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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Public Safety and Security

Majors Overview March 18, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in Public Safety & Security and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Public Safety & Security

Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in public safety and security are imparted a strong grasp of the mode of operation of safety and security agencies and can expect to become adept at analyzing safety and security risks as well as devising plans to counter such threats. Many programs also teach leadership and managerial skills. Given the stressful nature of the field, students may be taught stress reduction and self-care techniques to enhance their focus while on the job.

Educational Requirements

Most bachelor’s degree programs do not have specific requirements beyond what is usually needed for admission to the school. There is no recommended course of study for high school students. However, some programs are designed specifically for individuals already working in the field that wish to further their education and advance their careers. These programs may require that each applicant already have an associate’s degree or professional work experience in a related field, such as loss prevention or law enforcement.

Coursework

Coursework is devised to teach enrolled students the various modes of communication employed by state and federal agencies as well as sharing of information with private security agencies. Students also learn about how working conditions may vary by state as well as how working in the private sector can differ from working in the public sector.

Given the dynamic changes in security threats, the program often explores current events, and students who want to become adept at finding and interpreting information on evolving threats. Apart from education about handling of emergencies and disasters, the program also imparts instruction about preventing them from occurring. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Self-care and stress reduction
•Disaster and crisis response
•Media and public relations
•Public policy
•Risk management
•Emergency management
•Working with federal and local agencies
•Creating and maintaining operating budgets
•Bio-hazard weapons and weapons of mass destruction
•Terrorism

Career Choices

Those who complete the program may seek occupations with government agencies as well as private sector. As the scope of their operations expands to become international, many companies accord importance to the need for safety and security for buildings and employees abroad. Individuals may seek careers with private companies that provide protection and security services. They may choose from popular career options such as:

•Executive protection officer
•Personnel security specialist
•Industrial espionage security specialist
•Executive protection officer
•Private or corporate investigator

Job and Wage Outlook

A high job growth rate of 11% has been predicted for private detectives and investigators over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The optimistic prediction is credited to the expected need for protection of confidential information resulting from heightened security concerns. In May 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $45,740 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program may opt for continuing education and boost their career prospects by earning master’s degrees in public safety and security. Licensure, including continuing education, may be compulsory in some states; local professional organizations may satisfy the continuing education requirements by offering seminars that meet the need.

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