Society & Culture & Entertainment Education

Homeland Security Means Big Business for Many Graduates

The term "Homeland Security" has become a part of our collective vocabulary, thanks in large part to media coverage of government policies related to terrorist threats that endanger our nation. Not only has homeland security been a major issue in the news, but at campuses across the country as well. Many colleges and universities now offer homeland security degree programs in combination with, or in replacement of, traditional criminal justice degree programs. Graduates often see themselves working for one of the many government agencies, such as the coast guard, border patrol and various other nationwide law enforcement entities, but there are other avenues for them to explore as well.

Corporate America is calling, and many graduates of homeland security degree programs are quickly learning that the private sector has much to offer. From salary and benefit packages that rival (and in many cases exceed) government offerings to the opportunity to travel worldwide, the corporate world has become a major employer when it comes to security.

When most people think of security related issues, they fail to consider the need for qualified disaster management, theft prevention, network security and human resources personnel. While the US government has only recently begun to assess security needs on a large scale, most corporations have had to implement security procedures and offer specialized training for employees since the onset of the computer age. Data theft alone has been a problem for many years, and can effectively cripple a company, as was the recent case with the Bangalore-based data processing center of European bank HSBC. Not only were financial transactions made without the consent of the bank's customers, but employee theft was involved as well. While many consider security issues such as these to be IT related, more and more corporations are using security personnel to oversee the administrative end of network security. Recently, employee background checks, disaster contingency plans and safety procedures are now being handled by homeland security degree program graduates as well.

Most homeland security degree programs cover several aspects of security that can relate directly to the corporate environment, including legality issues concerning data gathering, threat assessment and continuity management. While the threats may be different in nature, one thing is certain. As long as there are security concerns that could have a detrimental effect on the bottom line of a corporation, there will always be a need for qualified personnel to deal with those concerns.

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