Bachelor of Criminal Justice: Homeland Security Degree Overview

Find out what types of jobs are available with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in homeland security. Read about some core classes, salary possibilities and continuing education opportunities.

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Essential Information

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice programs with a homeland security emphasis are typically devoted to developing highly-trained professionals to serve in positions of safety and security. Throughout such a program, emphasis is placed on teaching students to more proactively protect citizens from harm. Fieldwork, such as an internship, might enhance students' knowledge of the field. To enter a bachelor's degree program, students typically need a high school diploma or GED.

Course Topics

Students can gain a solid introductory understanding of the criminal justice system as it functions within the United States, and of Constitutional law on the whole. The curriculum may also cover the specific functions of various roles within the field, such as law enforcement, security or corrections positions. Students not currently working in any capacity with homeland security may seek out internships to give them hands-on experience in the field. Coursework may include topics like:

  • Criminal law
  • The American justice system
  • Analyzing intelligence
  • Cyber security
  • Domestic terrorism
  • International terrorism
  • Political aspects of terrorism
  • Diplomatic procedures
  • Racial and religious factors
  • Police organizations

Popular Career Options and Salary Information

A large variety of positions are available within the field of criminal justice and homeland security. In some cases, law enforcement agencies may prefer their officers to have training in homeland security. Training in this subject area may also have benefits for individuals interested in pursuing options in the worlds of industry or business. Potential job titles for graduates could include:

  • Security administrator
  • Border patrol agent
  • Transportation security officer
  • Police officer
  • Corrections officer

According to PayScale.com, the median annual salary for a data security administrator was $51,403 as of February 2014, whereas the median salary of border patrol agents was $61,789. Transportation security screeners, also referred to as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents, earned a median annual wage of $36,850 in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reports employment and earnings data for police and correctional officers. As of 2012, police and sheriff's patrol officers earned a median annual wage of $55,270, whereas correctional officers and jailers earned $39,040.

Continuing Education

Upon completion of a bachelor's degree program, students are able to pursue graduate-level education dedicated to criminal justice or homeland security. Master's degree programs can emphasize practical research goals that aim to creative solutions to threats of terrorism at home and abroad.

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