5 Technology Careers in Homeland Security

Homeland SecurityIf you’re considering a high-tech career in government, be sure to check out job opportunities at The Department of Homeland Security (DHS). You’ll find a wide range of positions with attractive starting salaries and generous fringe benefits. You’ll also be doing your part to keep our country safe. Here are just a few of the many career options that await you at DHS:

1. Cybersecurity Specialist

Technology stops for no one, and it becomes more sophisticated by the day. As a DHS Cybersecurity Specialist, you’ll be helping to protect and safeguard America’s information networks and information systems. Do you have any of the following skills? If you do, the DHS may be able to put you to work as a cybersecurity professional:

  • Investigation or intelligence experience
  • Systems and networks engineering
  • Vulnerability identification
  • Cyber risk assessment and analysis
  • Digital forensics
  • Cyber incident identification and response skills
  • Software assurance experience

Cybersecurity and cyber safety positions are available in areas such as cyber research and development, fighting cyber crime, federal network security systems, cyber security insurance, cyber safety and privacy, critical infrastructures and analyzing federal network threats. Cybersecurity personnel also share information with and assist impacted entities while coordinating the nation’s response to major cyber incidents.

2. Information Technology Specialist

As a group, DHS Information Technology Specialists work together to ensure America’s safety. This can involve securing borders, preventing or identifying terrorist activities, enforcing immigration laws, protecting cyberspace and ensuring a rapid response to disasters. These tasks are accomplished by a diverse workforce of IT specialists all working together across many specialty areas. Travel and relocation are often required, but Information Technology Specialists are well compensated for their contributions to national security. The average annual salary is around $100,000.

3. Science and Technology Specialist

DHS Science and Technology Specialists (S&T) have diverse backgrounds in the physical sciences, biological sciences and chemical sciences. They may be engineers, operations research analysts or physicists. Like IT Specialists, S&T Specialists work together with other DHS employees to prevent terrorist acts, safeguard American borders and maintain cybersecurity. Through strategic planning, S&T Specialists work to ensure preparedness, response and recovery in the event of terrorist acts and natural disasters.

4. Emergency Management Specialist

An Emergency Management Specialist (EMS) can be called to the front lines in the event of a terrorist attack, a national crisis or a natural disaster. Emergency Management Specialists assist America’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by preparing Americans for calamities, ensuring a speedy response when catastrophic events occur and by assisting FEMA with recovery efforts. EMS personnel sync with other DHS agencies to ensure a timely response to threats, and they are often on call around the clock. They may be deployed to disaster sites to assist with emergency operations for weeks or months at a time. They may also be required to relocate temporarily to emergency sites where conditions are not only challenging but austere.

5. Computer Specialist

Homeland Security offers many opportunities for qualified computer specialists, especially those with expertise in a particular area or niche. DHS Computer Specialists may be programmers, systems analysts, software engineers, artificial intelligence specialists, network experts, security analysts or communication system experts. Computer specialists might handle anything from routine computer maintenance and designing federal data protection programs to situation monitoring and special investigations related to potential threats.

Related Resource: 5 Characteristics of Law Enforcement Agents

Applicants at the Department of Homeland Security are required to pass an extensive background check and to demonstrate required levels of professionalism, maturity, responsibility and emotional stability. Successful applicants must be able to work cooperatively with others on a team. They must also have well developed creative and problem-solving abilities in addition to strong leadership and communication skills.