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Working in the Department of Homeland SecurityBy Jamey Perkins
The Department offers a multitude of job opportunities and a chance to make a difference to Americaís defensive capability against international terrorist activity. There are career opportunities in four specific fields:
Mission Support Careers
There are 9 specific directorates or offices in which to base a career. These are:
Law Enforcement Careers
There are four departments who, together, make up law enforcement activity. These are:
Immigration and Travel Security Careers
Immigration and Security consists of two departments:
Prevention and Response Careers
Prevention and Response consists of the US Coastguard, who protect U.S. interests and the public in any maritime region, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency who provide a complete and comprehensive emergency management system. This system ensures we are prepared in the event of an emergency and that we can respond and recover adequately from any such emergency.
Required Education and Experience
Homeland Security Degrees
You should be aware that you will need to meet certain specific requirements if you wish to work for the Department of Homeland Security.
The first requirement is to be a U.S. Citizen and pass a security check. This check will actually verify that you are a U.S. citizen and also check your credit rating, conduct a criminal background check, check FBI records and examine any employment references. An interview and polygraph test will normally follow for those that pass the initial checks.
It is strongly recommended that you have a reasonable standard of education if you wish to work for Homeland Security. The general rule is that the better education you have the more chance you have of getting that dream job. If you have any kind of post-secondary education then your chances will be greatly improved, since the majority of jobs will require at least this level of education and preferably a Bachelorís degree. The terrorist is becoming increasingly better educated and armed and we must match this improvement if we are to improve our ability to protect our nation and its people.
There are a number of online schools and also traditional schools who offer specialized degrees in Homeland Security and even Disaster Management and these are an excellent way of demonstrating your commitment to a career in the department. It also helps if you have a background or experience in the military, law enforcement, science, engineering or computing since this will make you eligible for a significant number of positions.
It is worth examining the various courses that are available, graduation from which will increase the probability of gaining a suitable position. Be assured that any career with Homeland Security is likely to be a long lasting and rewarding occupation and one that provides as much challenge as anyone could ever want. The threat from international terrorism is very real, consistent and it will be necessary to ensure that the department continues to attract the cream of our scholastic talent so that the threat can be detected, managed, mitigated and controlled so that we can continue to live in a peaceful democracy.
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