Public safety is a very important field that prevents and protects the general public from dangerous events. Online public safety degree programs provide students with a well-rounded public safety education and enable them to gain the essential skills to be successful in a variety of public safety careers. Students gain and strengthen their leadership skills, detail orientation, problem solving skills, organizational skills, communication skills, and multitasking skills. Students can choose a specialty of interest to lead a meaningful and exciting career. Read more about online public safety degree programs.
In 2006, there were 22,684 bachelor degrees, 2,061 master degrees, and 69 doctorate degrees conferred in criminal justice/safety studies. There were 179 bachelor degrees and 8 master degrees in fire protection and safety technology/technician and 116 bachelor degrees and 445 master degrees in other security and protective services (1). In 2006, public safety dispatchers held 289,000 jobs with 34% being police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers. Police officers held 654,000 jobs with most being employed by local, state, and Federal governments (2).
Employment outlook for public safety professionals varies greatly on degree, field, and position, but there is always a high need for ensuring the safety of the public and public safety careers are expected to steadily increase over the next decade. Employment of public safety dispatchers is expected to grow more slowly than average for all professions from 2006 to 2016, increasing 6% and adding 16,000 new jobs. Police officers are expected to experience as fast as average employment, growing 11% and adding 70,000 new jobs (2).
Public safety is a large field that enables students to specialize in a variety of areas to provide public service in many different career fields. The public safety specialties include fire safety, law enforcement, emergency medical services, criminal justices, animal control, homeland security, crisis management, security, traffic safety, Internet safety, leadership, public health, public policy, and water safety, health inspection. Students interested in a specific specialty should choose a school that offers a strong program in that particular area.
What to Expect
Many postsecondary institutions offer a variety of public safety degree programs. Undergraduate programs require general education courses in areas such as English, science, mathematics, composition and humanities. Core coursework differs among programs, but many programs require courses in public safety practices, cultural studies, public administration, public health, emergency response, disaster preparation, fire safety, crisis management, emergency medical services, and criminal justice. Graduate degree programs focus on more specialized study and prepare students for leadership and management positions.
The End Result
An undergraduate public safety degree prepares graduates for entry-level public safety positions in a variety of areas from local police departments to disaster relief. Bachelor degrees also prepare graduates for future advancement. Graduate degrees enable graduates to obtain higher level management and leadership positions. Careers opportunities for public safety graduates include:
- Police Officer
- Fire Chief
- Emergency Medical Technician
- Special Agent
- 911 Dispatcher
- Probation Officer
- Private Detective
- Correctional Treatment Specialist
- Anti-terrorism Coordinator
- Executive Administrator
- Director of Public Safety
- Corporate Security Manager
A public safety career will be rewarding for individuals interested in ensuring the overall safety of the public in a variety of fields. Public safety professionals must be able to handle emergency situations in an effective and calm way. They use their knowledge to communicate with people about important situations.
(1) SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics
(2) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition