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Homeland Security Major

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Homeland Security

2,172 Master's Degrees Annually
12 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#65 in Popularity (Master's)
$76,990 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Homeland Security Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many homeland security graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 2,208
Graduate Certificate 315
Doctor’s Degree 28

What Homeland Security Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to homeland security and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Homeland Security Majors

Homeland Security majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for Homeland Security Majors

A major in homeland security prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Abilities for Homeland Security Majors

As a homeland security major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Homeland Security Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with homeland security:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Brownfield Redevelopment Specialists and Site Managers 8.0% $107,480
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Professors 12.1% $61,900
Emergency Management Directors 7.9% $74,420
Investment Fund Managers 8.0% $107,480
Loss Prevention Managers 8.0% $107,480
Professors 9.4% $65,660
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Security Managers 8.0% $107,480
Wind Energy Operations Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Homeland Security?

2,208 Master's Degrees Annually
33% Percent Women
31% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major tends to be male dominated. About 67% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of homeland security majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Homeland Security Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 72
Black or African American 258
Hispanic or Latino 276
White 1,280
International Students 43
Other Races/Ethnicities 279

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Homeland Security. About 1.9% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • China
  • Oman
  • Nigeria

How Much Do Homeland Security Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in homeland security made a median starting salary of $57,650 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $47,700 (25th percentile) and $68,950 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to homeland security.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $72,390 to $93,100 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to homeland security. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Homeland Security Major  ( 72390 to 93100 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with homeland security may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for homeland security careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 10.6%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 5.8%
Some College Courses 6.7%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 9.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 43.4%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 2.3%
Master’s Degree 17.8%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.6%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.7%
Doctoral Degree 2.1%

Online Homeland Security Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 297 schools offered some type of homeland security program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 106 34
Certificate (1-2 years) 39 9
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 0
Associate’s Degree 105 33
Bachelor’s Degree 61 35
Post-Baccalaureate 106 34
Master’s Degree 81 55
Post-Master’s 5 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 4 2
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Homeland Security Worth It?

The median salary for a homeland security grad is $76,990 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 93% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $741,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to homeland security.

Major Number of Grads
Criminal Justice & Corrections 8,802
Other Homeland Security 612
Fire Protection 109

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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