Specializations lead to multiple career paths in emergency preparedness.

Flooded homes in an emergencyEmergency, fire, flood, crisis. If you’re seeking a master’s degree with a focus on emergency management, those words don’t scare you, they inspire you to leadership. Graduate programs that offer emergency management specializations can prepare you for a wide variety of career opportunities in the public sector—in agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Emergency preparedness careers abound in the private sector, where businesses of all sizes must manage risk and plan for possible crisis situations. And NGOs have their own needs as well, with some organizations, like the American Red Cross, responding to emergencies and disasters around the world.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 8% growth rate through 20261 in jobs for emergency management directors. “The importance of preparing for and minimizing the risks from emergencies will help sustain demand and employment for these workers,” states the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook. If you’re ready to join the ranks of emergency management leaders, here are four degrees that can take you there:

MS in Emergency Management

A quick scan of the daily headlines reveals the diverse range of situations—from natural disasters to cyber crimes to terrorist attacks—that require the talents of skilled emergency management personnel. This online master’s degree program provides the knowledge and tools to lead organizations through the emergency management cycle of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. With this master’s in emergency management you may select the general program or the Self Design specialization, where you can customize your learning experience with three master’s-level classes from the School of Public Policy and Administration. Both programs include vital courses like Disaster Response and Recovery, Terrorism: A Systematic Approach for Emergency Preparedness, and Current Issues in Homeland Security.

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

This MPA degree offers a specialization in Emergency Management and is designed for public safety administrators and emergency responders seeking to advance their careers. Classes on topics like organizational management, strategic planning, and public policy analysis help create a framework around which administrators can build emergency preparedness plans to safeguard the public. This comprehensive online MPA program includes emergency management coursework covering issues like risk assessment, disaster mitigation, and emergency response and recovery.

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

What is public policy and how does it relate to emergency management? Merriam-Webster defines public policy as “government policies that affect the whole population.”2 Once you know the definition, it’s easy to see its connection to emergency management. The online master’s in public policy program with an emergency management specialization teaches students how to identify and address public policy issues, and how to devise solutions that serve the greater good. This innovative MPP uses a virtual city to provide learning opportunities that mirror real life. Emergency management courses include Critical Issues in Emergency Management. Public policy coursework centers on governance, ethics, leadership, and strategic planning.

MS in Criminal Justice

This degree’s specialization in emergency management is rooted in the study of criminology and the criminal justice system, recognizing the complex situations faced by those who plan for, or respond to, crisis situations. This master’s in criminal justice program is designed to teach leaders the skills they need to make sound decisions while working under extreme pressure. In addition to core emergency management courses like Critical Issues in Emergency Management, the curriculum includes classes like The Nature of Crime and Criminology, Controversies in Criminal Justice, and Victimology.

These four degrees, each with its own particular focus on emergency management, can put you on the path to an exciting and rewarding career tackling some of today’s most pressing issues. No matter which online graduate degree program you choose, you can apply what you’ve learned in your coursework immediately on the job. You’ll gain the skills to plan and lead a crisis response, key responsibilities in many emergency management jobs. At the helm, you can help an organization weather any storm that may come its way. Which degree program will you choose?

Walden University is an accredited institution offering innovative online master’s programs with a focus on emergency management. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy lifestyle.

1Source: www.bls.gov/ooh/management/emergency-management-directors.htm

2Source: www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/public_policy

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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