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Public Safety & Emergency Management Degree

Public safety specialists include emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics, police officers, 911 dispatchers, and firefighters. Government agencies at all levels and other organizations hire public safety specialists.

Entry-level public safety jobs can often be acquired with high school degrees, but individuals with college degrees will qualify for more positions and have better employment prospects. Popular college degree programs in public safety include EMT, law enforcement, criminal justice, emergency manaement and fire science programs. Many jobs in public safety can be obtained after completing a professional certificate program. Completing a certificate in public safety or emergency management after earning a bachelor's degree is also good game plan for those interested in launching a career in public safety.

Bachelor's Degrees Covering Public Safety and Emergency Management
Earning a bachelor's degree in public safety or emergency management is good preparation for entry-level career opportunities. Often programs in emergency management offer concentrations in public safety and public safety programs offer concentrations in emergency management. Either path offers students the fundamental knowledge and skills they'll require to launch a successful career in either field. Public safety and emergency management bachelor degree programs teach students how to organize and manage human, medical and financial resources in order to prepare for disasters, terrorist attacks and other emergencies.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in either public safety or emergency management is a four year degree program that is made up of general, core and elective education components. General education courses typically include math, science, English, business communication, and possibly a foreign language. Core courses may include statistics, criminal justice, budgeting, disaster planning, hazard mitigation, fundamentals of emergency management, emergency medical response, environmental health and safety, and resource management, among others.

Emergency Management Certification
Emergency management certificate programs are growing in popularity. Colleges and universities across the United States now offer certificate programs in emergency management. Certificate programs in emergency management are designed for students seeking a shorter program that is focused on a specific discipline, such as disaster preparedness, homeland security or bioterrorism preparedness. Emergency management certificates can be completed on campus or via online distance learning.

A complete list of colleges offering stand-alone emergency management certificate programs can be found on the FEMA website at Below you can explore various certificate and degree programs that will qualify you for career opportunities in public safety. Programs are available via online learning or at campus locations nationwide.

Public Safety Degree Programs

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