Safety & Security Management Degrees: MBA, PhD & Online Class Info

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What kind of job can you get with a graduate degree in safety and security management? Find out degree requirements, online options and info on courses and safety and security management programs.
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Studying Safety and Security Management: Degrees at a Glance

Safety and security management is a broad field concerned with the protection of people as well as physical and intellectual property. Note that Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs specifically in safety and security management are hard to come by, and those that do exist may go by varying degree titles, such as organizational security management or homeland security. These degree programs, coupled with experience, can prepare you for an upper-level career in security management, such as with the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration or in the corporate sector.

The job outlook for security management careers varies by industry. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that emergency management specialist employment was projected to have little or no change from 2006-2016.

MBA PhD
Who is this degree for? Individuals interested in management positions in security management People who want to work in advanced security management roles or as teachers at colleges or universities
Common Career Paths (with approximate median annual salary) -Emergency management specialist ($52,000)*
- Personnel security specialist ($56,000)*
Security director ($68,000)*
- Intelligence analyst ($70,000)*
- Management and program analyst ($71,000)*
- Career paths for the PhD are similar to those of the MBA, though PhD-holders may have better advancement opportunities
- Political science teacher ($71,000)**
Time to Completion Two years full-time after the bachelor's 3-5 years after the master's
Common Graduation Requirements About 12 graduate-level courses - About 60 credits of coursework beyond the master's
- Comprehensive or qualifying exam
- Dissertation proposal and defense
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree - Master's degree commonly required
- Professional experience
Online Availability Yes Rare but available

Source: *Payscale.com (January 2013 figures), **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

MBA in Safety and Security Management

Master of Business Administration degree programs related to safety and security management prepare individuals for careers in public safety or private security. Such MBA degrees are often available as simply security management concentrations, though they may also be found in the form of homeland security or business/organizational security management emphases. These programs are designed to provide you with the business and leadership skills needed to ensure the protection of people and property in various settings.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • MBA programs accept students from various educational backgrounds
  • Some programs offer hands-on training through practical components
  • Provides general business education, which can apply to a wide range of careers
  • Program does not typically require completion of a thesis

Cons

  • Security management positions can require extensive experience in the field
  • Job outlook can vary greatly and be poor, depending on the field of employment
  • Stress caused by high levels of responsibility

Courses and Requirements

As an MBA student, you can expect to take concentration courses in topics like risk management, emergency planning, protection of business assets, information systems security and legal aspects of homeland security. Additionally, you may take some more general business courses, such as financial management and managerial accounting. Along with providing in-class instruction, you may find programs that require you to complete a practicum in security management. Overall, these degree programs generally do not require completion of a thesis project.

Online Degree Options

MBA programs with concentrations related to security management are available online. Some schools also allow you to take online courses alongside your in-class coursework. Online and hybrid programs tend to have the same admission and graduation requirements as traditional degree programs; you'll learn about business and management concepts pertaining to security.

Stand Out with This Degree

If you're considering a management career in the safety and security field, you may benefit from taking coursework during your MBA studies geared toward technology in the field. On a daily basis, you might use spreadsheets, query software and databases. Project management software, like the OpsCenter and Strohl Systems Incident Manager, are also commonly used, as well as map creation software.

PhD in Safety and Security Management

PhD programs in safety and security management, often offered through schools' political science departments, prepare students for teaching and research careers, as well as management positions in the field. Concentrations in this discipline may go by homeland security, security studies or another similar title. You generally need a master's degree for entrance into one of these programs; however, some schools may allow you to enter with only a bachelor's degree.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Can qualify you for teaching positions at the university level
  • Flexible curricula allow you to choose electives specific to your interests
  • Some PhD programs admit bachelor's degree holders

Cons

  • Admission may require a master's degree specifically related to political science
  • Applicants often need relevant professional experience
  • Curricula generally do not include teaching components

Courses and Requirements

In a PhD program related to safety and security management, your curriculum will focus on research and practical aspects of human and property security. You can expect to take courses and seminars in topics like quantitative research methods, emergency planning, public policy, domestic and international security, terrorism and environmental security. You'll also write and defend a dissertation based on research conducted throughout your doctoral studies. Unlike many PhD programs, this major generally does not require you to complete a teaching assistantship.

Online Degree Options

While uncommon, online PhD programs in homeland security and other concentrations related to safety and security management are available. These programs have curricula similar to that of traditional, on-campus programs; program duration is generally the same and coursework has a strong emphasis on research in the discipline. You will also have to complete and defend a dissertation.

