Aspiring security guards may enroll in programs offered by community colleges and four-year colleges and universities. In addition to programs in security services, students may want to consider criminal justice or security management programs that may better prepare them for their future career.
10 Schools With Security or Criminal Justice Programs
There are a number of school across the nation that offer students the training needed to be a security guard. Here is a list of a few of those schools and the programs they offer.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Anna Maria College||Paxton, MA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$35,074|
|CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice||New York, NY||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$6,810 (in-state), $13,920 (out-of-state)|
|Eastern Kentucky University||Richmond, KY||4-year, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's||$8,150 (in-state), $17,640 (out-of-state)|
|Farmingdale State College||Farmingdale, NY||4-year, Public||Associate's||$7,808 (in-state), $17,658 (out-of-state)|
|Lewis University||Romeoville, IL||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||$29,040||Northern Michigan University||Marquette, MI||4-year, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's||$9,620 (in-state), $15,020 (out-of-state)|
|Skagit Valley College||Mount Vernon, WA||4-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$4,200 (in-state), $4,700 (out-of-state)|
|SUNY College of Technology at Canton||Canton, NY||4-year, primarily associate's, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's||$7,855 (in-state), $12,245 (out-of-state)|
|University of New Haven||West Haven, CT||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Associate's, Bachelor's||$35,650|
|Danville Community College||Danville, VA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$4,365 (in-state), $10,203 (out-of-state)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
When choosing a program, students should consider the following:
- Many states require certificates of completion for entry-level employment as a security guard as well as a second course and certificate to work as an armed guard and a yearly refresher course.
- Some schools are geared entirely toward training security guards, while public community colleges offer a wider variety of courses beyond security.
- Students who wish to pursue further education in preparation for roles such as private investigator or homeland security coordinator may wish to seek out a school that offers an associate's or bachelor's degree in criminal justice or security.
- Security roles are varied across different industries, and some specialization may be required.
Security Guard Certificate
Individuals seeking immediate employment may earn a basic unarmed security guard certificate. Some programs are for credit, while others are non-credit and take less time to complete. The length of the program, number of courses and specific number of units will vary depending on state licensure requirements. A course in firearms will be required for those who pursue an armed-guard certificate. Coursework may be transferrable to an associate's degree in criminal justice.
Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice
Associate's degree programs in criminal justice are two-year courses of study suited to prospective security professionals and police officers. General education units in math, science and humanities are required. These programs are often transferrable to four-year college or university programs in criminal justice.
Bachelor's Degree in Security Management
Baccalaureate-level programs in security management may also incorporate aspects of criminal justice, public safety or law enforcement programs into the curricula or degree titles. These programs prepare students to advance into careers in public administration, consulting, entrepreneurship and corporate security management. Programs may include an internship in which students gain practical experience. Course topics may include economics, professional writing, ethics and human resources management.
Depending on what level of security you want to work in, there are a number of programs offered that range from certificate programs to bachelor's degree programs. When choosing a program, make sure you are choosing the one that will meet you career needs.