Most South Dakota residents who know that they would like to pursue careers in the homeland security field are aware of the fact that they will need to have some kind of formal educational training. Beyond that, however, they are often clueless about the exact degree level they need to achieve and what their major or area of study will need to be.

A lot of people make the mistake of just pursuing a general homeland security degree without any real idea about the job that they would ultimately like to have. Don’t let this be you, however. Set your career goals firmly in place from the start.

Once you have done this , through thorough research and some real, honest self assessment, your educational goals and purposes will become much clearer. You can then choose your degree level and your exact major based upon that goal, thereby greatly achieving your chances of success in the field and of landing the exact job that you want once you graduate.

With that said, however, know that almost all jobs in the field will require applicants to possess at least a bachelor’s degree.

The good news, though, is that no matter what it is you wish to do in the field, what major you wish to pursue, or what your intended degree level is, you can likely find the perfect educational opportunity for you right in your very own state. That’s because South Dakota is home to some excellent colleges, universities, community colleges, and trade and technical schools offering top rated programs in homeland security and related areas.

It really is, then, just a matter of sorting through your choices and finding the right school to match your personality, your learning style, your lifestyle, and of course, your career goals.

One of the top choices for prospective homeland security professionals is Colorado Technical University. Don’t let the name fool you, however. This school is located in the state, right in beautiful Sioux Falls.

Though it is a traditional school, it offers many of its educational programs either fully or partially online, something that is a great convenience to many students, especially those who must balance other demands and responsibilities with their quest for an education.

Programs offered by the school include associate’s degree programs in general criminal justice, and bachelor’s degree programs in the same, forensic investigation, and human services.

There’s also Dakota Wesleyan University, a private school located in Mitchell. This school, though it is a bit on the expensive side, offers an excellent and very well respected bachelor’s degree program in general criminal justice.

Another good option is Killian Community College, in Sioux Falls, which has an associate’s degree program in justice studies.

Plus, there’s Mount Marty College, another private college, this one in Yankton, which offers associate’s degree programs in criminal justice and bachelor’s degree programs in the same and in forensic science.

You might also choose National American University, a popular school with locations in both Rapid City and Sioux Falls. This school has both an associate’s degree program and an online bachelor’s degree program in general criminal justice.

Sinte Gleska University, not too far away in Mission, has an excellent human services associate’s degree program, and Southeast Technical University of Sioux Falls has a good associate’s degree program in law enforcement science.

There is also the University of Sioux Falls, offering a bachelor’s degree in general criminal justice, and the University of South Dakota, in Vermillion, which has a bachelor’s degree program in the same general area of study.