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Homeland Security

Homeland Security is short for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the tasks performed by this department of the federal government. The primary functions of this recently formed cabinet department are to prevent terrorist attacks, reduce vulnerability to terrorism and recover from attacks that do occur.

Following the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, the DHS was created as an “umbrella agency,” consolidating some or all of the functions of previous federal agencies including the National Guard, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Coast Guard, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Customs Service, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and some elements and functions of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which remain separate entities.

Degrees for Homeland Security Agents

The numerous careers and occupations available within the Department of Homeland Security can encompass a wide range of degrees. Virtually any degree in a discipline related to criminal justice can be applied to one or more positions. Possessing a bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security is always an advantage to employment and promotion.

For all Department of Homeland Security positions, certain key requirements must be met, including minimum age and U.S. citizenship. Depending on the position, other requirements will also apply, such as passing a detailed criminal background check.

Homeland Security Agent Career Description

The Department of Homeland Security is an umbrella agency that encompasses numerous other agencies, each of which is devoted to investigation and enforcement of a specific field, such as border security, immigration or transportation.

The range of the Department of Homeland Security’s responsibilities is extremely wide and includes some of the following job functions:

  • Emergency preparedness and response
  • Protection of critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks and natural disasters
  • Domestic intelligence activities (mostly conducted by the FBI)
  • Transportation and border security for land, sea and air
  • Administering the country’s immigration policies
  • Additional functions that support these central missions

Some of the most popular careers in the DHS are in immigration and border security, which are charged with protecting America’s borders and interior enforcement of immigration laws.

Other career choices available through Department of Homeland Security bureaus include:

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, job opportunities in the Department of Homeland Security will continue to grow during the next decade, particularly for trained workers in key areas such as border and transportation security and emergency preparedness.

*Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific curriculum, and employment opportunities are not guaranteed.



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