Do You Need a Military Background for a Homeland Security Degree?

Protecting the security of the United States and the American people is a noble profession, and one that people are willing to lay their lives down every day to accomplish. However, you don’t have to commit to military service in order to protect the United States. With a degree in homeland security, you can find a civilian-based career that is integral to keeping America, and its citizens, safe from harm every day.

What is Homeland Security?

The Department of Homeland Security is a division of the United States government devoted to ensuring the safety and protection of the American people and the nation’s borders. The three areas of greatest importance to the Department of Homeland Security are resilience, security, and customs/exchange. In this role, the Department takes action to ensure that outside forces, such as terrorists, are stopped and controlled to keep America safe. This includes work in intelligence, border and coastal patrol, transportation in and out of the country, and investigating threats to American security.

Homeland Security Degree

A degree in homeland security prepares you to work in the field of homeland security. Students can earn a bachelor’s degree, and may make the decision to continue in order to get a master’s degree. Typically, a degree in homeland security focuses on three areas: preparing for and responding to disasters, protecting critical infrastructures, and sharing and analyzing intelligence information. Within these three areas, students learn about a wide range of topics including terrorism, counter-terrorism, border and coastal security, United States security policies, intelligence and its role in security, and working with law enforcement in disaster response, among other things. The goal of this degree is to equip students with the knowledge they need to be integral in protecting the security of the United States and its people.

Military Background

Quite often, homeland security is equated with military efforts, and it makes sense to have an understanding of the American military when protecting the security of the United States. However, a military background is not required for a degree in homeland security. The Department of Homeland Security is a civilian division of the government, and anyone is welcome to earn a degree in order to work in that field. A military background may be helpful in learning about homeland security, and can give you better insight into what you need to do to protect the American people, it is not a requirement.

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 Homeland Security Degree Careers

Once you earn your degree, you will have the knowledge and skills needed to work in a wide range of careers, including emergency management, private security, airports, intelligence analysis, law enforcement, border patrol, customs investigators, and at agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Secret Service. Each position will have a different set of requirements, and the types of classes you take to earn your degree may help direct you toward a specific career path.