Public Safety Management Topics

Guide to a Career in Public Safety Management

What is Public Safety Management? A degree in Public Safety management prepares students for careers in a myriad of industries, all having to do with the safety and security of the public. Whether it is coordinating large events and making sure they are run safely or inspecting a building to make sure it is safe to occupy, careers in public safety management are meaningful and rewarding. Because public safety is such a broad field, it allows the student to cater their degree program to their interests in the specified fields of security, event coordination, or inspection. A degree in Public Safety Management can lead students toward management positions in large corporations, public safety organizations, or fire and police departments. Many professionals already working in the field of public safety but who wish to further their education and advance their careers go back to school for a more advanced college degree in Public Safety management. A college degree gives these professionals the upward mobility they need to be considered over others for promotion to a management position. And, with the introduction of online degree and distance learning programs offered by accredited colleges and universities, students with careers do not have to quit their jobs to go back to school.

Public safety education combines classroom work with real world application. Many degree programs require real-life experience in order for the student to graduate with an advanced degree. Many others will accept real life experience already obtained by the student as credit o put toward their degree.

As has become more and more clear in the last few years, public safety requires very careful planning and lots of coordination. This is where public safety management comes in. While many public safety and law enforcement officials walk the streets visibly keeping us safe, public safety managers work behind the scenes in order to plan and make sure that the law enforcement officials, as well as the public, are as safe as they possibly can be while they do their jobs or go about their business.

A degree in public safety management equips students with the unique ability to oversee safety organizations, making sure they have a plan for anything that might arise. These public safety officials are constantly modifying and updating the plans to make sure all of the latest technologies and strategies are employed, making the plans as effective as possible.

Public Safety Management degrees are in demand now more than ever as the public's awareness of safety issues increases. The threat of terrorism has provided the industry with more funding, and more jobs for trained professionals are opening up. The more advanced an individual's education, the more likely he or she is of getting a job in this increasingly competitive industry.

The skills acquired in a Public Safety Management degree program will prepare the student to run any number of public safety organizations. These skills include the ability to create a budget for the organization, to effectively manage a team of experts, to communicate effectively with those working under you, and to meet the demands of the organization's mission statement.

Basically, degrees in Public Safety Management combine the best of the fields of business management, law enforcement. With skills in law, criminal justice, business finance, management, and communications, students will be prepared to handle whatever their organization has in store for them.

Is a Degree program in Public Safety Management right for you?

Students enrolled in a Public Safety Management degree program tend to be extremely organized with a high attention to detail. They also tend to have a genuine concern for the welfare of others that brings a quality of passion to their approach to the work. If you feel this way, a degree program in Public Safety Management might be right for you. Often, students who have obtained an associate degree in a related field like criminal justice or law enforcement, often choose Public Safety Management as a bachelor's degree major. The credits from related programs transfer easily over to a Public Safety Management degree program. Also, people already at work in a field related to public safety management will choose public safety management as a major in order to advance within the organization they work for, or to find a new, more advanced job elsewhere. These people can often use their work experience as credits to put toward their degree. Also, because many Public Safety Management degree programs are offered online, working professionals seldom need to quit their jobs in order to further their education. People who excel in the field of public safety management tend to have the following skills and characteristics: Strong leadership abilities Highly organized Attention to detail Ability to plan ahead Ability to foresee problems Troubleshooting skills Budget management skills Strong communication skills Excellent computer skills Creative problem solving abilities Multitasking skills

Preparing to enter a Degree program in Public Safety Management

As students prepare to enter a distance learning or online college degree program in Public Safety Management, they should consider what will be required of them during the course of their education. If the student is still in high school, they should be sure to take whatever social studies, psychology, law, computer, Spanish, business, and math classes are offered, as well as any courses they feel will help them get into your typical liberal arts college. Most liberal arts colleges and universities require four years of English, three years of math, and two years of science.

Those already working in the field of public safety should consider whether or not they are willing to quit their job or postpone their career in order to go back to school. Working professionals should seriously consider enrolling in a distance learning or online education program so as not to interrupt their career or family life.

