The Department of Homeland Security offers opportunities for people with a wide range of interests and skill sets. That’s because it’s an extremely broad department.
The terrorist attacks of 9/11 prompted the United States to create the Department of Homeland Security. Its essential function is to keep the country safe or respond when security breaches do occur. The difficulty is that there are so many ways for a country to be attacked, as well as many ideas about what constitutes an attack.
Attacks are changing, and have changed, since the early 2000s. Modern security deals heavily with technology in addition to all of the traditional protection methods that people have learned to use.
We’ll broadly cover what is available for you if you choose a career in the Department of Homeland Security.
Careers in the Department of Homeland Security
Because the Department of Homeland Security is so very broad, it’s difficult to pin one “main” profession or opportunity. For that reason, we’ll break the careers into three categories: preventing terrorism, protecting borders, and handling disasters.
Protecting the United States from terrorism pertains mostly to gathering relevant information and using it to pinpoint threats or risks. A large amount of this process is done using computer technology.
The United States claims to get almost 10,000,000 cyber threats every single day. The country needs people who are qualified to improve our defenses against these threats and keep people safe.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg, too. There’s a need for those to defend against cyber-attacks, but there’s also a need for counterintelligence that helps to identify the attackers before they are successful.
If you have a particular desire to work in this field, you would do well to have a degree in computer science or a relevant field and try to learn as much as you can about hacking, modern computer attack methods, and defense strategies.
Border patrol agents have the responsibility of making sure all people and goods that come into the country are compliant with federal laws. These agents typically work on the United States borders with Canada and Mexico, as well as Florida and Puerto Rico’s coastal waters.
While a lot of attention is given to the idea of illegal immigration, that is not the only thing that border patrol agents have to think about. They’re also highly concerned with human trafficking, drug trafficking, terrorist threats, as well as agricultural threats to our nation.
Agents have a lot of opportunity for advancement, taking steps toward superior border or supervisory positions that have more access to intelligence and decision making.
General Duties and Operations
Terrorism prevention is a little broader than border protection, so we can give some specifics about the job itself. Border patrol agents use a wide range of advanced technologies to carry out their duties.
If you’re interested in modern technology, you might be a good fit for a border protection career. Things like infrared telescopes and cameras, sensors, aircraft, and data speculation are all essential duties of a border patrol agent.
Additionally, agents use a lot of legal knowledge if they’re positioned on a physical border. Dealing with families and individuals who are having difficulty crossing the border may also be a daily task. If you’re interested in understanding the issue of illegal immigration, border patrol agency will certainly give you a closer look.
If you’re interested in dealing with illegal immigration, it would be wise to learn Spanish and obtain a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. The more criminal justice education you have, the better.
Homeland security also encompasses disaster relief and emergency response. There are three primary careers in this field that we’ll discuss: emergency management directors, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians.
Emergency Management Directors
Emergency management directors plan and oversee the process of emergency response. A large part of this involves understanding emergency procedures and plans pertaining to large-scale disasters.
This job is an extremely important one, and shouldn’t be pursued if you aren’t dedicated to the idea of protection. Slipping up on the job could cause a huge ripple effect that affects many people. It’s required that you have a bachelor’s degree and some other related experience to get this job.
The pay is good, too, coming in at almost 70,000 dollars per year.
Firefighters, as everyone knows, deal with fires. That’s not all they do, though.
Firefighters work hard at all times to protect the public in emergency situations. This means chemical disasters, natural disasters, car crashes, fires, and terrorist situations like the one on September 11th, 2001.
In order to be a firefighter, a person needs a high school diploma, fire academy training, EMT training, and, depending on the specific position, homeland security and disaster training. There’s also a lot of dedication required when a person gets the job.
Physical and mental dedication to the extreme difficulty of the job is needed, of course, but there’s also a stringent time commitment. Some overnights and long shifts are a regular part of the job.
Emergency Medical Technicians
Emergency medical technicians, much like firefighters, are the first responders to emergency situations. This could mean helping an individual in a car crash or dealing with numerous victims of hurricane damage at the same time. It’s a very important, very challenging job.
The bare bones description of an EMT’s duties is responding to 911 calls and performing CPR or helping people with wounds. They then assess the damage and decide how to proceed with treatment.
Interested in More Careers?
The Department of Homeland Security offers a lot of opportunity for those who are dedicated and driven to serve our country. You may not want to engage in such physically demanding and emotionally taxing jobs, though, and that’s entirely understandable.
If you’re interested in a public administration career, there are hundreds and hundreds of options in front of you. For more information on those careers, we have all of the resources you need.