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Homeland Security Major

Homeland security is a major that typically falls into the Law Enforcement & Firefighting category.

There are 99 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in homeland security, 107 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 73 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 4 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Homeland Security Degree?

Homeland security is one of the least chosen majors in the country, ranked #129 in popularity. About 1,900 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field in 2017. This major attracts more men than women. About 75% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of homeland security majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 1.9%
  • Black or African American: 9.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 11.6%
  • White: 64.1%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 1.7%
  • Other Races: 11%
Homeland Security Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in homeland security. About 1.7% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending homeland security majors to the U.S. are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and China.

What Will You Learn as a Homeland Security Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to homeland security to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Homeland Security Majors

Homeland security majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Homeland Security Majors

Skills for Homeland Security Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to homeland security:

Important Skills for Homeland Security Majors

Abilities for Homeland Security Majors

A major in homeland security will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

Important Abilities for homeland security Majors

What Can You Do With a Homeland Security Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with homeland security:

Careers Related to Homeland Security
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Loss Prevention Managers



Special Forces Officers



Compliance Managers



Regulatory Affairs Managers



Wind Energy Operations Managers



Security Managers



Brownfield Redevelopment Specialists and Site Managers



First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives



Emergency Management Directors



Special Forces



Homeland Security Major Salary

Homeland security majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $72,000 to $93,000. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Homeland Security Major  ( 72000 to 93000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Homeland Security Major Jobs

Some careers associated with homeland security may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for homeland security careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Homeland Security
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Homeland Security Programs

There are 107 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in homeland security, with 60 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is a Homeland Security Major Worth It?

The median salary for a homeland security grad is $77,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 98% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $761,800 after 20 years!

homeland security salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal via License

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