Many degrees in security can place you in federal, state, and private agency jobs. Some of the degrees are in homeland security, cybersecurity, information security, network security, intelligence, and national security studies. For example, at the federal government level, national security analysts work on projects and briefings based on the review of intelligence research reports. The reports could refer to biological, chemical, computer, or nuclear threats globally. The FBI, CIA, NSA, and DoD all use security specialists.
A bachelor’s degree in national security provides knowledge for entry-level jobs in the profession. As you gain experience, more employment opportunities are available within the government. The U.S. Intelligence Careers site lists National Security Studies, under the Intelligence Analysis category, as one of the preferred degrees. There are examples of positions within the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
You have the choice of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs in national security. Most of the curricula have the objective of teaching students about international law, political science, foreign policy, research methods, and global cultural elements. The majority of the programs have general requirements that may include writing, quantitative reasoning, algebra, and statistics.
The B.A. in National Security Studies at Utah Valley University (UVU) is 120 credits, of which there are 42 credits of core requirements and 21 credits of electives. Some of the core classes cover a range of topics, namely foreign policy, intelligence community, international conflict, international economics, and the American government. The electives involve subjects associated with domestic and international affairs. Examples are homeland security, world diplomacy, military history, terrorist organizations, and civil rights.
UVU also has a Bachelor of Science in national security studies whose curriculum is the same as their Arts degree except for the inclusion of a foreign language. There are 12 credit hours of a language in the arts degree.
For students who prefer to learn online, the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) has a B.A. in Security Studies. The National Security Studies Institute at the UTEP offers education in this major to over 500 students on campus and online. Examples of courses you will study are:
History and Security: The class explores diplomatic and military intervention from the late 1800s to the turn of the century.
Geography: A study of demographic and climatic influences in the security environment.
Writing for Professionals: Students learn how to write a report that is accurate and concise.
Cyberspace: Examines the principles of cyber warfare from the defensive and offensive perspective.
Additional coursework studies ethics, the intelligence community, network forensics, cyber threats, intelligence analysis, and information security.
The Bachelor of Science programs have an array of topics. You can tailor the courses depending on your career goals and interests. You can take classes in homeland security to learn about incident management, solutions to threats, and prevention. A lesson in strategic planning hones your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Domestically, you can gain expertise in emergency management at the local and state levels. You become familiar with the National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System.
Some of the B.S. degrees study specific areas of international conflict. For example, a class in the Middle East and North Africa Disorder explores the Islamic struggles for economic development in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. An understanding of the political and religious differences provides a glimpse into their historically contentious relationships in those geographical areas.
Excelsior College has two concentrations, each 18 credits, in National Security and Intelligence and Security Analysis. The former looks at the broader issues involving diplomacy, cybersecurity, military leadership, and international relations. The Intelligence specialty has courses in cybercrime, counterterrorism, risk management, and cryptography.
Students serious about joining a national intelligence or military agency may benefit from the program at New Haven University. Their National Security Living Learning Community (LLC) exposes students to institutions, such as the Coast Guard Academy, the Naval War College, and West Point. The school also has guest speakers who are current practitioners in the security field. The LLC is available to first-year students.
A Bachelor of Science in Intelligence and Security Studies has a similar curriculum to national security studies programs. Intelligence will have courses in national and international security topics, such as domestic threats and global intervention. Counterintelligence and strategic thought are possible subjects, as well as the effect of technology on cyber-warfare and espionage.
Students considering a career using their undergraduate degree in national security should know about the necessary soft skills. Most of the jobs in the sector demand professional writing, public speaking, leadership, and analytical thinking. If you have a weakness in any of these, it is advisable to pursue extra-curricular training to improve your employment prospects.
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