Careers in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Leadership

University Announces New Doctor of Professional Studies in Homeland Security

"Duty, honor, country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur

Effective leadership is pivotal to carrying this burden of safeguarding our nation. With nearly 190,0001 individuals dedicated to this cause, there is abundant opportunity for those driven to protect the citizens of the United States. In this article, we explore the potential career paths within homeland security and criminal justice leadership, and how St. John’s University’s Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Leadership equips you for these vital roles.

Careers in Homeland Security

Homeland security is a dynamic and multifaceted field spanning a wide range of roles dedicated to preserving our nation’s security from a myriad of threats, whether they originate from abroad or within our borders. With a M.P.S. degree in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Leadership, you are not just prepared to navigate these complexities—you are equipped to lead the charge—where you can play a pivotal role in shaping policy, driving strategic initiatives, and tackling emerging challenges head-on.

Expertise and insights are invaluable in crafting effective strategies to counter threats, protect critical infrastructure, and ensure the safety of our communities. With the advanced education and skills developed during our master’s program, you have the power to make a tangible difference in the security and well-being of our nation. You may work in various governmental agencies and groups, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); the Transportation Security Administration (TSA); or the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Here are some examples of potential leadership roles you can pursue after earning your master’s:

  • Chief Security Officer: reports to the Under Secretary for Management. This person oversees various responsibilities, including directing security programs, ensuring policy consistency, guiding teams, implementing directives, managing sensitive information, responding to incidents, controlling access, detecting risks, administering initiatives, collaborating with agencies, ensuring fairness, and monitoring facility security. 
  • Emergency Management Director: leads and coordinates emergency preparedness, response, and recovery efforts at the local, state, or federal level. This person may work as a part of FEMA to develop emergency plans, coordinate with other government agencies and community stakeholders, and oversee response efforts during disasters and crises.
  • Homeland Security Program Manager: oversees the implementation of homeland security programs and initiatives within organizations or agencies. This person develops and executes strategic plans, allocates resources, manages budgets, and ensures compliance with regulations and objectives.
  • Intelligence Analyst Supervisor: leads teams of intelligence analysts responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence related to national security threats. This person provides strategic guidance, oversees analytical processes, and ensures the production of timely and accurate intelligence assessments.
  • Homeland Security Adviser: provides strategic guidance and coordination in matters related to national security and emergency preparedness. This person assesses threats, coordinates response efforts, and engages with stakeholders to promote awareness and resilience. Additionally, this person advocates for policy initiatives to enhance homeland security capabilities.

These leadership roles require specialized knowledge and demonstrated proficiency to effectively address the complex challenges and responsibilities inherent in homeland security and related fields. Our master’s program provides the necessary foundation to excel in these leadership positions and make meaningful contributions to the security and resilience of our nation.

Careers in Criminal Justice

Similarly to homeland security, criminal justice is also a field encompassing multiple roles dedicated to maintaining law and order, administering justice, and safeguarding the rights of individuals. With a master’s degree in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Leadership, you are prepared to assume key positions that are pivotal in shaping law enforcement policies, driving investigative efforts, and fostering community engagement. You may work in governmental agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP); Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC); United States Secret Service (USSS); US Department of Homeland Security (DHS); US Department of Justice (DOJ); US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and the US Marshals Service (USMS).

Some notable leadership roles within criminal justice include

  • Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC): assists the Special Agent in Charge in overseeing operations within a specific ATF field division or office. Responsibilities include supervising investigations, liaising with law enforcement partners, representing ATF leadership, and providing guidance and support to personnel. The ASAC plays a crucial role in supporting the advancement of the agency’s mission of disrupting violent crime for safer communities.
  • Chief of Police: is the highest-ranking officer within a police department and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of law enforcement operations within their jurisdiction. This person’s role includes setting departmental policies, managing personnel and resources, coordinating with other law enforcement agencies, engaging with the community, and ensuring public safety. The Chief of Police helps shape departmental culture, maintain accountability, and foster positive relationships with the community.
  • Corrections Administrator: oversees the operations of correctional facilities, including prisons, jails, and detention centers. This person’s role involves managing staff, ensuring compliance with regulations and policies, maintaining facility security, and implementing programs aimed at rehabilitation and inmate welfare. Additionally, Corrections Administrators may be involved in budgeting, strategic planning, and liaising with other criminal justice agencies. 
  • FBI Special Agent: fulfills diverse roles, from testifying in court to executing search warrants. This person’s tasks vary widely; they gather intelligence, make arrests, and handle administrative duties. Specializations include training, fingerprinting, and public affairs. This person may hold a supervisory role such as the Assistant Director in Charge; Assistant Special Agent in Charge ; Deputy Director; Executive Assistant Director; Field Office Supervisor; Resident Agent in Charge; Section Chief; Supervisory Special Agent; or Unit Chief.
  • Department of Justice Regional Director: oversees operations in a specific geographic area, coordinating DOJ offices and agencies. Responsibilities include managing personnel and resources, implementing policies, liaising with stakeholders, ensuring compliance, strategic planning, and crisis management. This person plays a vital role in advancing the DOJ’s mission of upholding the rule of law, keeping the country safe, and protecting civil rights within their region.

Career Progression

Advancing in roles within homeland security and criminal justice leadership roles requires a commitment to ongoing learning and skill development. Our Master of Professional Studies degree in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Leadership provides a robust foundation in executive principles, strategic planning, and crisis management. With this knowledge, you are poised to excel in your career—addressing complex challenges, driving change, and fostering collaboration. The interdisciplinary nature of our program offers a comprehensive understanding of interdisciplinary fields, crucial for navigating diverse stakeholders and the multifaceted challenges in supervisory positions.

About the Master of Professional Studies Program at St. John’s University

Offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to prepare you for success in both the public and private sectors.

Expert Faculty

Taught by industry professionals with extensive experience in homeland security, criminal justice, and emergency management, our program ensures you receive practical insights and mentorship.

Homeland Security lab

Homeland Security/Emergency Management Simulation Lab

Gain hands-on experience in handling various large-scale incidents, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks, in a realistic, virtual environment.

Comprehensive Curriculum

The St. John’s program offers a diverse array of classes covering topics such as contemporary legal problems in criminal justice, court administration, criminological theory, ethical leadership principles, global security issues, public administration leadership, homeland security policy analysis, correctional administration, and more.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in homeland security or criminal justice, St. John’s University’s master’s program equips you with the skills and knowledge needed. Whether your passion lies in safeguarding communities, shaping policies, or managing crisis situations, our program prepares you for a rewarding career path. Interested in making a difference and advancing your career in homeland security and criminal justice? Begin your application process today and join us in shaping a safer, more resilient future for our nation.