Security Management Degrees: Associate, Bachelor & Online Course Info

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What kind of jobs can you get with an associate's and bachelor's degree in security management? Find out associate's and bachelor's degree requirements, online options and info on courses in security management.
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Study Security Management: Associate's and Bachelor's Degrees at a Glance

Associate's and bachelor's degree programs in security management prepare individuals to work in a variety of careers related to security. Opportunities are available in private security companies, border patrol, corrections facilities, port security and corporate security. Students in these programs learn how to protect people and property against illegal activities, including personal injury, theft and vandalism. The specific duties vary depending on the job and employer. While some security professionals monitor an area by foot or vehicle, others view a series of closed-circuit monitors. Those who work in management positions develop security strategies and oversee personnel. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of security guards is projected to grow 18% from 2010-2020.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals who want entry-level work in security Those who want to obtain security management positions
Common Career Paths (with approximate annual salary) -Security guard ($27,000) *
-Corrections officer ($43,000) *
-Detective ($76,000*) *
-Security manager ($80,000) *
Time to Completion 2 years, full-time 4 years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements -About 20-24 courses
-About 40-48 courses
Prerequisites -High school diploma
-High school diploma
Online Availability Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures), **Salary.com (2012 figures).

Associate's in Security Management

An associate's degree in security management teaches the basic principles of safety and security. During the program, you'll learn about public safety, investigations and types of crimes. Some programs may contain state-specific courses or courses that are designed to prepare you to become licensed in the school's state.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Opportunity to keep people and property safe
  • Prepared for work after graduation
  • Concern about crime and vandalism will spur growth in the field*

Cons

  • The injury rate for security officers is higher than average*
  • Jobs in this field typically require night and weekend work
  • Protecting individuals can be stressful

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Courses and Requirements

In addition to core security management courses, students are required to complete general education classes in mathematics, English, humanities and science. Core security management courses include security management foundations, emergency preparedness, criminal law, homeland security, terrorism, intelligence analysis and cyber forensics. Students will also have the option to take elective courses that will allow them to focus on a specific area within security management and prepare for a specific career in the field. Examples of these courses include business management, first responder, human rights and boarder security.

Online Course Options

Online associate's degree programs in security management are rare and only available through for-profit schools. Prospective students who are looking to complete a security management program online should make sure that any school offering this degree is accredited.

How to Stand Out

While obtaining licensure is required in most states, earning certification can help you stand out among other security professionals. The ASIS International offers certification for security professionals to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the field. In order to become certified, individuals must pass both a written and performance test.

Bachelor's in Security Management

A bachelor's degree in security management provides students with advanced training and education in the field. Students in the program may also have the opportunity to specialize in an area like security management technology or criminal justice. This will allow them to tailor their program for a specific career. With a bachelor's degree, students will have numerous career options in law enforcement, corrections, security, parole, investigations and security analysis. However, graduates of this program will compete with associate's degree holders for entry-level positions in the field.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Career opportunities in law enforcement, private security and corrections
  • May plan and implement security strategies
  • Eligible to work for federal prison system*

Cons

  • Work in dangerous situations
  • Need to be licensed*
  • Experience may be preferred over education

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Courses and Requirements

This degree program requires students to take both basic and advanced courses related to security. Like an associate's degree, basic security management courses cover areas involving criminal justice. Advanced courses include intellectual property protection, risk management, information system security and computer crimes. Elective courses allow students to complete courses related to their career interests. Examples of courses include computer forensics, juvenile justice, corrections, justice administration and database analysis.

Online Course Options

A bachelor's degree program in security management is available fully online. An online program allows students to complete courses in a flexible format. You can view lectures and turn-in assignments on your own time. In order to complete the online courses, you'll need a computer with high-speed Internet access, along with an updated browser.

How to Stand Out

To stand out in this field, you will need to stay up-to-date on the latest technology used in the field. Understanding how to use different types of surveillance cameras help you improve your ability to monitor areas and keep people and property safe. If you want to want to carry a weapon as a security guard, you will need to complete a training program and obtain additional licensure.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Criminal Justice
      • BS in Corrections
      • BSCJ: Law Enforcement
      • BSCJ: Crime Scene Investigation
      • BSCJ: Homeland Security
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Public Safety and Emergency Management
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - Criminal Justice
      • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Cybercrime and Security
  • Online Programs Available
    4. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Forensic Science
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Corrections and Case Management
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Generalist
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Homeland Security and Crisis Management
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Undergraduate Specialization - Criminal Forensics
      • BS - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Admin
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Utica College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS in Cybersecurity - Cybercrime and Fraud Investigation
      • Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation
      • Online Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation - Financial Investigation
      • Online Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation - Fraud Prevention and Detection
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.A. - Criminal Justice
      • B.A. - Homeland Security
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Indiana Wesleyan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. Criminal Justice
      • B.S. General Studies - Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Excelsior College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS in Criminal Justice (Criminal Justice Administration)
      • BS in Criminal Justice (Homeland Security)
      • BS in Criminal Justice (Without Concentration)
      • BS in Criminal Justice (Investigative Forensics)
      • BS in Criminal Justice (Law Enforcement and Public Safety)
  • Topeka, KS

    Washburn University

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • Bachelor: Criminal Justice
  • BS in Corrections
  • BSCJ: Law Enforcement

Which subject are you interested in?

Grand Canyon University

  • Bachelor: Public Safety and Emergency Management

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Technical University

  • BS - Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Cybercrime and Security

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American InterContinental University

  • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Forensic Science
  • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
  • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Corrections and Case Management

Are you a US citizen?

Colorado State University Global

  • Undergraduate Specialization - Criminal Forensics
  • BS - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Admin

What is your highest level of education?

Utica College

  • BS in Cybersecurity - Cybercrime and Fraud Investigation
  • Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation - Financial Investigation

What is your highest level of education completed?

Keiser University

  • B.A. - Criminal Justice
  • B.A. - Homeland Security

What is your highest level of education?

Indiana Wesleyan University

  • B.S. Criminal Justice
  • B.S. General Studies - Criminal Justice

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