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. 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 Business Administration
      • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Certificate
      • Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate
      • Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    2. 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
    3. 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 Healthcare Management
      • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Analytics and Management
      • Graduate Certificate in Project Monitoring and Evaluation
      • Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design and Learning Analytics
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Loyola University New Orleans

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • MSN to DNP
      • MSN to DNP - Nurse Practitioner
      • MSN to DNP - Executive Nurse Leader
    Master's
      • RN to MSN
      • RN-MSN Bridge
      • MSN - Nursing Leadership
      • RN to MSN - Nursing Leadership
      • RN-MSN Bridge - Nursing Leadership
      • MSN - Nurse Educator
    Bachelor's
      • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Project Management
      • Master of Finance
      • Master of Professional Accounting
      • Master - Information Technology Management
      • Graduate Specialization - Healthcare Administration
      • Master - Human Resource Management
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Communication
      • BS - Human Services
      • BS - Accounting
      • BS - Project Management
      • BS - Marketing
      • Undergraduate Specialization - Criminal Forensics
    Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate - Human Resource Management
      • Undergraduate Certificate - Project Management
      • Graduate Specialization - Accounting
      • Graduate Certificate - Cyber Security
  • Online Programs Available
    6. 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)
      • Ph.D in Literacy: Literacy
    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
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Seton Hall University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Accounting
      • Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management
      • Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
      • Master of Business Administration - Finance
      • Master of Business Administration - Marketing
    Certificate
      • Certificate: Post Conflict State Reconstruction and Sustainability
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Widener University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Dual Master of Jurisprudence in Corporate and Business Law / Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Business Administration - Business Process Innovation
      • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management
      • Hybrid Dual Master of Social Work/Master of Education, Human Sexuality Studies
      • Master of Social Work
    Bachelor's
      • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Online Programs Available
    9. University of Saint Mary

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA Finance Concentration
      • MBA General Management Concentration
      • MBA Health Care Management Concentration
      • MBA Human Resources Management Concentration
      • MBA Leadership and Organizational Health Concentration
      • MBA Marketing and Advertising Concentration
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
      • RN-BSN Degree
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice: Clinical Nurse Specialist Specialization - Online
    Master's
      • Flexible MBA - Interdisciplinary Business - Campus
      • 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
    Certificate
      • Certificate in Government Analytics
      • Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Applied Research for Communication
      • MS in Food Safety Regulation
      • Certificate in Science Writing
      • Certificate in Science, Technology, and International Security Studies
      • Post-Master Acute Care Pediatric Certificate - Online

Featured Schools

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?

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?

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 Healthcare Management

What is your highest level of education?

Loyola University New Orleans

  • MSN to DNP
  • RN to MSN
  • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado State University Global

  • Master of Project Management
  • BS - Communication
  • Graduate Certificate - Human Resource Management

What is your highest level of education?

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?

Seton Hall University

  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management
  • Certificate: Post Conflict State Reconstruction and Sustainability

What is your highest level of education?

Widener University

  • Dual Master of Jurisprudence in Corporate and Business Law / Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

What is your highest level of education completed?