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. University of Southern California

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership
      • Doctor of Social Work
    Master's
      • Masters of Arts in Teaching
      • Masters in School Counseling
      • Master of Arts in Teaching Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
      • MSN for Aspiring Family Nurse Practitioners
      • Master of Science in Integrated Design, Business and Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Syracuse University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Masters of Communications
      • Masters of Science in Computer Science
      • Masters in Accounting
      • Masters in Business Administration
      • Masters in Public Administration
      • Masters of Library and Information Science
  • Online Programs Available
    3. 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.
      • MSN - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
      • MSNAGPC - Master of Science in Nursing with a Concentration in Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
      • Bachelor: Legal Studies
      • Bachelor: Homeland Security and Public Safety
      • B.S. - Business Management: Entrepreneurial Studies Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
      • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Business Management
      • Associate of Science - Legal Studies
      • Associate of Science - Business Studies
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • Associate: Health Information Management
      • ASGSN - Associate of Science in General Studies - Pre-Nursing
    Certificate
      • PMCAF- Post Master's Certificate in Accounting and Finance
      • PMCHCM- Post Master's Certificate in Healthcare Management
      • PMCHR- Post Master's Certificate in Human Resources
      • PMCN - Post Masters Certificate Family Nurse Practitioner
      • PMCPM- Post Master's Certificate in Project Management
      • DSP - Diploma in Sterile Processing
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
      • MSN-DNP Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
      • Master of Science -DNP Path Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    Master's
      • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master : Business Admin
      • Master of Public Health
      • MBA: Human Resources
    Bachelor's
      • BS in Communication
      • BS in Criminal Justice - Socially Responsible Leadership
      • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
      • BSOM - Decision Management
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • Accelerated MS in Finance Option
    Associate's
      • AASBA in Business
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Development
      • Associate of Applied Science in Human Services
    Certificate
      • Medical Assisting Certificate
      • Medical Office Administration Certificate
      • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
      • Graduate Certificate in Addictions
      • Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
      • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Fordham University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Management
      • Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Communications
      • Master of Studies in Law in Corporate Compliance
      • Master of Science in Finance
      • Masters in Social Work
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Florida Tech

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA/Management
      • MA in Organizational Leadership
      • MBA
      • MBA/Accounting
      • MBA/Accounting & Finance
      • MBA/Finance
    Bachelor's
      • BA in Applied Psychology
      • BA in Business Administration/Management
      • BA in Accounting
      • BA in Applied Psychology/Child Advocacy
      • BA in Applied Psychology/Clinical Psychology
      • BA in Applied Psychology/Forensic Psychology
    Associate's
      • AA in Applied Psychology
      • AA in Business Administration
      • AA in Management
      • AA in Marketing
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Ed.D in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning - Qualitative Research
      • Ed.D in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning - Quantitative Research
      • Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology: Performance Psychology (Qualitative Research)
      • Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology: Performance Psychology (Quantitative Research)
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • Bridge (Doctor of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Marketing)
    Master's
      • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
      • M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Human Factors
      • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
      • MS in Psychology: General Psychology
      • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
      • M.Ed. in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in Humanities (ITL)
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
      • BS in Psychology
      • B.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sports Psychology
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an Emphasis in Interpersonal Communication and Human Relationships
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an Emphasis in Political Campaigns
      • Bachelor: Business Admin
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • HS Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Bryant & Stratton College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA - General Management
      • BBA Human Resources Management
      • BBA Medical Services Management
      • BS Human & Social Services
      • General Management (GM) - BBA
      • Health Services Administration - BS
    Associate's
      • Criminal Justice Studies - AAS
      • AS - Business
      • AS - Criminal Justice
      • AS - Accounting
      • AS - Human Resources Specialist
      • AS - IT Networking
    Certificate
      • Business Assistant Diploma
      • Criminal Justice and Security Services Diploma
      • Business - AAS
      • Business Assistant - Diploma
      • Criminal Justice and Security Svcs. - Diploma
      • Accounting Assistant Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Liberty University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DME: Doctor of Music Education
      • LLM: International Legal Studies
      • EDD: Curriculum and Instruction
      • EDD: Curriculum and Instruction/Elementary Education
      • EDD: Curriculum and Instruction/Middle Grades Education
      • EDD: Curriculum and Instruction/Secondary Education
    Master's
      • MA: Communication
      • MS: Criminal Justice
      • MA: Medical Sciences: Biopsychology
      • MA: Music Education: Music Studies
      • MA: Strategic Communication
      • MBA: American Legal Studies
    Bachelor's
      • BS: Psychology
      • BS: English and Writing: Journalism
      • BS: Strategic Communication
      • BS: Strategic Communication: Social Media Management
      • BED: Business Education 6-12
      • BED: English Education 6-12
    Associate's
      • AA: Business
      • AA: Criminal Justice
      • AA: Education (Non-Licensure)
      • AA: Psychology
      • Associate of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
      • AAS: Medical Office Assistant
    Certificate
      • CTG: Communication
      • CTG: Criminal Justice
      • CTG: Curriculum and Instruction
      • CTG: Higher Education Administration
      • CTG: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
      • CTG: Psychology

Featured Schools

University of Southern California

  • Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership
  • Doctor of Social Work
  • Masters of Arts in Teaching
  • Masters in School Counseling

What is your highest level of education completed?

Syracuse University

  • Masters of Communications
  • Masters of Science in Computer Science
  • Masters in Accounting

What is your highest level of education completed?

Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management
  • PMCAF- Post Master's Certificate in Accounting and Finance

What is your highest level of education?

Purdue University Global

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
  • BS in Communication
  • AASBA in Business
  • Medical Assisting Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Fordham University

  • Master of Science in Management
  • Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Communications
  • Master of Studies in Law in Corporate Compliance

What is your highest level of education completed?

Florida Tech

  • MBA/Management
  • BA in Applied Psychology
  • AA in Applied Psychology

What is your highest level of education completed?

Grand Canyon University

  • Ed.D in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning - Qualitative Research
  • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

What is your highest level of education?

Penn Foster High School

  • HS Diploma

What is your age?