A Homeland Security Certification can certainly be a game-changer, as the career path of a certified homeland protection professional is always in demand. The Department of Homeland Security plays a big role in protecting the country from both natural and human-caused disasters. They are the ones at the frontlines of border protections and the professionals that dedicate their careers to eliminating the threat of terrorism. This department was created in 2001 directly following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Creating this department was a response to the country’s vulnerability and drive for additional intelligence and protections. As you have probably learned if you have gotten this far in your search regarding the career path of a homeland security professional, there are many positions and roles to play in this complex department, whether it be on the frontlines at the border, in an administrative role, or working behind a computer creating software to eliminate the threat of cyber attacks. Obtaining a certification in Homeland Security can be a real game-changer, as it will open many doors for you in this field. Let’s get into the details.
What is a Homeland Security Certification?
There are two main avenues to achieve a Homeland Security Certification, one being Certified Homeland Protection Professional (CHPP) Certification, and the other level I-IV (CHPA) NSA/ GSHNSP Certified Homeland Protection Associate. The qualifications include being at least 21 years of age and an American Citizen. Additional requirements include:
- No record of felony charges, disciplinary action, or dishonorable charges from the United States military
- A minimum of four years experience as a first responder, security officer, or emergency management (or a similar position)
- Achievement of an 80 percent or better from online professional course in the field
- Recommended but not mandatory to achieve a degree in a related field
There was a recent and untimely closure of the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security that has meant the certification process has changed a bit, and previous certifications have to undergo a conversion process.
Can I achieve a Homeland Security Certification Online?
The answer is yes. Now more than ever there is a myriad of Homeland Security Degree programs that are delivered entirely online and enable you to enter the field, upon graduation, as certified homeland protection professional. An online bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security can take you far. Many of these programs are designed to give you top-notch in-demand skills with the embedded flexibility to enable you to continue working while completing the program. Some of the online formats are so flexible that there are no login times, meaning students can move through the coursework at their own pace. Some online homeland security degree programs are so affordable that you walk away with a degree and easy access to a lucrative career, and little to no debt. Moving through an online program to achieve a degree or certification does not forgo the extensive background checks that are required for professionals to work in the field. This includes criminal background checks, drug tests, and even lie detector/ polygraph tests.
Are There Other Certificates That Can be Helpful?
A Homeland Security certification is not the only path that will lead you to a career in national protection and security. The field of emergency management and disaster response is parallel to homeland security, and also offers a lucrative outlook. There are many crossovers between the disciplines and it is not uncommon to have multiple certifications. Not only can you find a variety of homeland security degree programs online, but there are also many flexible online Emergency Management degree options. Emergency managers will never be out of work in the world with which we are living. Think about how many are on the ground right now in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic. There are emergency managers working in every hospital and within communities large and small.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the top organization in the United States that deals with emergency management and disaster recovery. Achieving a FEMA certification can bring you into a leadership role on the national level of disaster recovery, response, and preparation. Any of the Emergency Management degree programs will lead to an Emergency Management Certificate, ensuring that you are a trusted career professional in the field, trained and ready to get your hands dirty. It is possible to achieve both an Emergency Management Certification as well as an Emergency Management Certification, and even take it to the next level with a FEMA certification. One or all will be beneficial in achieving employment that is sustainable and will remain in demand for the foreseeable future.