California residents who are hoping to enter into any aspect of the homeland security career field will be glad to know that their state offers them lots of opportunities for education and eventual success. Of course, the two go hand in hand; most jobs at which one can be successful require a relevant education and usually a degree.

The degree, though, must be obtained first, which is why your initial emphasis and concern should always be on getting the right education necessary to make your career dreams into reality. You can’t do that, of course, until you know what your career dreams are.

You might be surprised to learn that a lot of people hoping to go into homeland security jobs don’t really know the first thing about the field. Often times, these people are not aware that homeland security professionals work in a wide variety of different positions; they imagine them all as doing the exact same job.

The truth is, however, that a multitude of jobs exist under this heading, and each one will have its own unique requirements and necessary qualifications. The best thing you can do is to spend some time researching your career options and then setting realistic goals about your future.

When you have goals in place, planning an education that will propel you to success becomes so much easier. With that said, however, you should know that most jobs in the field, especially those that most people would think of as “successful careers,” will require at least a bachelor’s degree.

The degree doesn’t necessarily have to be in homeland security specifically; it generally depends upon the job the prospective employee wishes to have. Often times, however, the degree is either in homeland security or in a closely related field, like criminal justice.

As such, many colleges in the state tend to be more popular for prospective homeland security professionals than others. One of the current top choices among those in or hoping to enter the field is Alan Hancock College, located in Santa Maria, which offers a simple associate’s degree program in law enforcement. Other top picks include Alliant International University, offering both a bachelor’s degree program and a master’s level program in forensic studies.

That school is located in San Diego, and in another popular city, Los Angeles, their lies American Intercontinental University, which has associate’s and bachelor’s level degree programs in criminal justice, corrections, forensic science, law enforcement, and general legal studies.

There’s also American River College in Sacramento, Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, and Argosy University, with locations in Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Ana, and Santa Monica to choose from. Don’t forget Bakersfield College, Barstow Community College, Brandman University, Bryan College, or Butte College either.

Of course, the choices listed above represent just a few of your many options when it comes to getting the education you need to succeed. Keep in mind that, in addition to several other schools throughout the state, you also have the online world at your fingertips.

Online schools get a bad reputation these days, and often with good reason. After all, there really are a lot of scams out there, scams that exist only to take your money and to waste your time. However, such scams can easily be avoided with a little research on your part and taking the time to ensure that the online college or university you choose is fully accredited.

Whether you choose to go to school online or just down the street, remember that you ultimately decide what to make of your education, no one else.