Best Online Associate in Homeland Security Programs
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) comprises more than 14 operational divisions that work together to protect the country. Coordinating a diverse collection of security efforts, including border protections, law enforcement, disaster management, and anti-terrorism, DHS recruits and employs professionals from various public safety and security fields.
While DHS hires candidates from many different fields, an online associate in homeland security provides a uniquely specialized type of training for this organization. In addition to many of 240,000 DHS positions, graduates can access various security, legal, and law enforcement professions.
Read on to learn about this degree. For more information, check out our associate in homeland security program guide.
What Are the Best Online Associate in Homeland Security Programs? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|#1||Keiser University Fort Lauderdale, FL|
|#2||Hawai'i Pacific University Honolulu, HI|
|#3||Campbell University Buies Creek, NC|
|#4||Central Wyoming College Riverton, WY|
|#5||Georgia Military College Milledgeville, GA|
|#6||University of Maine at Fort Kent Fort Kent, ME|
|#7||Barton Community College Great Bend, KS|
|#8||White Mountains Community College Berlin, NH|
|#9||Coastline College Fountain Valley, CA|
|#10||Trident Technical College Charleston, SC|
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Best Accredited Online Associate in Homeland Security Programs
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What Can I Expect From an Online Associate in Homeland Security Program?
Most online associate degrees require approximately 60 credits, which learners can complete in less than two years. Most credits in these programs come from general education courses, ensuring students develop the fundamentals necessary for success at this level. Degree-seekers also take 5-10 courses in their discipline, which prepares them for entry-level careers and further studies.
Typically, associate in homeland security programs award either an associate of arts (AA), associate of science (AS), or associate of applied science (AAS). These degree types may differ slightly in their focus and goals, with AA degrees leaning toward the humanities and AS degrees emphasizing math and science. AAS degrees offer job-specific training, which can help graduates find employment but may limit their transfer credit potential.
Prospective learners interested in public safety or law enforcement careers should ensure their program features courses in those fields, whereas aspiring emergency management directors should seek out programs with planning and policy courses.
When choosing a program, students should consider how the curriculum meets their postgraduate goals. Prospective learners interested in public safety or law enforcement careers should ensure their program features courses in those fields, whereas aspiring emergency management directors should seek out programs with planning and policy courses.
Concentrations may be rare at the associate level, but students can create a focus of sorts through careful course selection and internship locations. Many schools offer pathway degrees for DHS hopefuls, allowing graduates to maximize transfer credits and move into a bachelor's program after graduation.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Associate in Homeland Security Program?
In a broad discipline like homeland security, courses vary significantly. The following section highlights common classes in online associate in homeland security programs, but readers should note that titles and descriptions may differ.
Enrollees learn how DHS combats terrorism attempts and threats. The course covers laws and policies, intelligence efforts, and the different branches of government involved in these events. Learners may also study the history of counterterrorism along with tools DHS officials use.
This course teaches students about the protocols and policies for responding to disasters. Learners explore the institutions and organizations involved at different events. Students may also delve into historical events and considerations for the future.
Students learn how DHS prepares for and protects against cyberattacks. Learners examine how terrorists and other external threats have used cyberattacks and what the future may hold for this field. Students also learn how to identify threats and recover from attacks.
Criminology courses teach enrollees about the fundamentals of crime. Learners may examine crime statistics, psychology, and various theories. Students explore the criminal justice and legal systems, the nature and causes of crime, and rehabilitation processes across the country.
Learners study the ethical framework implemented at DHS. They learn how the organization creates and enforces its ethical standards and explore challenges within the system. Additional topics include historical issues and public perception of conduct and force.
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What Can I Do With an Online Associate in Homeland Security Degree?
An associate in homeland security can lead to various career opportunities, including jobs in law enforcement, cybersecurity, and emergency management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the addition of more than 95,000 protective services jobs between 2019 and 2029.
The demand for public safety officials remains relatively consistent regardless of crime rates or the presence of actual attacks, which means that homeland security graduates should stay in high demand.
See where an online associate in homeland security can take you. Learn more about homeland security careers.
Police officers protect the people and property within their community. They investigate crimes, respond to emergencies, enforce traffic and other laws, and build criminal cases against individuals and organizations.
Emergency management directors develop response strategies for various disasters and emergencies. They establish a communication network with all the necessary institutions and parties and ensure public safety and medical professionals understand procedures and protocols. According to the BLS, 52% of these directors work for local governments, 15% work for state governments, and 8% work in hospitals.
Information security analysts help individuals and organizations protect against cyberattacks. They conduct information system assessments, highlight vulnerabilities and risks, suggest or implement security upgrades, and help organizations respond to and recover from attacks.
Security guards protect people and property within facilities, organizations, and venues. They patrol the area looking for suspicious activities, enforce rules, and perform regular security checks. According to the BLS, 56% of security guards work for the local government, 18% work for casino hotels, and 16% work in other gambling facilities.
Private detectives investigate various crimes and suspicious activity for individuals and organizations. They may conduct surveillance on a person, search for hidden or missing information, or seek out incriminating behavior.
Homeland Security Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Homeland Security Programs
An associate in homeland security provides great value for students looking to land an entry-level career with DHS. The degree is also helpful for learners who wish to build a foundation for further protective services and security training. Graduates develop specialized skills in homeland security.
Degree-holders can apply for entry-level careers in law enforcement, security, and emergency management. They may also pursue a more advanced degree, such as a bachelor's or master's in various disciplines. Some graduates pursue careers in adjacent fields like information technology and healthcare.
In general, protective services and DHS careers should remain stable for the foreseeable future. The BLS projects 3% job growth in the field between 2019 and 2029, about the same as the average for all occupations. The BLS also projects jobs for police and detectives to grow 5% over this same period.
Salary potential for graduates with an associate in homeland security depends on their field and position. According to the BLS, protective service professionals earned a median annual salary of $43,710 in 2020, just higher than the median annual salary of $41,950 for all occupations.
The highest-paying job for graduates with an associate in homeland security is police and detective work. According to the BLS, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $67,290 in 2020, significantly exceeding the median annual salary for all occupations. The top 10% of earners in the field make more than $113,860 per year.
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