Stand Out with This Degree

While this degree program may qualify you for teaching positions with universities and colleges, it generally does not provide practical training in teaching. As such, you may benefit from pursuing a teaching assistantship with the help of an advisor or gaining teaching experience independently. Additionally, you may want to take coursework that prepares you for the usage of technology in the classroom. For example, you might use class-management systems like Blackboard to teach students, as well as discussion boards, blogs and research tools like Zotero.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Georgetown University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Finance
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
      • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
  • Online Programs Available
    2. The George Washington University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MSHS in Health Care Quality
      • Masters in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Educational Leadership and Administration
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Educational Technology Leadership
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Organizational Leadership and Learning
    Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality
      • Graduate Certificate in Multimedia Development
      • Graduate Certificate in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
      • Graduate Certificate in Transition Special Education
      • Education Specialist in Educational Leadership and Administration
      • Graduate Certificate in E-Learning
  • Online Programs Available
    3. George Mason University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
      • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
      • Master of Science in Health Informatics
      • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Certificate
      • Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate
      • Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    4. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
      • Master of Arts in Economics
      • Master of Public Administration and Policy
      • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
      • Master of Science in Healthcare Management
    Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate in Agile Project Management
      • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Analytics and Management
      • Graduate Certificate in Project Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
    Master's
      • MSCJ: Law
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master : Business Admin
      • Master: Psychology/General Psychology
      • MSPY - Industrial/Organizational Psychology Specialization
    Bachelor's
      • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
      • Bachelor: Nutrition Science
    Associate's
      • AASBA in Business
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • Associate: Business Admin. - Office Mgmt
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • Associate: Accounting
    Certificate
      • Psychology
      • Medical Assisting
      • Certificate in Human Services
      • Medical Office Administration
      • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
      • Postbaccalaureate Certificate - Pathway to Paralegal
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor - Management - Criminal Justice
      • Doctorate: Computer Science
      • Doctorate - Computer Science: Information Assurance (Executive Format)
      • Doctor of Management - Graduate Level Instructional Practices
      • Doctorate: C.S. - Enterprise Information Systems
      • Doctorate: Management - Organizational Development and Change
    Master's
      • Master of Science in Computer Science
      • Master: Computer Science - Database Systems
      • Master of Business Admin
      • Master of Business Admin - Entrepreneurship
      • MS - Computer Science - Computer Systems Security
      • M.S. - Information Technology
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Psychology
      • BS - Criminal Justice
      • B.S. - Psychology - Organizational Behavior
      • B.S. - Psychology - Consumer Behavior
      • BS - Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
      • BS - IT - Web Development
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science in Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Saint John's University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Ph.D. in Literacy
      • Ph.D. in Literacy: Educational Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Literacy: Special Education
      • Ph.D. in Literacy: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business
      • Master of Business Administration: Taxation
      • Master of Science in Accounting
      • Master of Science in Taxation
      • Master of Science in Library and Information Science
      • Master of Science in Library and Information Science: Academic Librarianship
  • Campus Locations:
    8. Virginia College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Human Resource Management
      • Bachelor: Private Sector Accounting
      • Bachelor: Management Information Systems
    Associate's
      • Associate: Accounting Specialist
      • Associate: Human Resource Mgmt
      • Associate: Network Engineering
  • Campus Locations:
    9. Brightwood College

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Medical Assistant - AS
    Certificate
      • Computer Networking Technology
      • Dental Assistant
      • Medical Office Specialist
      • Pharmacy Technician Certificate
      • Medical Assistant - Certificate
      • Medical Assistant - Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA
      • MBA Dual Concentration: HR & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: BS Mgmt. & HR
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Business Mgmt & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA: Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting and Project Management
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
      • B.S. - Business Management: Entrepreneurial Studies Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
      • Bachelor: Health Care Management
      • Bachelor: Accounting
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Business Management
      • Associate of Science - Business Studies
      • Associate: Health Information Management
      • Associate: Healthcare Management
      • Associate of Science - Information Technology Admin and Management
      • Associate of Science - Accounting
    Certificate
      • Diploma: Medical Office Admin
      • Diploma: Medical Assisting
      • Diploma: Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting
      • Networking Systems Certificate

Featured Schools

Georgetown University

  • Master of Science in Finance
  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
  • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

What is your highest level of education completed?

The George Washington University

  • MSHS in Health Care Quality
  • Masters in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services
  • Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality
  • Graduate Certificate in Multimedia Development

What is your highest level of education?

George Mason University

  • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate

What is your highest level of education?

American University

  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
  • Graduate Certificate in Agile Project Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Analytics and Management

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • MSCJ: Law
  • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
  • AASBA in Business
  • Psychology

Which subject are you interested in?

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctor - Management - Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • B.S. - Psychology
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration

Are you a US citizen?

Saint John's University

  • Ph.D. in Literacy
  • Ph.D. in Literacy: Educational Leadership
  • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business
  • Master of Business Administration: Taxation

What is your highest level of education?

Virginia College

  • Bachelor: Human Resource Management
  • Bachelor: Private Sector Accounting
  • Associate: Accounting Specialist
  • Associate: Human Resource Mgmt

What is your highest level of education completed?