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

About this article
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.
View available schools

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
      • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • 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: Criminal Justice
      • Associate: Accounting
      • AASBA -Entrepreneurship
    Certificate
      • Medical Assisting Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate in Addictions
      • Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
      • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
      • Postbaccalaureate Certificate - Pathway to Paralegal
      • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Liberty University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction Elementary Education (Online)
      • Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction Middle Grades Education (Online)
      • Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction Secondary Education (Online)
      • Doctor Of Education - Leadership
      • Doctor of Education - Curriculum and Instruction
      • Doctor of Business Administration: International Business
    Master's
      • MA: Communication
      • MED: Curriculum and Instruction: Urban Education
      • MA: Professional Counseling
      • Master of Arts in Public Policy - Public Administration
      • MA: Applied Psychology: Developmental Psychology
      • MA: Applied Psychology: Industrial Organizational Psychology
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
      • PhD in Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
      • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
      • PhD-TIM - Computer Science
      • Doctor of Criminal Justice
      • Doctor of Criminal Justice - Policing
    Master's
      • M.A. in Psychology - General Psychology
      • Master of Business Admin - General Business
      • M.Ed. - General Education
      • MS - Organizational Leadership: Criminal Justice
      • Master of Legal Studies
      • MPA - Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Visionary Leadership
    Master's
      • Criminal Justice, M.S.
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Advanced Accounting
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Health Care Administration
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Leadership
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Project Management
      • Curriculum and Instruction, M.A. - Emphasis in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
    Bachelor's
      • Psychology, B.S.
      • B.S. Applied Psychology: Biblical Studies
      • B.S. Applied Psychology: Criminal Justice
      • B.S. Accountancy
    Associate's
      • Criminal Justice, A.S.
      • Psychology, A.S.
      • Communication Studies, A.A.
      • Business Administration, A.S.
      • Health Care Administration, A.S.
      • Human Resource Management, A.S.
  • Online Programs Available
    5. 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: Health Information Management
      • Associate: Healthcare Management
      • Associate of Science - Medical Assisting Services
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Florida Tech

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master's in Business Administration/Management
      • MA in Organizational Leadership
      • MS in Information Technology/Database Administration
      • Master's in Business Administration
      • Master's in Business Administration/Accounting
      • Master's in Business Administration/Accounting & Finance
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Penn Foster

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Career Diploma - Residential Electrician
      • Career Diploma - Virtual Assistant
      • Career Diploma - Wildlife/Forestry Conservation
      • Career Diploma - Plumber
      • Career Diploma - Administrative Assistant
      • Career Diploma - Bookkeeping
  • Campus Locations:
    8. Fortis College

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate Degree in Nursing
      • Dental Assistant
      • Lab Technician
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Laboratory Technology
      • Medical Office Administration
    Certificate
      • Dental Assistant
      • Lab Technician
      • Medical Assistant
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Laboratory Technology
      • Medical Office Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Walden University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Education (EdD) - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
      • PhD in Criminal Justice - General
      • PhD in Criminal Justice - Online Teaching in Higher Education
      • PhD in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment & Evaluation
      • PhD in Education - Learning, Instruction & Innovation
      • PhD in Psychology - Teaching
    Master's
      • MS in Education - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (Grades K-12)
      • MS in Education - Self-Designed
      • MS in Psychology - General
      • MS in Psychology - Self Design
      • MS in Developmental Psychology - Administration & Leadership
      • MS in Developmental Psychology - General
    Bachelor's
      • BS in Psychology - MS AIM Track
      • BS in Criminal Justice - Advanced Topics Criminal Justice AIM
      • BS in Criminal Justice - Self-Designed
      • BS in Psychology - Applied Psychology
      • BS in Psychology - Criminal Justice
      • BS in Psychology - General Psychology
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • HS Diploma

Featured Schools

Purdue University Global

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
  • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
  • AASBA in Business
  • Medical Assisting Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Liberty University

  • Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction Elementary Education (Online)
  • Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction Middle Grades Education (Online)
  • MA: Communication
  • MED: Curriculum and Instruction: Urban Education

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • PhD in Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • M.A. in Psychology - General Psychology
  • Master of Business Admin - General Business

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Christian University

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Visionary Leadership
  • Criminal Justice, M.S.
  • Psychology, B.S.
  • Criminal Justice, A.S.

What is your highest level of education completed?

Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management

What is your highest level of education?

Florida Tech

  • Master's in Business Administration/Management
  • MA in Organizational Leadership
  • MS in Information Technology/Database Administration

What is your highest level of education completed?

Penn Foster

  • Career Diploma - Residential Electrician
  • Career Diploma - Virtual Assistant
  • Career Diploma - Wildlife/Forestry Conservation

What is your highest level of education?

Fortis College

  • Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Dental Assistant
  • Dental Assistant
  • Lab Technician

What is your highest level of education completed?