An international hub for industry, technology, and commerce, Chicago is home to over 2.7 million residents. The city was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (2012). There are a number of institutes for higher education in Chicago that offer a wide range of learning opportunities in numerous areas of study. They also offer homeland security programs. Homeland security studies mainly focus on national security, and the courses taught cover many aspects of terrorism and natural disasters.
A career in homeland security can be challenging. Careers are available in prevention and response such as the U.S. Coast Guard. Some law enforcement careers also fall under homeland security such as Federal Protective Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, etc.
Homeland Security Chicago
Chicago homeland security programs range from the associate to master degrees; students interested in homeland security can choose to enroll in numerous levels of training programs in the field. An associate’s degree generally requires 2 years of full-time study while a bachelor’s degree is a 4 year program. A master’s degree in homeland security studies generally takes 1-2 years to complete but may take longer. These degrees enable students to learn about responding to terrorism, natural disasters and other emergencies. Students get a chance to learn about implementing preventative strategies, and direct emergency management.
Focusing on terrorism and emergency disaster prevention, a master's program in homeland security studies prepare students for advanced security careers with federal agencies and private security firms, allowing students to find out how to identify, analyze, and respond to security threats across the nation.
In addition to the degree programs, some schools in Chicago also offer certificate programs in homeland security studies. These programs can be suitable for students seeking additional credentials to build their profile and improve their career opportunities.
Students in homeland security Chicago programs will receive instruction in a wide variety of topics including government policy and disaster preparedness, as well as law enforcement, disaster planning and response, and intelligence. Other topics of study may include:
Politics and terrorism management
Computer and network security
Homeland security law
History of terrorism
In addition to classroom-based instruction, advanced homeland security degrees may require candidates to complete a thesis project and independent research on various security topics, such as emergency prevention, terrorism and international security.
Students interested in a homeland security education in Chicago need to hold a high school diploma or GED. It is also important to have strong writing and interpersonal skills. Students who want to enroll in the master’s program must hold a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement, psychology, criminal justice, or sociology. They may need to submit official transcripts and provide GRE test scores as well. Other requirements for admissions may vary by school or type of programs. Students who want to enroll in the online programs need to have a reliable internet connection in addition to a computer/laptop and supported software.
Graduates of homeland security studies programs generally work as immigration officials, border patrol agents, hazardous materials workers, business information specialists, auditors, information technology specialists and more. These professionals may work in government agencies, security firms, and private organizations.
How Much do Homeland Security Professionals Earn?
The official website of the Department of Homeland Security says that the department is hiring recent graduates.
Opportunities may be available in The Secretary’s Honors Program (SHP), Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program, and Acquisition Professional Career Program.
According to USAJOBS, the position of Director, Office of Compliance and Security, Department of Homeland Security, offers a salary well in excess of $100,000 per annum. Those working as intelligence operations specialists for the Department, also earn in excess of $100,000 per year. The department also hires social workers, who earn in excess of $60,000 per annum.
Income level of jobs related to homeland security in Chicago would vary by experience, location and nature of job among other factors.