Is a degree in national security worth it?
The structure of contemporary states and the challenges they face without a doubt make for a very complicated picture in terms of citizen safety. At the same time, the specific national problems of our times can be seen as opportunities for coming up with innovative solutions. One of the paths for creating them can be found in pursuing an education in national security.
A degree in national security — what does it entail?
In the course of the national security studies, the participants are gradually introduced to the range of multidimensional issues, pertaining mainly to the internal security of a nation state (in the broad meaning of the word), as well as external defense. This may include personal security of diverse group of citizens, including ethnic and sexual minorities, issues of economic stability, poverty and distribution of resources, food security and many more.
Future national security specialists will also learn the specifics of crime fighting on a state level and in the smaller populations, which entails, for example, drug trade and violence cyber-security, among many others. In addition to these important topics, they will be presented with the appropriate responses to emerging ecological and globalization challenges, as well as to effective models of natural disaster emergency preparation. All of the aforementioned topics should be seen only as a small percentage of knowledge the student will gain in this fascinating area.
Most popular career paths in national security
As a result of successfully completing the training required to get a degree in national security, the new specialist will be able to choose from a spectrum of numerous career opportunities. Among them, we can enumerate several desirable positions in the administrative structures of the state and the corresponding EU or even international job openings. In today’s world, connected to the Internet on a variety of levels, this can also mean a job in data protection and processing or even cyber-counterintelligence.
National security specialists are also continually needed in all the areas dealing with the ecological issues, from the threats to state biodiversity to creating the policies regarding carbon emissions. In the era of COVID-19, it should not come as a surprise to anyone that a swift, competent and adequate natural disaster emergency response will be of utmost importance in the coming years. Because of that, a grounded expertise in emergency management will be needed in every sector — public, private and NGO alike.
National security specialist — is it a career for me?
To properly answer this question, the person considering it should first become very aware of his/her character traits and patterns of behavior. Of course, after completing the appropriate education and getting a degree, they will be technically prepared to deal with several complex avenues of administrative work, as well as to respond effectively to various threats emerging in their field of work.
Still, the possible psychological burden this kind of job might place on the shoulders of government employees should not be dismissed lightly. If you are determined to pursue a degree in national security, you should take into account not only the perks of the future job opportunities, but also the toll the executive decision-making takes on the unprepared psyche. Because of that, adding some courses on the psychological first aid, executive responsibility and resilience under pressure might be a good idea.