Five Career Paths For Homeland Security Majors

A career in homeland security is for mission-oriented individuals with a passion for serving their country. Although national protection doesn’t fall under the purview of any one department or tier of government, the department of homeland security is largely responsible for safeguarding the nation from all threats. Plus, homeland security jobs cover many paths, from border security and emergency response units to cybersecurity and counterterrorism.

What is the Department of Homeland Security?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is at the forefront of defending the nation of the United States and protecting its citizens from national threats such as natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and public health issues. It encompasses a variety of career paths that represent the culmination of efforts toward the protection of the U.S, its citizens, and its national and international interests. 

More than 240k employees currently work under the umbrella of DHS with wide-ranging capabilities working towards the same goal of protecting the country.

What is it like working in homeland security?

Those who value helping others in need find working in homeland security extremely fulfilling and rewarding. Although everyone working in homeland security shares the same purpose, the career paths can not be more different. After all, it is a diverse and extensive field. 

The services of a homeland security professional are needed in all government and private sectors. Working in homeland security requires considering risks specific to your organization and developing mitigation plans. 

If your goal is to work in a lucrative positive that offers unprecedented potential for professional development, you’ve made the right choice by majoring in homeland security.

Today we have put together a list of jobs with homeland security degree that offer high-paying salaries, market-competitive perks, and unlimited potential for personal and professional growth. Keep scrolling if you want to learn more.

Five career paths for homeland security majors

1.  Chief Security Officer

The chief security officer (CSO) is one of the highest-ranking executives in the company. The primary responsibility of this role is to ensure that all the security needs of the organizations are met. The CSO is an extension of the role of chief information security officer as it shares all the same responsibilities. However, it also includes protecting physical business assets, including facilities and employees, and critical digital infrastructure and assets.

As a CSO, your role is to ensure efficiency in all security processes. The CSO is responsible for guiding operational risk-management procedures, supervising security personnel and contractors, and directing the design, development, and execution of security standards, regulations, and protocols. Chief security offices work in various business settings, from for-profit businesses to nonprofit organizations and in all sectors of government and private institutions.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most CSOs make an average annual salary of $174,286 with a career outlook of 31% from 2019 to 2029.

2.  Criminal Investigator

Criminal investigators, as the name implies, investigate and collect data relevant to open criminal cases. They participate in every stage of criminal investigation, from raiding and arrests to interrogations, monitoring, and assessing the suspects.

An average day at work includes collecting statements from the witnesses, plaintiffs, and suspects, maintaining a record of the investigation progress and information on the suspects, and reporting all of it to a superior. Criminal investigators can fit in almost all government departments across the board, from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They serve the government at all levels, the commercial sectors, the armed forces, and other establishments.

According to the BLS, criminal investigators make an annual salary of $86,030 and a faster-than-average career outlook of 5%.

3.  Business Continuity Manager

Business continuity managers oversee the formulation of policies, processes, and programs designed to keep their organization running and functional in the face of crisis, whether natural or man-made. The role is responsible for managing critical resources and equipment across business divisions, coordinating employee training and drills, and developing disaster recovery plans.

In the event of a crisis, the top priority of a business continuity manager is to ensure that their strategies and plans get carried out as per instructions. In addition, they create and maintain disaster recovery documents and procedures and perform risk assessments. However, the specifics of their responsibilities change depending on their place of employment.

They can work in various private settings, from nonprofit and charity organizations to public institutions like hospitals and universities. The average annual salary of a Business Continuity Manager is $128,548.

4.  Emergency Management Director

The emergency management director (EMD) prepares for and responds to emergency events like natural catastrophes. In the event of an emergency, these specialists work in tandem with public safety personnel, political leaders, nonprofit groups, and government agencies to limit the extent of the damage and destruction.

The primary responsibility of the emergency management director is drafting emergency plans, supervising employee, volunteer, and local agency drills and training exercises, issuing alerts, and maintaining equipment and supplies for use in emergencies across different locations.

EMDs work in various government, federal, and municipal capacities. They can work in private and public establishments, including schools, businesses, charities, and universities. According to the BLS, most EMDs make a median annual salary of $74,590, with a career outlook of 4% from 2019 to 2029.

5.  Criminal Intelligence Analyst

Criminal intelligence analysts compile and assess data from various government databases, including data from law enforcement agencies and intelligence networks, to identify and mitigate potential criminal risks. In addition, they conduct complex analyses of all available data, such as images, videos, or documents, to anticipate criminal or terrorist threats.

Their responsibilities include maintaining all relevant databases, investigating risks and threats, and liaising with the government to deliver optimal results. They can work for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), private enterprises, and other commercial establishments that work with or under the government. 

Bottom Line

A career in homeland security is the dream job for any true patriot. Moreover, the Department of Homeland Security is known for high-paying jobs with excellent job security and great opportunities for professional growth. Not to mention the diverse career paths you can opt for with a major in homeland security. The above-discussed career paths are ideally suited for anyone with a degree in homeland security. Look through our list to determine which career path best suits your interests and goals.

Rylie Holt