The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in 2002 and currently employs 216,000 people in a variety of occupations. Students who earn degree and certificate programs in homeland security may go on to work outside the DHS in local or state law enforcement capacities, private companies, and more.
What to Know About Homeland Security Degrees and Programs
Counter-terrorist, disaster management, intelligence analysis, and law enforcement tools are taught in homeland security degree programs. Graduates go on to a range of careers: Border Patrol agents, emergency management directors; local, state, and Federal law enforcement agents; Transportation Security Administration agents and managers; and more.
An associate?s degree may be considered adequate preparation for entry level careers in local law enforcement, while a bachelor's degree or higher may be preferred for Federal careers such as those found in the DHS.
DHS employees are compensated on a General Schedule which accounts for education, experience, and job duties. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that all Federal workers employed in customs and border protection earned average annual salaries of $92,558 in 2009. Border patrol agents specifically earned $59,594.
The BLS reports that detectives and criminal investigators earned mean annual wages of $63,840 in 2008. Job opportunities in most local police departments are expected to be favorable, and the toughest competition for jobs is expected to come at the Federal level, where applicants are often encouraged to have a bachelor's degree, bilingual language ability, and some law enforcement experience.