What is an Emergency Management Degree?

In any given emergency, successful countermeasures depend on a successful process of communication and cooperation between community leaders and emergency response teams. Whether a person is a credentialed official or a civilian with formal training, every person has the potential to play a very vital role in assuring that emergencies can be effectively survived and recovered from with minimal casualties.

According to the Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management, emergency management manifests in a variety of differently specialized professions such as firefighting and law enforcement. Specific jobs in emergency management include homeland security officers, emergency management specialist, emergency dispatchers and more. Though emergency management professionals are not commonly employed to deal with the more complicated social factors of emergency fallout, they are very deeply involved in the community and contribute to facilitating order in the midst of chaos.

Earning a degree in emergency management will entail digesting material from program intended to foster a well-rounded skill set for handling global disasters and helping untrained individuals make it through them. Emergency management is divided into various subsections at different levels: the state level, the government level, and the federal level.

Phases and Principles

There are three primary phases in the overall emergency management model:

  1. Preparation
  2. Responding
  3. Recovery

The preparation phase consists of preliminary planning, teaching and training to maximize preparedness before disaster has struck. Those with proper emergency management training will put their community in a better position to anticipate and proactively respond to imminent disasters before they’ve been caught off guard.

In the event that disaster does strike, a strong preparation phase will foster an adequate response phase. If training in the preparation phase has been consistent, the community’s response protocol can be run through in an orderly fashion with a minimal chance of mistakes.

Should the preparation and response phases be run through as smoothly as desired, the recovery phase can occur smoothly as well. Of all three phases, recovery may be the most challenging of all. While the response phase will only last for the duration of the disaster itself, it may take several years before a recovery phase can fully run its course, at which point the community can ideally return to pre-disaster status.

In all different forms of emergency management, there are two core principles: accommodating the survivors and supporting the responders. In an organized emergency management program, participants will be given the right fundamental skills to adhere to these two vital principles in a variety of different contexts.

Industry Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth rate of emergency management is about 6%; this is about as fast as the average. The ongoing growth of emergency management has been indicated by a larger number of programs specifically aimed at giving out certification in emergency management proficiency.

Related Resource: What Careers are in Cyber Incident Response?

Currently, there are more than 100 higher education institutions and nearly 200 independent emergency management programs offering emergency management certification. It is not necessary to receive education at a college or university in order to become a recognized emergency management professional, though acquiring a degree may be advisable to demonstrate worthiness for certain higher emergency management occupations.