Security management is one of the leading career choices in the country today. However, persons considering such a career have to decide what area of security management they want to pursue and what level of training they need.
The training for security careers can range from a two-year associate degree to a PhD. A person has to decide if he wants to be in the field, in a management position, or does he intend to be in an educational or consulting division.
Many people do not understand security personnel. A search of the Internet about average pay for security personnel shows the first two pages, are dominated with links about what armed and unarmed security guards working in banks, bowling alleys, department stores, or other similar facilities, make each year. Therefore, it is difficult to predict how much a person going into security management will earn each year.
As the accepted definition of security personnel grows beyond the typical uniform guard to include people who work for government agencies, police departments, and private companies with people to protect and computerized information to guard, the range of salaries will become more apparent than they are today.
Thus, knowing that it is not easy to predict what kind of salary will be offered for that first job, the decision has to be made regarding what the next step will be. There are many options, but there is one thing to remember. If security management offers a serious interest, then pursuing a degree will help provide the qualifications that may be needed in the future.
Making The First Decision
When determining the best degree choice, an individual must decide whether a security degree is going to lead to the desired career. If not, is it going to be a temporary job to try out or used to lead into another field?
Thus, it is best to have an idea of what the various security careers are about.
According to a number of Internet sources, security management can include loss prevention, data protection, intrusion detection and physical security.
Thus, a range of skills, including beginning police observation and investigative skills can be a good starting point. Knowing the use of primary security equipment and the basics of endpoint protection, which is a policy base approach to network security, can also be helpful when seeking that first job.
When selecting the best school to attend, the potential student has to determine several things. The student must know if he has a specific career goal, or is he going to use the school as a means of determining his future career.
Security Needs Vary In Different Places
According to Jeffrey Fowler, mentor for security management at the American Military University, there is no clear path to the perfect job.
Therefore, making the right choice from a list of 10 universities for security management will depend in part on what type of security career someone is interested in and any prior experience. A person with expertise in loss prevention may not be suitable for securing computer files. Previous experience in law enforcement, military activity, and primary computer security may provide an advantage when trying to determine a specialty or earn a security degree.
If the time permits, the student may combine online courses with some practical training for the desired security job.
Assuming the interested candidate is looking at a traditional college education and is starting out at the bachelor’s degree level, there are many schools that offer degrees in different types of security.
A search of the Internet will provide a multitude of “Top 10” lists. This is where the potential student has to start making some decisions.
Finding The Top 10 Security Schools
The Security Degree Hub is a good starting point that lists the Top 10 traditional security degree programs.
The article notes, “Those who study security can find work in fields including law enforcement, security consultants, homeland security and much more.”
This site took many factors into consideration to come up with its listing of the Top 10 universities. These factors include defining security, the purpose of getting a degree, good future employment options, quickest completion time, and leading post-grad opportunities.
In ranking the schools in the selected Top 10, The Security Degree Hub notes if any school has obtained a special rating, earned any awards or received any unique recognition.
Universities on this particular list include, in the order provided by the website, University of Denver, John Hopkins University, Indiana Tech, California University of Pennsylvania, Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security, Tulane University, Texas A&M University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Loyola University at Chicago, and Georgetown University.
The article gives a brief description of the programs offered at the different schools. It also provides a link to each school where additional information is available.
While this list offers some excellent choices, they may not be practical for some people because of location and expenses. Therefore, the option of obtaining an online degree may be a viable option.
Considering Online Security Studies
The Emergency Management Degree Program Guide offers a list of what it has determined to be the “Top 10 Best On Line Emergency Management Degree Programs.”
This list shows the top online programs, a brief paragraph of what is expected from the student, and cost estimates. It also cautions interested individuals to contact the schools directly to get more information about the programs offered for the various security careers.
The Top 10 online schools according to this site, listed in the order provided by the site include University of North Carolina, Colorado State University Jacksonville State University, Drexel University, State University of New York (SUNY), University of Central Missouri, West Texas A&M University, Arkansas Tech University, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, and National Labor College.
There is also the possibility of pursuing a master’s degree in security. At this point, the degrees are more specialized into fields such as homeland security, information technology, computer systems security and cyber security. In addition, many companies will have a niche job for a person versed in many forms of security who may be responsible for managing contracted specialists in specific fields.
Furthermore, while “security degree management” is perhaps the broadest term that can be used, there are related specialized degrees. These include cyber security, public safety, emergency management, homeland defense, terrorism and homeland security, information security, criminal justice and corporate security.
Do Not Limit Your Options
People with professional and academic security training will be able to seek jobs in both the public and private sectors. The United States employs civilian security experts for some areas and depends on the military for providing security in other areas.
Thus, selecting the desired security-related task must be remembered when deciding what course of study you want to take. There are countless ads on the Internet and other places advertising for security personnel. Some of these jobs are for highly trained people. Others might be for people who can work as bouncers at a bar—it is still a form of security.
Therefore, when seeking a security position, make sure it is a job or career for which proper training has been completed.
Even if the degree has not been earned, check the Internet, newspapers, and other sources to see what security jobs might be available. Reading the ads and getting a head start on understanding the underlying meanings of the advertising jargon will prove beneficial when you start to look for that first security job.
Finally, be certain that this is a field that will be fulfilling and satisfying over the years to come. Any career requires a considerable investment of time. Some people manage to use that investment to switch to a different but similar career, while others sometimes have to start from the beginning and learn a whole new skill set. Study the available jobs. Talk to security people. Do not depend on what is taught within the classroom as being your only source of information. Talking to people already in that field can offer major advantages in the future.
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