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Master’s Degree Programs in Disaster and Emergency Management Overview

Majors Overview November 9, 2015

Various terrorist attacks throughout the world are calling for more people to work in the disaster and emergency management field. The average job growth of careers in this field will increase faster during the next several years. Those with an interest should look into master’s degree programs in disaster and emergency management.

Master’s Programs in Disaster and Emergency Management

Criteria for admission to a master’s program in disaster and emergency management, such as the Master of Science (M.S.) in Emergency Management, commonly require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in any major. Standardized essays, graduate admission tests, a personal interview, and references may be requirements for admission to some programs.

As the focus of coursework in disaster and emergency management programs is on public policy and management issues, an academic background in these subject areas, though not mandatory, could prove helpful.

Coursework

A master’s in public affairs or public administration is available through many schools, with a specialization in disaster and emergency management. Program coursework covers topic areas such as management, information technology, ethics, economics, communications and municipal planning, with a disaster orientation common to all.

A fieldwork component is available in some programs, such as internships with international, national or local organizations, including the Federal Emergency Management Association, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, among others. Alternatively, students are given a hands-on, mock disaster management scenario where they apply their learned skills.

Students learn about preparing for and identifying disaster situations and emergencies, budgeting for disasters and emergencies, managing delivery of emergency services, and managing the public communication about disasters and emergencies. In some disaster and emergency master’s programs, enrollees may have to submit a master’s thesis and take written or oral exams.

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek careers in the public sector with states, municipalities, law enforcement agencies or the military. They may also find employment with corporations that handle sensitive information or industries that could encounter devastating disasters, such as electrical generation companies, oil and gas companies, financial firms and chemical companies. Other employers of these professionals include nonprofit organizations such as schools, hospitals, community service organizations and universities. These professionals would be required to coordinate disaster response, train community members or other employees for disaster preparedness and develop procedures and plans for wartime, natural, or hostage situations and technology disasters.

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2010, the U.S. News and World Report heralded the disaster and emergency specialist position as one of the top 50 career options. Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, these professionals are expected to see an average job growth. In 2012, 9,900 individuals were employed as emergency directors, with local or state governments being the employers of over half of them. In 2013, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $62,780, ranging between $31,410 earned by the bottom 10% and $111,790 by the top 10%.

However, average wages also vary by industry. In 2013, professionals employed in the following industries earned these wages – management of companies and enterprises pays an average annual wage of $91,080. The Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) pays an average annual wage of $149,410. Elementary and Secondary Schools pays an average annual wage of $89,490. Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution pays an average annual wage of $87,190. Scientific Research and Development Services pays an average annual wage of $97,390.

Median wages can also vary by geographic location, ranging between a high $113,730 earned in District of Columbia and a low $40,780 earned in Arkansas (BLS).

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  • Program topics include criminal investigation processes and ethics, criminal law, juvenile justice and more.
  • A B.A.S. in Criminal Justice program is also available for students who already possess an A.A.S.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found
  • Develop and apply basic statistical skills and quantitative reasoning for critical evaluation of quantitative information.
  • Understand the roles, functions, and impacts of an effective criminal justice system.
  • Examine ethical standards and issues in criminal justice processes and in professional decision making including the ever-present tension between crime control and appropriate civil liberties.
  • Survey a range of theoretical approached that explain crime and apply theoretical reasoning and concepts to observations of crime and control.
  • Analyze, from a restorative justice perspective, the needs of victims and offenders and the involved community as an alternative to satisfying abstract legal principals or punishing the offender.
  • Appreciate the investigative profession as a scientific field; sample and apply physical science methods to solve forensic problems.
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  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
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  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
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  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
  • Get Matched to the Right Forensic Science, Law Enforcement, Policing, Homeland Security and National Defense, and Criminal Justice Degree Program for YOU.
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  • Start Using our Fast, Free, and Easy Matching Service Right HERE and Right NOW!
  • Online Courses
  • Average class size is 25, allowing for more one-on-one time with instructors.
  • Has a 97% employment rate among available graduates.
  • All  graduates receive Lifetime Employment  Assistance—free and forever.
  • Michigan's largest independent college.
  • Most instructors are working professionals in the fields they teach.
  • Programs are continuously updated to ensure classes are career-relevant and in sync with what's needed in the industry
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
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