If your law enforcement and criminal justice interests lie in the area of stopping terrorism, you might be curious what you would study in a graduate program in homeland security. Through studying subjects such as intelligence and risk management, you will be prepared for a role helping to keep our country safe.

Graduate Programs in Homeland Security

The subjects you study in a graduate program in homeland security equip you with the skills needed to identify and thwart terroristic threats, including intelligence, communication, risk analysis, management, planning and technological skills. By the time you graduate with your master’s degree in homeland security, you will have a thorough understanding of all of the political, economic and social threats that could put our nation at risk, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Naturally, you cultivate this knowledge and these skills through a combination of essential core courses and elective courses in criminal justice and related subjects. The core courses you take will most likely include studies in national security, intelligence, cybersecurity, risk management, crisis communication, emergency management and strategic planning. You might study topics such as international terrorism, domestic terrorism and negotiation.

Part of what you study in a graduate program in homeland security is up to you. In addition to the required core curriculum, students will often take a cluster of courses in a specialization within the field of homeland security. Some of the most popular homeland security specializations include information security and forensics, public health, emergency management, public administration, geographic information technologies, homeland security policy and biosecurity and food defense.

Homeland Security Careers and Salaries

Can what you study in a graduate program in homeland security actually land you a job? This degree path can prepare you for a number of different roles, mostly working for the government but occasionally working in the private sector. Some of these positions can be lucrative, especially in management and supervisory positions.

The lowest paid homeland security role is transportation security officer, for which the median salary is $32,000, according to U.S. News & World Report. Transportation security officers are commonly found at airports, where they conduct the security screening needed to ensure the safety of air travel. Most homeland security careers earn a good deal more money. Geographic information systems analysts make a median wage of $49,000, while emergency management specialists earn $54,000 and security managers make $55,000. The median salary for both security analysts and emergency managers is $66,000. The next highest earners are information security analysts, who earn $71,000, and intelligence analysts, who make $72,000 per year. Income potential keeps going up from there. Border patrol agents earn a median wage of $75,000 and government program managers make $86,000. The highest paid homeland security position, according to U.S. News, is supervisory special agent, for which the median salary is $130,000.

If you think one of these career paths could be right for you, then you will need the right education. What you study in a graduate program in homeland security could begin preparing you for your ideal criminal justice and law enforcement position.