Homeland security degree programs are available at every level of post-secondary academic achievement. These include associate’s, bachelor’s and postgraduate degrees. In addition, certificate and diploma programs also exist. Some homeland security degree programs focus entirely on the issues of homeland security, while others allow students to concentrate on national security issues while earning a degree in a related discipline. These programs may also address a particular area of homeland security, such as disaster management or border security.
Concern about maintaining the security of a nation and the well-being of its people has resulted in numerous homeland security degree programs. Part of the reason why there are so many different types of programs, at all types of post-secondary schools, is that workers in many different professions have need of homeland security training. These people work in careers such as security and law enforcement, which may not require either a postgraduate or even an undergraduate degree, as well as in areas of business, management or technology that may require significant educational achievement. As a result, it is fairly common for community and vocational colleges, as well as graduate schools at universities, to offer homeland security courses and degrees.
Some homeland security degree programs are interdisciplinary in nature or may be treated by a school as a specialization or concentration, rather than as an academic major. For example, a criminal justice program may offer associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice with a concentration in homeland security. A business school may offer postgraduate degrees in management that likewise offer students the opportunity to focus their study and research on security issues.
Individuals who want or need to study homeland security issues but lack the time, money or interest in completing a full degree may want to earn a homeland security diploma or certificate. These programs are typically taught at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level and require a student to complete a series of several courses in order to earn the credential. While they are not full homeland security degree programs, they can often provide solid education and training. They can be particularly useful to someone who has already earned a degree in another area, but who wants to enter, or advance in, a homeland security-related career. For those who do not have a degree, or hope to eventually earn a second or postgraduate degree, coursework taken to complete a diploma or certificate may be transferable to another school or program.