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2021 Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Degree Guide

The field of Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, and Firefighting is an important one and has been in high demand since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This field allows you to be trained in a variety of national defense areas, preparing you for work protecting your country and fellow citizens.

There are a few different majors you can pursue in this field. Criminal Justice and Corrections will teach you about prison life, drug trafficking, and law, preparing you for work with criminals and the reformation system. A major in Fire Protection will provide training on preventing and stopping fires. You can also choose to major in Homeland Security in order to learn how to prevent and respond to threats and crisis internationally and domestically.

Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Degrees Shrinking in Popularity

#12 Most Popular Major
145k Degrees Awarded
-4.2% Increase in Graduates

Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting was the 12th most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 144,759 degrees in this year alone. This 6,060 less than the prior year, a decrease of 4.2%.

Approximately 1,831 colleges in the U.S. offer a homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting degree of some kind. Our 2021 Best Colleges for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting ranking analyzes 503 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting programs later in this article.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting

Leadership skills will help you during your training and in a future career. In a time of crisis, citizens will count on you to keep them safe. You must be able to respond quickly and appropriately in emergency situations and thrive when under. Interpersonal skills will help you work with all types of people of different ages and backgrounds. Be ready to listen to the concerns and advice of others, and also be able to explain laws and policies.

Most of the classes in this field are centered on science, math, government and law. Students should be comfortable with their math and science skills and ready to discuss potentially controversial subjects in the classroom. This rigorous major may also include physical training to prepare you to react in dangerous situations.

Getting Accepted Into a Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Degree Types

There are various different levels of homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting degrees. Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting programs offered by schools range from a associate's to a professional practice doctorate, which is the highest homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting degree you can get. The type of homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting, with approximately 32.7% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 29.6%
High School Diploma 23.1%
Some College Courses 12.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 12.4%
Post-Secondary Certificate 10.1%

About 58.6% of workers in careers related to homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting obtain at least associate's degree. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting careers have.

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This of course varies depending on which homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Graduate

Above Average Number of Jobs
$33.4k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Depending on your major focus, you will be able to work in numerous fields. Graduates find work in fields like fraud detection, medicine, human resources, civil rights, intelligence, science and technology, facilities, and procurement. You will also be prepared for law enforcement careers in the areas of border security, head of state, protection of the President, interagency law enforcement training, and infrastructure security. If interested in prevention and response careers, you can find jobs protecting the public and the environment as a U.S. Coast Guard member or firefighter. Some career choices may require additional education or training.

Growth Projected for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting degree? Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting careers are expected to grow 7.7% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Accountants and Auditors 1,537,600 10.0%
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 731,900 7.0%
Correctional Officers and Jailers 415,500 -7.7%
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 362,600 14.2%

Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Degree Salary Potential

Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $33,378 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $7,100 to as high as $119,200. As you might expect, salaries for homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

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High Paying Careers for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Majors

Salaries for homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Managers $115,590
Information Security Analysts $102,470
Computer Workers $93,350
Police and Detective Supervisors $93,100
Financial Examiners $90,310

Getting Your Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Degree

With over 7,088 different homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting school rankings to help you with this.

Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Criminal Justice & Corrections 122,741
Fire Protection 13,656
Homeland Security 6,367
Other Homeland Security 1,995

View All Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Public Administration & Social Service 98,535
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies 71,951
Legal Professions 61,011
Military Technologies & Applied Sciences 3,568

View All Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Related Majors >

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