The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employs more than 240,000 workers across 14 divisions. An associate degree in homeland security can provide specialized training that prepares graduates for employment within the DHS or for work in a related profession.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the addition of nearly 100,000 protective service jobs between 2019 and 2029. With relevant training in law enforcement, disaster management, and security, homeland security graduates can qualify for many of these positions.

Read on for more information about associate in homeland security programs and potential career opportunities.

Should I Get an Associate in Homeland Security?

Most online associate in homeland security programs cover the major divisions of the field, including cybersecurity, emergency management, and national intelligence.

An associate degree in homeland security typically requires 60 credits, which students can complete in about two years. Most online associate in homeland security programs cover the field's major divisions, including cybersecurity, emergency management, and national intelligence.

These programs prepare graduates to pursue various entry-level careers, such as protective service professions. The BLS projects jobs for protective service professionals to grow 3% between 2019 and 2029, similar to the average rate for all occupations. Graduates may also look into cybersecurity positions, which boast projected growth rates nearly eight times the national average.

Instead of entering the workforce, graduates with an associate degree in homeland security can also pursue more advanced training. For example, they can apply their training to a bachelor's in homeland security or opt for a degree in an adjacent field, such as information security or criminal justice.

In this discipline, training rarely ends with the completion of a homeland security degree. Prospective police officers must usually complete a training academy program for employment, and cybersecurity specialists may need certifications or continued education.

Check out the Best Online Associate in Homeland Security Programs

What Will I Learn in a Homeland Security Associate Program?

Courses in an associate program in homeland security can vary considerably depending on the school. In addition to general education, most programs cover topics like terrorism, disaster response, and cybersecurity. Enrollees develop specialized law enforcement knowledge and skills.

Most online associate degrees in homeland security award an associate of arts (AA), an associate of science (AS), or an associate of applied science (AAS). AA and AS degrees differ only slightly in the type of electives and general education coursework they offer. AAS degrees, however, typically emphasize practical and DHS-focused training and skills, which may benefit those seeking an entry-level career after graduation.

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What Can I Do With an Associate in Homeland Security?

An associate degree in homeland security provides learners with broad training that can apply to various career pathways. Graduates gain the skills to pursue entry-level positions in law enforcement and criminal justice. In some cases, they may qualify for additional training programs or certification exams required for employment.

These degrees also grant access to various educational pathways. The following lists feature some of the more popular paths students can take.

Popular Career Paths

Popular Continued Education Paths

How Much Money Can I Make With an Associate in Homeland Security?

Salary for graduates with an associate degree in homeland security depends on location, title, and experience. According to the BLS, protective service professionals earned a median annual salary of $43,710 in 2020, while police officers and detectives earned $67,290.

Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Homeland Security Programs

What is homeland security?

Homeland security programs prepare students for DHS jobs. The discipline focuses on various protective service fields, such as law enforcement and disaster management. Homeland security degrees ensure students understand the nation's different threats and how to defend against them.

What kind of jobs can I get with an associate in homeland security?

An associate degree in homeland security can lead to employment with DHS, law enforcement agencies, and different security organizations. Graduates can also apply their training to criminal justice and law. Some learners may continue their education and pursue a bachelor's degree or certification.

Is an associate in homeland security worth it?

For many students, an associate degree in homeland security proves useful and rewarding. Graduates can pursue careers in different fields and industries. They also gain the opportunity to help their community and country.

How long does it take to get an associate in homeland security?

The typical associate degree in homeland security takes two years to complete. An online associate degree in homeland security may feature more condensed schedules and shorter completion timelines. Conversely, part-time programs allow learners to take fewer courses and complete coursework at a slower pace.

What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with an associate in homeland security?

Salary potential for homeland security graduates depends on the field they choose. Police officers and detectives earned a median annual salary of $67,290 in 2020, according to the BLS. The top 10% of earners made more than $113,000 per year.