How Can You Combine a Degree in the Sciences with Homeland Security?

Homeland Security Science JobsThe bureaucratic nature of the Department of Homeland Security leaves many people feeling as if it’s not possible or logical to combine a degree in the sciences with homeland security needs. That could not be further from the truth, however. Degrees in science-related fields are of high value to the Department of Homeland Security and many other departments at both the state and federal level. By utilizing these skills to uncover threats, analyze their impact, and create new hypothetical scenarios that could lead to saving the lives of millions, applicants with a science background can add a significant amount of value to the agency that hires them and make the country safer as a result.

Get Acquainted with the Science and Technology Directorate

The Department of Homeland Security is a massive federal agency that includes everything from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to units that focus on threat detection, criminal investigation, and security-related intelligence matters. Within the Department of Homeland Security, the Science and Technology Directorate focuses exclusively on employing professionals with a science background to perform some of the most essential, hands-on work in national security. The leading job postings reveal a part of DHS that is rarely heard from and not widely known.

Nuclear Forensics Specialist

The Department of Homeland Security is extremely concerned with the threat of nuclear weapons used by terrorists. These “dirty bombs” could threaten the lives of millions of Americans in major cities all across the country. To help analyze, detect, and prevent this threat, the agency routinely hires nuclear forensics specialists. These individuals are responsible for locating potentially stolen or illegal weapons, honing in on their owner or the merchant who brought them to market, and eliminating them before they eliminate the lives of others. Specialists in this area may also be asked to draft new security and response plans to be used in the event of a nuclear attack, or they may be asked to com up with hypothetical scenarios for such an attach in major population centers throughout the United States.

Research Programmers and Analysts

Another central job at the Department of Homeland Security simply involves working full-time on security-related research. With a science background, prospective job candidates could find themselves researching everything from nuclear weaponry and dirty bombs to the effects of deadly compounds and bacteria used in attacks on subways, in office buildings, or in government buildings. Science experts will prepare reports on all of these issues and many others, which will eventually be directed to Congress and the executive branch of government. In cases of emergency, researchers may be asked to help guide a response plan based on their research activities in the past.

Computer Forensics and Threat Analysis

If candidates have a science and technology background, the Department of Homeland Security can put them to work preventing cyber attacks on major American businesses and public agencies. Applicants with a technology background may also be used as “ethical hackers,” who check for vulnerabilities in corporate and government systems, closing them as they find them in order to prevent foreign attacks. This job is in even higher demand in an era when cyber warfare is becoming the norm. Whether it’s groups like Anonymous or the alleged North Korean attack on Sony Pictures, forensics professionals in this field will certainly be able to put their skills to work on a daily basis.

Related Resource: Homeland Security Accounting Jobs

Excellent Opportunities are Available to Science Experts

The Department of Homeland Security manages threats of all kinds, and viewing them from a scientific perspective often helps to clarify their nature, scope, and potentially lethal effects. From computer scientists to nuclear forensics professionals, it’s actually quite easy and rather common to combine a degree in the sciences with homeland security work.