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. Purdue University Global

    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
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master : Business Admin
      • Master of Public Health
      • MBA: Human Resources
      • MBA: Health Care Management
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
      • Bachelor: Nutrition Science
      • Accelerated MS in Finance Option
    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
      • Medical Office Administration Certificate
      • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
      • Postbaccalaureate Certificate - Pathway to Paralegal
      • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
      • Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate
      • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
      • Master of Liberal Arts
      • Master of Arts in Science Writing
      • Master of Science in Applied Economics
      • Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems
      • Master of Science in Bioinformatics
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Notre Dame de Namur University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Masters in Business Administration
      • Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Online Programs Available
    4. 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
    5. Saint Leo University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA: Criminal Justice
      • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
      • BA: Liberal Studies
      • BA: Psychology
      • BA: Psychology - General
      • BS: Computer Science
    Associate's
      • AA: Criminal Justice
      • AA: Liberal Arts
      • AA: Business Administration
      • AA: Information Technology
      • AA: Cybersecurity
  • Campus and Online Programs
    6. Louisiana State University Shreveport

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization
      • Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration - Finance Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration - Human Resource Management Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration - Hospitality and Casino Management Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration - International Business Concentration
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • HS Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Regent University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Ecclesial Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Entrepreneurial Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Individualized
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Global Consulting
    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
      • Master of Arts in Journalism
      • Master of Arts in Law - Business
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
      • Bachelor of Arts in English - Communication
      • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
      • Bachelor of Science in Business
  • Online Programs Available
    9. The George Washington University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
      • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
      • MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences
      • MSHS in Translational Microbiology
      • Masters in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
    Bachelor's
      • BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management
      • BSHS in Medical Laboratory Sciences
      • BSHS in Biomedical Informatics
  • Online Programs Available
    10. 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

Featured Schools

Purdue University Global

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • Master: Legal Studies
  • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
  • AASBA in Business
  • Medical Office Administration Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Master of Liberal Arts
  • Master of Arts in Science Writing

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Notre Dame de Namur University

  • Masters in Business Administration
  • Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

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Georgetown University

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

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Saint Leo University

  • BA: Criminal Justice
  • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
  • AA: Criminal Justice
  • AA: Liberal Arts

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Louisiana State University Shreveport

  • Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization
  • Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise Concentration
  • Master of Business Administration - Finance Concentration

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Penn Foster High School

  • HS Diploma

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Regent University

  • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

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