicants must typically possess a high school diploma or its equivalent, and in some programs, they may be required to earn an associate's degree before gaining admission.
Students take coursework designed to strengthen critical-thinking, evaluation and communication skills. Internships or volunteer work may be advocated to help students gain professional experience. Coursework may include:
- Risk assessment
- Homeland security
- Emergency planning
- Vulnerability evaluation
- Disaster response
- Emergency management leadership
Popular Career Options
Certificate and degree programs in crisis management can prepare individuals for a variety of careers, including those in emergency response, hospital management and homeland security. In addition to the crisis management certificate, individuals may need additional education, such as a bachelor's degree, for some positions. Popular careers in the field include emergency planner, hospital emergency manager, and insurance adjuster.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
As of May 2015, the BLS reports that emergency management directors earned average salaries of $73,350. Between 2014 and 2024, the BLS expects employment for these professionals to grow by 6%.
Graduates of an undergraduate program may wish to pursue a master's degree in crisis or emergency management. Graduate certificate programs typically require students to have a bachelor's degree, which may need to be in a specific field, such as management, communication or social science. More general continuing education programs may require applicants to have relevant professional or educational experience; some programs are designed for working professionals, such as police officers or fire fighters.
Depending on their educational background and career goals, students who want to dedicate their careers to crisis management can get relevant training by pursuing a certificate, bachelor's degree or master's degree.