Is a Security Management Degree for You?

A bachelor's degree in security management is a fairly specialized degree, but it can be used in many different types of industries. Security management bachelor's degrees are typically associated with criminal justice and homeland security. You can expect to study current threats on homeland security, global security, airline security, and other similar issues. Moreover, students in a security management degree program learn how to manage and organize teams, and how to work toward a common goal in high stress environments. Security management degrees require an aptitude with quantitative data as well as an ability to make quick decisions.

Advice for Earning Your Security Management Degree Online

A bachelor's degree in security management qualifies individuals to enter a profession in security at an entry level position. There are no specific accreditations required of an individual entering the professional world of security. However, depending on the nature of the work, some employers may require applicants to fulfill certain physical standards of strength and fitness. With a bachelor's degree in security management, individuals can work in the field of private corporations, private organizations, state, and federal fields.

Required Courses

Security management programs typically offer a unique class set compared to other degree programs. While you will still need to complete basic courses in writing, English and mathematics, you can also expect major courses in criminology, interpersonal communications, organizational management, human resource management, homeland security, personal security, legal issues, and loss prevention.

Common Career Paths

Graduates from a security management bachelor's degree program find employment that involves public or private management, federal or local government services, military services, law enforcement, and private security. This degree offers students the chance to learn about the principles and theories associated with various types of security – i.e. international security or information security. Students enrolled learn to maintain composure and forethought when faced with high-stress situations. Here are some of the career paths a bachelor's degree in security management can bring:

  • Security Guard

    Security guards patrol and inspect property with the intent of protecting against any potential fire, vandalism, theft, and any other illegal activity. They are hired to watch over the property of their employer, enforce laws on the property, prevent criminal activity, and any other potentially harmful situation that could arise. If it is necessary, a security guard may be armed with a weapon. It is common practice for a guard to compose a detailed report of their observations and any activity that takes place while on duty. In the case of interviewing a victim or witness, the report taken can sometimes be used in court.

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 the median annual wages of security guards was $23,460. The lowest 10% earned less than $16,680, and the highest 10% earned more than $39,360. In 2008, the highest paying industry that employed security guards was general medical and surgical hospitals.

  • Correctional Officers

    Correctional officers are in charge of supervising individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial, or those who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to serve time in a jail or a penitentiary. Their main responsibility is to monitor the activities of the inmates, and supervise their daily activities. Correctional officers are also called on to examine the facilities, and check cells and other common areas of the institution for dirty conditions, smuggled goods, or fire hazards. They routinely check window bars, doors, and gates for any tampering as well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008, the median annual wages for correctional officers was $38,380. The lowest 10% earned less than $25,300 and the highest 10% earned more than $64,110.

  • Police Officer

    A police officer's main duty is to pursue those who break the law and issue citations, give warnings, or make arrests. Most officers work in a particular jurisdiction by patrolling for any suspicious or illegal activity. They must also be able to respond quickly to emergency calls that are dispatched regularly. Officers of all levels are expected to handle a great deal of paperwork by writing reports for any incidents they encounter while on patrol. This can include robberies, assaults, traffic stops, and traffic accidents among others. There are many different types of police officer positions in a number of agencies, ranging from local and state police, to sheriff's departments, and even special weapons and tactics (SWAT) officers.

    There are also federal law enforcement officers that include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Department of Homeland Security. However, gaining a position with a federal agency usually requires extensive experience in other forms of law enforcement before joining. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for police and sheriff's patrol officers was $51,410 in 2008.


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