Counterterrorism Degree

Following the attacks of 9/11, counterterrorism has been a major point of emphasis for the federal government which aims to defend US citizens from the growing threat of terrorism from around the world. Individuals who pursue a counterterrorism degree can find many opportunities to contribute to this important mission.

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Unlike some law enforcement-related disciplines, the goal of sifting through the myriad of online, print and other media to transmit information relating to terrorism is so great that not just federal agencies are involved. In fact, as many news outlets have reported, there is a growing number of civilian firms that are involved in data mining and other activities. Careers include but are not limited to those in the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, the military, the NSA and various state agencies interfacing with those agencies.

Did you know? Counterterrorism professionals often gain information from sources inside terrorist communities so secrecy and safety are always a high priority.

Counterterrorism Training and Courses

There are several goals in a counter terrorism degree program. First, graduates should be able to understand terrorist organizations in detail along with their motives, threats, tactics, etc. Second, they should be able to conduct basic counter terrorism and counter intelligence operations. Third, they should be able to plan and execute programs for intelligence gathering. Fourth, they should be able to analyze the collected data and turn it into pertinent information — be able to to collate and separate data that supports possible threats from so-called “noise”. Finally, they should be able to conduct contingency planning around terror threats.

Along with that, counter terrorism students studying in the discipline learn the principles of managing a team from a leadership standpoint, including applying general principles of counterterrorism, intelligence and assessments.

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CJDS Fact Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs), whose members come from various government agencies, have a presence in at least 103 cities in the US and consists of over 4,400 members1. This number has quadrupled since September 11, 2001.

To strengthen their understanding, many students looking to obtain a bachelor’s degree in counterterrorism will specialize in an area of the world. Fleshing out the counterterrorism-specific coursework will be cultural studies and language training to enable them to better understand their target audiences. These specialists are most desirable for agencies where their areas are current global hotspots.

Counterterrorism Degree Requirements

Pay is strongly linked to the government pay scale, as most work is provided by either the federal, or in some cases state governments. Recent labor statistics from the BLS show that median salaries for federal law enforcement were nearly $90,000 and about $75,000 for those working for the various state governments. Keep in mind that most federal agencies require at least a bachelor’s degree and many state agencies require at least 60 credit hours, though some are also moving towards a bachelor’s degree minimum.

Counter Terrorism Degrees, Programs and Online Criminal Justice Schools

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Walden University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • M.S.in Criminal Justice - Terrorism, Mediation, and Peace
  • Master of Public Administration - Homeland Security Policy and Coordination
  • M.S.in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Policy and Coordination

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Colorado Technical University Online
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Masters of Science in Management in Homeland Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Human Services

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American InterContinental University Online
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Bachelor's - Homeland Security and Crisis Management

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Capella University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • BS - Homeland Security
  • MS - Homeland Security
  • MS - Criminal Justice

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California University of Pennsylvania
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Master of Science in Legal Studies: Homeland Security

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Medaille College Online
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security

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Lewis University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Master of Science in Criminal/Social Justice - Homeland Security
  • Master of Science in Criminal/Social Justice - Custom Criminal/Social Justice


References:
1. Federal Bureau of Investigation: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/terrorism/terrorism_jttfs

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.