As a security management professional, you will typically pursue a career in the local, state or federal government, military service, law enforcement or even private security. In security management, it is common to work as a corporate security officer, diplomatic security officer, homeland security officer or other law enforcement officer that works on a public or private basis.
What Is Security Management?
Security management is a very broad field that involves many types of security services and administration. Security management can involve all from overseeing a staff of security guards, to watching over malls and museums, to installing high-tech security systems that protect many types of facilities.
Security management generally refers to the physical integrity of buildings, products and people, and also network, information and telecommunications systems protection. Professionals who are involved in security management may be guards who watch a building, and also can be IT professionals who develop software and network systems.
Professionals who are in physical security management often are responsible for assessing various risks to security, and devising strategies to prevent various types of threats. Information security management professionals are responsible for safeguarding IT systems and critical data systems to prevent unauthorized access.
There are a significant number of job opportunities available for professionals who work in both physical and information security management. For those who are interested in security management involving people, places and buildings, there will be a 6% increase in job demand for security guards and gaming surveillance officers through 2016. There always will be a need for these workers to guard people and property because of concerns about vandalism and crime. Professionals with a degree in the field can look forward to a career of managing and supervising these types of security workers.
For professionals who are interested in information security management, the job of information security analyst will grow by an impressive 28% by 20226. There is a great need for educated and skilled information security analysts as cyberattacks are becoming more frequent. Analysts are needed to devise new solutions to stop hackers from stealing vital information.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS states that there are 100,000 information security analysts in the US as of 2016. The biggest employers are:
- Computer systems design and related services: 28%
- Insurance and finance: 19%
- Management of companies: 9%
- Information: 8%
- Administrative and support services: 6%
BLS states that there are approximately 1.1 million security guards and gaming surveillance officers working as of 2016. Below are the most common types of security guards and related professionals and where they work:
- Investigation, guard and armored car services: 58%
- Educational services: 6%
- Accommodation and food services: 6%
- Healthcare: 6%
- Government: 4%
The median salary for security guards and gaming surveillance officers is $25,700, with the top 10% earning nearly $47,500 per year. It is possible that a professional with a security management degree would be in a supervisory role and would earn towards the higher end for median salaries.
Correctional officer is a related occupation, and the median salary is $42,800, with the top 10% earning $74,000.
Professionals who are interested in information security can earn a median salary of $926,00, with the top 10% earning more than $147,000 per year. Professionals with a degree in this field will earn various salaries by industry:
- Finance and insurance: $94,000
- Computer systems and design: $93,400
- Information: $92,900
- Administrative and support services: $92,800
- Management of companies: $87,500
With a degree in security management, you may be able to work for some of these employers across the country listed below.
For security guards and physical security management, some of the top employers are:
- Securitas Security Services USA
- US Security Associates
- Universal Protection Service
- Allied Universal
- Command Security
For information security management professionals, below are some of the best US employers to consider:
- Herjavec Group
- Raytheon Cyber
- IBM Security
- Palo Alto Networks
- Digital Defense
A Bachelor of Science in Security Management is a program that will help you to hone the skills and knowledge that are needed to work as a security manager, leader, supervisor or administrator. This type of degree will help you to fulfill the growing national and international need for more technical and theoretical competence in the security field. Students with this degree will learn about security management and how it affects communication networks, transportation and delivery, financial transactions, intellectual property, homeland security and the global supply chain.
Because new threats to safety and security are constantly evolving, both public and private organizations seek professionals that are well prepared for these threats. A master’s degree in security management will provide you with the knowledge and skills so that you can fulfill a leadership role in crime prevention, security, safety and criminal justice. Students typically learn to apply the best practices in Homeland Security for emergency preparedness and security management.
An online degree in security management provides the student with a higher level of knowledge in asset protection, loss prevention, security program management, management ethics and administration. It is important to note that security threats can come from both physical and online sources, so some online security management degrees also deal with information security as well.
Every university will have its own requirements for admission. Below are common requirements for being admitted for a master’s degree in security management:
- Bachelor’s degree from accredited university
- 5 GPA or higher
- Official transcripts
- GMAT may or may not be required
- Two or three letters of recommendation
- Updated resume
The curriculum will depend upon whether the focus of the program is on physical or information security or both. But below is the required curriculum for the master’s program at American Public University System:
- Research Design and Methods
- Assets protection and Loss Prevention Management
- Evaluation of Security Programs
- Security Management Ethics
- Computer Crime
- International Terrorism
- Protective Services
- Homeland Security and Defense
There are various types of specializations under the security management umbrella. First, there are programs that are focused primarily on the physical security of buildings, people and property. In that field of security management, some universities have specializations in government security, loss prevention and management and international terrorism.
Other universities will have a strong focus on information security. Which you choose will vary upon your career interests. Professionals interested in information security will tend to have a more technical background and interest.
The costs of college education continue to soar higher with every passing year. This is true whether you are getting a bachelor’s or master’s degree. But you can find plenty of financial assistance to get your degree in security management. Check out these grants and scholarships:
- LivSecure Scholarship: $1000
- Colonel Sully H. De Fontaine Scholarship Award: Various amounts
- Intelligence Scholarships: $2250
- AFCEA Military Personnel Scholarships: Various amounts
- Disabled War Veterans Scholarship: $2500
- Peter Jasin AFIO Endowment: Various amounts
- STEM Majors for Underserved Students: $5000
- HORIZONS Scholarship: Various amounts
- Al Ponte Graduate Scholarship Award: $1000
- ASIS Foundation Scholarship: Various amounts
Some of the most important certifications in the security management field that can enhance your career potential are:
- Certified Protection Professional (CPP)
- Professional Certified Investigator (PCI)
- Physical Security Professional (PSP)
Professionals interested in security management for a career may consider joining the following groups:
- International Security Management Association (ISMA)
- International Association of Professional Security Consultants (IAPSC)
- Security Analysis and Risk Management Association (SARMA)
The security management field is growing because of the need for security management professionals to deal with both physical and information threats. Getting this degree can be the ticket to a very lucrative and satisfying career.
- What Is Security Management? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://learn.org/articles/What_is_Security_Management.html
- Security Guards. (2015, Dec. 18).Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/security-guards.htm#tab-2
- Information Security Analysts. (2015, Dec. 18). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm