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How do I become a Homeland Security Specialist?

April 1, 2021

Man reviewing surveillance footage.

Homeland Security: More Than Just Federal

When most people hear the phrase “homeland security,” they probably think about the United States Department of Homeland Security that is part of the federal government. The Department of Homeland Security contains many well-known agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the US Coast Guard, US Customs and Border Protection, and more.

Jobs in State and Local Homeland Security

While homeland security is most often thought of as a role at the highest federal tier, a career in homeland security is also available at the state, local, tribal or territorial level. Homeland security professionals include law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS, public health personnel, emergency managers, public safety administrators, cybersecurity analysts, biological and chemical hazard specialists, and any other individual who plays a role in securing and protecting a community.

Preparing for a Career in Homeland Security

A career in homeland security allows an individual the opportunity to help the nation prepare for, respond to, and recover from a wide variety of threats and disasters. Homeland security professionals assess risks and hazards, gather information and investigate threats, and have a knowledge of law, policies, and procedures to safeguard his or her nation, state, or community. Because there are so many important aspects of serving your community as a homeland security professional, the opportunities and career choices are endless. If you are interested in a career in homeland security, there are many ways to gain the knowledge necessary to serve in that field.

Homeland Security Specialist Programs

Programs from undergraduate degrees, master’s degrees, technical programs, and specialty training –such as through a police academy or federal training institute – are all useful ways to develop a skill set that prepares you for the opportunity to protect and serve your community and your country.

LSU Online & Continuing Education offers a fully-online Homeland Security Specialist program developed in collaboration with the LSU National Center for Biomedical Research and Training/Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education, or NCBRT/ACE. Students will learn the importance of conducting risk assessments to protect from criminal activity and terrorist attacks and will learn the predominant modern modes of operations that extremists use to plan for and execute an attack. This program is ideal for law enforcement officers, public safety professionals and private sector representatives involved in security and safety functions and risk management or threat reduction.

There is no application process, so individuals can start the program the same day they enroll. Classes start on May 1, 2021.


Learn more about the Homeland Security Specialist MicroCert.

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Media Contact

Charlotte Bencaz
225-578-8460
cbencaz@lsu.edu