Students should research carefully to decide what college degree program best suits their needs. Public Safety Management degree programs tend to vary substantially, as it is something of an emerging industry. Find a school that has an approach to academic curriculum and an academic philosophy that are compatible with your own.

Career Education in Public Safety Management

Undergraduate and Graduate degree and certificate programs Public Safety Management programs are available at the certificate level. Certificate programs in Public Safety Management may be most appropriate for professionals already working in the public safety industry. Public Safety Management degrees are also available at the bachelors and Master's level. Degrees at all levels can be obtained through accredited colleges and universities offering traditional or distance learning and online programs of study. Many Public Safety Management degree programs require students to already have obtained an associate degree in a related field before applying for admission to the public safety management program. Related fields include, but are not limited to: Criminal justice Law enforcement Business management Legal studies

Certificate Programs

Most certificate programs in Public Safety Management are directed toward those already working within the profession who wish to specialize or supplement their skills in order to advance in their careers. These certificate programs often require an associate or bachelor degree in the field of public safety, or a comparable amount of experience.

These certificate programs are often highly intensive, usually taking no more than a year to complete. They do, however, require the student to come to them with a certain degree of expertise already obtained in the area of public safety. The programs are highly specialized, usually focusing on one aspect of public safety management, such as disaster preparation or terrorism prevention.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Bachelor's degree programs in Public Safety Management seek to give the student a broad general education while delivering the skills needed to begin a career in public safety. These degree programs cultivate business and leadership skills, as well as communication and computer skills.

While most students will be prepared for an entry-level position in public safety after graduation, holding a bachelor's degree will also increase their chances of future promotion. Moreover, the salaries of many positions are determined by education and experience, so those who hold bachelor's degrees are more likely to be well compensated for their services.

As with most college majors, much of the coursework for a bachelor's degree in public safety management consists of general education requirements. These general education requirements are important because they produce a well-rounded graduate, capable of thinking in a variety of ways about a variety of subjects. This increases critical thinking capabilities and communication skills.

General education requirements for a bachelor's degree in public safety management include:

English composition
Technical writing
Public Speaking
Computer applications
Physics, chemistry, or biology
Social sciences
After the general education requirements are met, the curriculum becomes more focused on the public safety aspect of the degree. At this the point, the courses become more specialized, dealing with effective techniques of public safety management. Also, the business aspect of the coursework is focused on more strongly. This is when students learn how to become effective leaders of an organization.

Courses more specific to the public safety management major include:

Advanced accounting
Motivational strategies
Cultural studies
Public administration
Administrative law
Strategy and implementation
Behavior of organizations
Project management
Management principles
Human resource management
Many colleges and universities will accept experience in the public safety industry in place of coursework for college credit to put towards the degree. If the student has experience in the field, they should ask the colleges they are applying to if they accept life experience credit before applying.

Master's Degree Programs

Master's degree programs in Public Safety Management are typically two-year degree programs. They are often geared toward the working professional, offering flexible classes on nights, weekends, and online. These degree programs allow students to specifically gear their studies toward their individual interests in the field.

The Master's degree in Public Safety Management prepares the student to take on a management position within police and fire departments, within the medical community, or in private law enforcement organizations. Most programs offer a balanced approach of theory and practice, and many offer internships and on-the-job training.

Most Master's degree programs in Public Safety Management require that the student possess a bachelor's degree in public safety or a related field. Graduation from an undergraduate program with a grade point average of at least 3.0 is not an uncommon requirement, either.

The degree program itself consists of coursework paired with internships and other field experience. While many programs do not require a thesis to graduate, some require students to approach a real world problem and solve it with the public safety management skills they've learned.

Many public safety management students will work closely with a mentor or advisor in order to create a field of study that will best suit the student's strengths, weaknesses, and career interests. Frequent meetings with advisors are not uncommon.

What Can You Do with a University Degree in Public Safety Management?

