For a career in homeland security, you must complete an accredited degree program. Specialized fields like airport and border security require additional certifications. If you feel compelled to work in this exciting field, there are online homeland security courses you can start studying right now.

There are courses to help build a foundation for pursuing a degree in homeland security. In addition, you can take classes to expand your knowledge of this important job. Below is a list of 7 of the top online homeland security courses. The list begins with free alternatives, ending with accredited courses to work towards an official degree.

1. History101 – Ancient Civilizations of the World – Saylor.org

To successfully comprehend the concepts of homeland security, you need to understand the evolution of civilizations. This course will take you back to the roots of ancient civilizations and show you how changes in society have created an increasing need for security.

  • You will study various dynasties. Moreover, you will get to appreciate how war and conquest have been so prevalent in world history.
  • There are 13 units in the course, including a graded final exam. This course will transfer to any accredited university.

2. US Budgets for National Security – MIT OpenCourseWare Program

The next step in completing a series of online homeland security courses is a valuable free course. US Budgets for National Security will provide you with an excellent understanding of US budgetary policy for national security interests. To understand many of the important concepts of homeland security, it helps to appreciate how budgeted finances are applied.

  • You will be required to write two papers during this course. The first will be an opinion article about US homeland security. With the second assignment, you have to explain the budget options that the government uses.
  • There is an engaging group activity that will account for 40% of your grade. This activity will be an online debate about different aspects of US national security.
  • US Budgets for National Security is a 12-week course. The program will finish with a group presentation of an assortment of national security alternatives.

3. Central Challenges of American National Security, Strategy, and the Press

The next alternative on your list to study online homeland security courses is available on the edX learning platform. This class is free. However, it is only available in the open-archive format. You will still have access to the same information, but you cannot secure an official certificate at this time.

  • This is an intense 6-week course that requires an estimated 8 hours per week of commitment. You can choose to absorb the material at your own pace, but it is suggested you adhere to the lecture format. Expect to read 75 pages of text each week.
  • You will learn the way homeland security policies are developed, and how real-time conflicts can  change policies and strategies abruptly.

4. Intercultural Communication – FutureLearn.com

young beautiful couple looking at same book at a cafe

Another important class for you to consider delves into the communication aspect of homeland security. Understanding how different cultures communicate is essential. The institution behind this course is Shanghai International Studies University. It requires no previous special knowledge. Moreover, it is recommended for undergraduate students or postgraduate studies.

  • Intercultural Communication will teach you why understanding multicultural types of communication is essential to successfully apply homeland security techniques.
  • There is a focus on how to interpret misunderstandings caused by intercultural communications.
  • The base course is free. This will allow you seven-week access to all course materials. For $94, you can upgrade to full lifetime access, including a certificate of achievement upon successful completion of all course assignments.

5. National Security Management Course – Syracuse University

This is a two-week course designed for mid-level officials in both the public and private sectors. It is part of the homeland security program offered by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

  • Courses in the national security studies program are between two days and two weeks in duration. They are great for business and government professionals who have time limitations.
  • These are seminar-based courses that will award you an executive certificate in national security management.
  • The National Security Management Course is one of the most focused online homeland security courses. You will receive exposure to controversial policies and asked to debate various aspects of these.

6. Research Methods in Homeland Security Studies – American Public University

This is one of the core online homeland security courses required for a degree. You will need to register with the American Public University System to have access to this and other online homeland security courses.

  • To appreciate how homeland security professionals utilize massive amounts of data to propose measures to protect citizens.
  • You will learn the importance of detailed research and how to use data to produce compellingly accurate reports.

7. Online Homeland Security Certificate – Penn State University World Campus

This is a 12-credit program designed to provide individuals who hold a B.A. in a homeland security-related major with required national certification. This course costs $853 per credit hour. As such, you should make sure you qualify before committing to this opportunity.

  • Completing this course will dramatically enhance your chances of being hired in a number of homeland security-related jobs.
  • You will study the origins of homeland security policy, different presidential executive orders, and why this is a highly competitive career field.
  • Online Homeland Security Certificate stresses the importance of how local, state, and federal governments working with the private sector is essential to national security interests.

The Bottom Line

Homeland security is one of the most widely debated topics today. The career opportunities are extensive. To work in an official capacity, you will need to secure a related degree and most likely a specialized certification. However, you can begin studying for such a career by taking individual online homeland security courses.

While these can be taken in any order, it is recommended to build a good foundation of general concepts first. Even if a career in homeland security is not your goal, any of these 7 courses will help you appreciate the changing world of national security interests.

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