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Take Your Career to New Heights

As a business professional, you possess a wide range of valuable skills and abilities. If you are looking for new challenges — such as the opportunity to serve your country or help protect people and property in your communities — then pursuing a career in homeland security and emergency preparedness may be just the move for you.

Launched as the nation’s first homeland security and emergency preparedness program in 2005, the Online Master of Arts in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (HSEP) from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Wilder School is a true reflection of our mission to be the premier resource for public policy expertise and social justice in public safety, governance, and economic and community development. The Wilder School is ranked in the top 15% of graduate schools of public affairs (2022 U.S. News & World Report).

Career Paths in Homeland Security for Business Professionals

Whether your goal is to build a career in business disaster planning or information security, or to make a difference in public policy, the Online Master of Arts in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness can help you get there.

Business Continuity Manager

Business continuity managers lead the creation of plans, procedures and programs to ensure that a business can continue to operate during and after emergencies such as natural and human-made disasters. Daily activities include preparing disaster recovery plans, overseeing the training and disaster exercises for staff, and managing resources and equipment across departments. During an emergency, business continuity managers are responsible for overseeing the implementation of their plans.

Most business continuity managers work for private companies, nonprofits and other organizations, such as hospitals, colleges and universities.

Job Growth

Job Growth

4% from 2019 to 2029*

Median Annual Salary

Median Annual Salary

$74,590*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Chief Security Officer

A chief security officer (CSO) is the highest-level executive directly responsible for all of an organization’s security needs. An evolution of the title chief information security officer (CISO), the title of CSO increasingly encompasses not only digital and information technology security but also the physical security and safety of an organization’s employees, facilities and assets. Responsibilities include managing the development and implementation of security policies, standards and procedures; overseeing security staff and vendors; and leading operational risk-management activities to ensure effectiveness.

Chief security officers may work for private companies, nonprofits, and government agencies at the local, state and federal levels.

Job Growth

Job Growth

31% from 2019 to 2029* (much faster than average)

Average Annual Salary

Average Annual Salary

$174,286**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s critical data, computer systems and networks from intrusions and vulnerabilities. Daily activities include developing security policies and procedures, coordinating projects with other departments, and staying up to date on emerging technology threats and trends.

Most information security analysts work for computer companies, consulting firms, business and financial companies, and government agencies and organizations.

Job Growth

Job Growth

31% from 2019 to 2029* (much faster than average)

Median Annual Salary

Median Annual Salary

$99,730*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Policy Adviser

Policy advisers research, review and recommend the guidelines, regulations and laws that shape policies and programs. Daily activities include collecting and analyzing information and statistical data, evaluating the outcomes of existing and potential new policies, recommending new courses of action, and sharing information with public and government officials.

Policy advisers may work at federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, within state and local governments, at private companies, and at other businesses and organizations.

Job Growth

Job Growth

8% or more from 2019 to 2029* (much faster than average)

Median Annual Salary

Median Annual Salary

$84,810*

Source: *O*NET OnLine

Emergency Management Coordinator

Emergency management coordinators work to protect their communities by planning and coordinating the responses to natural disasters and other emergencies. Daily activities include planning and facilitating emergency drills and programs, communicating and coordinating resources with community officers and agencies, and helping to develop and oversee training.

Many emergency management coordinators work for federal, state or local governments. Others work for organizations such as hospitals, colleges and universities, private companies, and nonprofit organizations.

Job Growth

Job Growth

4% from 2019 to 2029*

Average Annual Salary

Average Annual Salary

$60,222**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Critical thinking
  • Complex problem-solving
  • Leadership
  • Project management
  • Decision-making
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Coordination and collaboration

Technology-heavy roles in areas such as information security and criminal intelligence require knowledge of computer hardware and software, including skills such as programming and data analysis.

Learn more about the Online Master of Arts in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

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