What Can I do With a Ph.D. in Homeland Security?

Since September 11, 2001, more effectively securing the borders in the United States has been a top priority. As a result, the U.S. government has created more job opportunities in homeland security, and more colleges and university are offering higher education degrees in the field. In academic terms, the study of homeland security is part of the curriculum of a criminal justice program or political studies department. If you are interested in law enforcement, a homeland security salary may bring you that much closer to wanting the job. Carrer options with a doctorate in Homeland Security, often report directly to the Homeland Security director.

Many people who join the Police academy, for instance, must also have some background knowledge of homeland security. These days, when we think of Homeland Security, immigration comes to mind immediately. Homeland Security jobs are not only about those who work directly on the borders. According to their website at DHS.gov, the Department of Homeland Security may be called to assist in any catastrophic event that has put its citizens in danger in some way. DHS conducts assessments on infrastructure and communities to help businesses and local government officials make decisions about where to put resources to enhance security before an event and improve recovery after an event. Finding a job in homeland security is relatively simple. The positions can range from aviation patrol to emergency response personnel to securing our cyberspace. Each career path will come with its challenges. If the job is for you, however, the rewards will outweigh its risks. Here is an outline of possible career choices with Homeland Security.

1. Senior Executive Officer

U.S citizens who have obtained a doctoral degree in homeland security may take positions in government agencies, such as the Center for Homeland Security or the U.S. Department of Defense, as executives or administrators. These jobs may also take the form of executive leadership in law enforcement, emergency medical care, public safety, or public administration. They’re able to take the results from current research in the field of homeland security and apply it to find solutions to complex problems. Many of these folks come out of high levels of every branch of the U.S. military.

The Senior Executive Service, or SES, is a group of talented and dedicated civilian professionals who have skills and expertise that can benefit the safety of the U.S. government. People who are computer experts with a doctorate in Homeland Security, for example, may be selected to serve on the SES. Interested applicants must share many core characteristics, and can apply on the DHS.gov website. They are who help decide the course of action for preparedness, vision, and execution in response to catastrophic events with the U.S. Along with their ex-military counterparts, these executive civilian workers have the knowledge and training to make decisions and help formulate policy.

2. Cryptology Supervisor

For someone to become a cryptologist, a typical educational trajectory might look like a BS degree in either mathematics or computer science, a Master’s in Information Security, and a Ph.D. in Linguistics. A cryptologist’s job is to help undermine terrorist operations by analyzing data and interpreting cryptological messages and codes. Excellent communication skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills are a must, as well as proficiency in programming software is a must. Many people work with intelligence operations of the United States government. The position is a very high demand career option.

3. Foreign Language Expert

Similar to a cryptologist, a linguist or foreign language expert is in high demand. Many homeland security offices have job opportunities for this career and are hired not only through government offices, but private firms as well. Their job consists of interpreting and translating information and they must be fluent in several dialects. In the height of the cold war in the 1950s and 60s, and U.S. citizen was worth their weight in gold to the government anti-communist effort. Now, the most in-demand languages are Arabic, Chinese – both Mandarin and Cantonese dialects, and Spanish.

Whatever your career choice is, Homeland Security can bring excitement to your life and a great way to serve your country.