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Careers in Security Management

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The private security sector predates modern policing and, prior to the formation of what we now see as public sector law enforcement, private security personnel carried out critical duties for the U.S. government. These functions included protecting the president, hunting down fugitives and spies, and conducting investigations ranging from counterfeit to industrial espionage. Today, the private security sector is present in almost every business and industry, including retail, healthcare, corporate, government contracting, cultural property, cyber, and more.

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Useful Skills within the Security Management Field

Monitoring — Monitoring or assessing your performance, the performance of others, or of organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.


Career Options

To identify what education or training is typical for careers within the public administration field, use the O*Net hyperlinks below and click on “Job Zone.” In addition, seek out the advice of fellow students and alumni working in the industry, using our mentoring program on The Quad (for current students and alumni only) or by speaking with a career coach.

As with all majors, the education you receive serves as a foundation of knowledge that prepares you for what you may face in the professional world. The career field you choose may require additional education or experience.

Corrections Officer
Criminal Investigation and Special Agents
Immigration and Customs Inspectors
Information Security Analyst
Police Officer

Security and Fire Alarm Installer
Security Guard
Security Management Specialists
Security Manager
Transportation Security Screeners

Getting Started: Internships

Gaining real-life experience is an ideal way to start a new career. The Career Services website has an extensive list of internships and fellowships. Browse through the internships organized by interest or by federal program.

In addition to the organizations mentioned above, there are government-organized internship programs, many of which require students to maintain either a half-time or full-time student status. The best way to identify potential opportunities such as these is to contact branch offices directly, to search, or to look at the agencies’ career portals. Keep in mind that these positions are not always posted online, so direct contact with the agency is key.

The Pathways Program is a federal initiative that offers internship programs for current students as well as training and career development opportunities for recent graduates. Recent graduates must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion (except for veterans, who, due to their military service obligation, have up to six years to apply). The internship program for current students replaces the former Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).

The Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF)
PMF is designed to attract outstanding federal service members from a wide variety of academic disciplines who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs. To be eligible for nomination, an individual must be a graduate student completing or expecting to complete an advanced degree from a qualifying college or university during the current academic year. Graduate students who have had their degree conferred in the preceding two years from the opening of the vacancy announcement are also eligible for PMF.

The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)
WRP is coordinated by the Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Defense and aims to provide summer work experience and, in some cases, full-time employment to college students with disabilities. The program develops partnerships with other federal agencies, each of which makes a commitment to provide summer jobs and a staff recruiter. Each year, recruiters interview about 1,500 students with disabilities at college and university campuses across the nation and develop a database listing the qualifications of each student.

Getting Hired: Government Agencies, Organizations, and Search Engines

There are several government agencies and organizations that seek candidates with degrees in security management. The list below provides a few places one might find employment specific to this degree.

Allied Barton
ASRC Federal Holding Company
Booz Allen and Hamilton
Bureau of Diplomatic Security
Defense Security Service
Department of Homeland Security

Lockheed Martin Corporation
National Security Agency
Pentagon Force Security Agency
Pitney Bowes Government Solutions

While many of the major job search engines will have several positions to choose from, those listed below are specific to the security management field.

Security Executive Council


Keeping Current: Professional Organizations and Associations

Involvement in professional organizations is a great way to stay up-to-date on new technology, tools, and best practices in your field. Professional organizations are also a great networking opportunity. Below are a few professional organizations you may be interested in as a security management major.

American Polygraph Association
American Society of Criminology
Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials
International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition
International Association of Professional Security Consultants
International Foundation for Protection Officers
International Organization of Black Security Executives
International Security Management Association
National Classification Management Society, Inc.

Conferences and Expositions

American Polygraph Association Seminar
Aug. 28-Sept. 2, 2016
Baltimore, Md.

The American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting
Nov. 16-19, 2016
New Orleans, La.

IAPSC Annual Conference
May 7-9, 2017
Austin, Texas

The IOBSE Spring Conference
2017 TBD

NCMS Chapter Meeting
Various dates
Various locations

Get Connected: Social Media

AMU Law Enforcement – Twitter
AMUSecurityINFO – Blog, Twitter
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners – Facebook, LinkedIn
Association of Certified Fraud Specialists – Facebook, LinkedIn
In Homeland Security – Blog, Facebook, Twitter
In Public Safety – Blog
Information System Security Association – Facebook, LinkedIn
International Organization of Black Security Executives – Facebook


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