Maryland residents who are interested in pursuing careers in the homeland security field should know that having the right education is absolutely vital to their success. All professionals working in the homeland security field will possess at least a bachelor’s degree, with many holding master’s degrees or even doctorate level degrees.

These degrees, regardless of their level, do not necessarily have to be in homeland security, but they should be in a related field, particularly in one related to the job that you would ultimately like to have. Of course, you can’t really know what degree and major you will need if you don’t know what it is that you want to do.

That is why figuring that out is the most important thing, and is the first thing that you should do. Be aware that there are literally hundreds of different jobs available in the homeland security field, and you should have a fair idea of what all of them are in order to make sure you aren’t missing out on the best fit for you.

So, take the time to learn about homeland security and the many different jobs available in it.

Most jobs will fall under one of the following categories: Mission Support, Law Enforcement, Immigration and Travel Security, and Prevention and Response. You are encouraged to pick a category of interest and then explore jobs in that category for a less overwhelming experience.

As you choose the job that you would eventually like to have, be sure that you are realistic. Be honest with yourself about your own strengths and weaknesses and about what you are able and willing to do to have the career of your choosing.

Pay attention to the necessary qualifications for the job you aspire to, and use your knowledge of these qualifications to plan your education accordingly.

Fortunately, no matter what it is that you wish to do in the field, Maryland will likely have an educational program that is right for you and your goals. The state is filled with traditional colleges and universities, trade and technical schools, and community colleges offering programs that serve as great launching pads to various homeland security careers.

Once choice that offers a wide array of different and varied options is Ann Arundel Community College, in Arnold. This school has associate’s degree programs in forensic studies, homeland security management, juvenile justice, law enforcement and criminal justice with a focus on policing, law enforcement and criminal justice with a focus on social justice, general law enforcement and criminal justice, cybercrime, intelligence analytics, and many other relevant areas.

Likewise, Chesapeake College, in Wye Mills, has lots of great options too. These include associate’s degree programs in criminal justice with a focus on corrections, criminal justice with a focus on crime scene technician training, and criminal justice with a focus on law enforcement.

Another great choice is the College of Southern Maryland, in La Plata, which has associate’s level programs in criminal justice, homeland security, and forensic science, as well as a certification program in security management.

There’s also Coppin State University, in Baltimore, with its bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice and law enforcement, and Frederick Community College and its associate’s degree program in general criminal justice. Frostburg State University is an excellent choice as well and offers bachelor’s degree programs in law and society and general criminal justice.

Prospective homeland security professionals have also had success with one of Hagerstown Community College’s many fine programs, which include associate’s degrees in administration of justice, information systems technology, and computer forensics, among others.

A few other choices to consider include Harford Community College in Bel Air, Kaplan College in Hagerstown, Kaplan University also in Hagerstown, Montgomery College in Rockville, Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, and Prince George’s Community College in Largo.

These, of course, represent just a few of a multitude of fine choices throughout the state.

Plus, remember that in today’s time, online schooling is becoming increasingly popular. With online schooling, providing that you find and choose an accredited school, you can earn your education from all over the world, without ever leaving the comfort and security of your own home.