Career options for aspiring security managers, fire chiefs, and anti-terrorism task force specialists

A college degree in Public Safety Management can lead you into a variety of fields. From disaster relief to working for local fire or police departments, these careers are important and rewarding. The Department of Homeland Security is another employment option for those who wish to work on a national level or for the United States government.

Some examples of careers in the field of public safety management:

Emergency Response Specialist
Anti-terrorism Task Force Coordinator
Public Events Security Coordinator
Corporate Security Manager
Fire Chief
Police Chief
Disaster Relief Specialist

Career Specializations

Emergency Response Specialist. Emergency Response Specialists respond in a moment's notice to a variety of emergencies and public security threats. They do all manner of work from crowd control to making sure a building is secure during an emergency. The emergencies these specialists respond to can vary from terrorist threats or attacks to natural disasters. Emergency Response Specialists must know how to administer emergency medical care. They must assess emergencies and make a plan in order to gain control of the situation quickly and efficiently. While doing so, they must ensure that the public is kept safe, as well as those who are working under them and fulfilling their orders. Anti-Terrorism Task Force Coordinator. These individuals must make an attempt to stay one step ahead of terrorists, preventing terrorist attacks through the use of intelligence and security. They must know how to interrogate suspects and put together information from a variety of sources to determine if an area is under the threat of a terrorist attack. These individuals must maintain contact with airlines, public administrators, and local and state police in order to look for suspicious activity that may be related to terrorism. They must be able to gather and piece together intelligence on a local and national level in order to prevent all manners of terrorist attacks, from bombings to hijackings. These coordinators also must pay attention to their budget. Deciding how much manpower is needed and what pay scale is to be used is just one part of the financial end of being a task force coordinator. They must request and obtain funding from the federal government and elsewhere before they can do anything. Public Events Security Coordinator. Public Events Security Coordinators will usually either work for the police department or a local private security agency, making sure public events, such as conferences, fairs, festivals, and parades are kept safe and under control. They must devise emergency plans and account for everything that might possibly go wrong. They must act quickly should a situation arise and nip it in the bud as soon as it is spotted.

Even more important than controlling situations is, of course, preventing them. Deciding where to station security forces and what routes security should use to patrol are two of the main duties of security coordinators. They must be trained in emergency medical procedures as well as in the basics of law enforcement. They also must work within the budget presented to them, deciding how many people to employ, what to pay them, and what to spend on materials, such as communications equipment and weapons.
Corporate Security Manager. Large corporations have great need for security, as their operations are often large and difficult to keep track of. Security managers for these corporations must regulate the entire security force for the company, conducting interviews and hiring skilled men and women. They must plan and execute security measures, such as assigning patrols, guarding entrances, and installing security alarms and cameras. Security managers must stay abreast of the latest technologies that may help the corporation they work for stay more secure.

Corporate security managers also work within a budget. If they believe more security is needed, they must first advise the company's board of directors so that more funds can be allocated to the security force of the company. They then hire more guards or install more security measures appropriately.
Fire Chief. The Fire Chief must be a seasoned firefighter as well as a skilled administrator. The daily concerns of keeping firefighters safe must be balanced with the restrictions of budget and staffing. One of the most important jobs of the fire chief is convincing politicians that more funding is needed for the firefighters to do their jobs safely and effectively.

They must always be on the lookout for new technology that may help the department more effectively fight fires. If they feel that the technology is appropriate and cost-effective, they must petition for funds in order to obtain it.

The fire chief is also in charge of deciding which of his team gets promoted up the ranks. This means being a skillful judge of character, as well as recognizing specific achievements within the department and rewarding them.
Police Chief. The chief of police is an important position that oversees an entire police department. The chief is in charge of making sure that the budget is sufficient and that the needs of the department are being met. This ensures that the department can properly do its job protecting the citizens of a city or town.

A police chief's main duty is to ensure that the officers that work under him are as safe as possible while they protect the populace. This means keeping an eye on technological trends that may help the officers perform in a more safe and effective way. Also important is keeping an eye on crime trends in he city, in order to create plans that will counter the criminal activity.