In a world that has been forever changed by the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, undergraduate and graduate programs in homeland security have become extremely popular among today’s college students. That’s largely because there is both a significant interest in protecting the country form terrorists, and significant demand for highly educated professionals who can help guard against any type of future terrorist attack.
In the years that have ensued since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, these degree programs have increased significantly in number. They have also increased in their sophistication and instruction style, giving graduates a clearer picture than ever about how homeland security works, what they can do, and how they can be best prepared to do it. For those interested in protecting the national interest, there are five programs that stand above the rest.
1. George Mason University
Often ranked the first or second-most diverse school in the country, George Mason University has developed a reputation as one of Virginia’s leading higher education institutions for a wide variety of pursuits. Its proximity to Washington, D.C., makes it a great place for those aspiring to a career in the homeland security field.
Also boosting its reputation is a strong homeland security degree program backed by the innovative Center for Infrastructure Protection that the school created in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Graduate and undergraduate programs are offered in security, defense, and intelligence, and most of them offer exclusive access to government agencies, internships, and defense companies.
2. American Military University
American Military University is an online university that, as its name might indicate, primarily targets members of the military and their family members. The school allows for degree programs to be completed on a flexible schedule, and many of its programs are offered at an accelerated pace that works better for active duty members of the armed forces.
The school’s program in homeland security is among the best in the country, and draws on leadership from current and former leaders of America’s military. Because the school targets primarily those who are already fighting on the front lines in anti-terrorism battles around the world, its homeland security degrees are considered some of the best undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs in the field.
3. California State University at Fresno
The Fresno campus of California State University offers an online certificate program that it describes as the “advanced” homeland security certificate. The program is designed to be paired with the university’s criminal justice degree programs, and it’s one of the strongest such programs in the country.
As part of the program, students are educated in the government’s role in protecting society from terrorism, as well as the most common motivators behind terrorist groups. They learn the psychology of attacks and the groups who enact them, as well as the best ways to acquire intelligence, thwart potential attacks, and to keep people safe from harm.
4. Capella University
This online university has developed a sterling reputation for providing some of the most outstanding instruction to its students, and the homeland security program offered by the school is no exception. Students can climb the “degree ladder” all the way from a bachelor’s to their PhD in the field, without ever leaving the confines of the school’s online instructional tools and programs.
Each level of homeland security education offered at the school is taught by experienced professionals who have spent their career at agencies like the CIA and FBI, fighting terrorism and working to keep America safe from extremists around the world. That type of real world experience gives the program some of the highest rankings available by homeland security resources and professionals.
5. Long Island University
The degree program offered at Long Island University is a bit different from many others, as it actually combines homeland security studies with master’s-level management programs. The Homeland Security Management degree, then, is one of the most unique in the country. It prepares students to be either on the front lines in the fight against terrorism, or a behind-the-scenes player that can bring the right forces together to stop the next potential attack.
The entire program is offered online, with no offline component available to those pursuing the degree. That offers a measure of convenience that, when paired with the prestigious Long Island University name, will give students a great shot at landing the job of their dreams after graduation.
Great Programs for a Solid Start to an Exciting Career
The five degree programs mentioned here all have one thing in common: Their unique approaches, experienced faculty, and prestigious names, give graduates an advantage when seeking to land the job of their dreams and keep their country secure. With a wide variety of options, locations, and programs, everyone will be able to pursue the right style of education for their own aspirations.
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