As you research various degrees and try to narrow down which one makes sense for you, it’s important to step outside the box if you will, and make sure you also give attention to those lesser known programs. With so many different career paths available in the world, the last thing you want to do is overlook the “perfect” job simply because you didn’t know it existed, or you don’t know much about the job in general.
A Masters in Public Safety degree is arguably one of those degrees that the masses may not know much about. It’s not one that quickly comes to mind, and that seems to be trendy to obtain, but it can prepare you for some of the most challenging, rewarding, and interesting jobs out there. So what awaits if you proceed with a degree in public safety? Here’s a closer look at what you can expect, right from the degree program itself to the careers available.
Get Started with a Master of Public Safety Degree
Just like so many other career paths, it’s important to figure out how to get into the field in the first place. Hoping to just “land a job” isn’t exactly going to cut it, especially if you want to get the leg up on the competition. For those hoping to work in the field of public safety, a Master of Public Safety degree is an excellent first step. It will act as that foundational block that will equip you to become a professional in the field.
Some of the key elements you will learn in this program are the skills and knowledge necessary to ensure public safety – which includes both administration and contemporary public safety. Depending on the school you can then build on the core classes and focus on an area of specialty. As soon as you choose to specialize in one stream you will automatically be boosting your appeal when it comes to potential employers.
Four specializations you can look at are national security, border strategies, emergency management, and countering crime. You can see how each of these plays an integral role in keeping people safe not just now, but also future threats.
This site is extremely helpful for those looking to pursue a Master’s in Public Safety degree, as it discusses what the four specializations focus on. As you will be able to see, each of these specializations covers a variety of specifics that will allow you to be prepared, understand how and when to respond, and how to go about planning and analysing pertinent data. This information will help you to pick the path that is best suited to you.
For those looking to pursue this degree, you will need to have an undergraduate degree.
Law Enforcement Personnel
One of the more common career paths with this degree is law enforcement personnel. To say that each day is different is an understatement in this career. This can include municipal law enforcement officers, police officers, immigration officers, game wardens, parole officers, and more. Obviously, this career path is a perfect example of a job that will be very challenging and tough at times but can also be rewarding knowing you are serving and protecting the public. The degree is meant to give you that foundational knowledge that will help you to excel in the career path and work your way up the ladder.
Border Patrol Officer
Border patrol officers are on duty 24/7 and are working to monitor and keep all border crossings safe. This includes land, air, and sea. It will be your job to stop drugs, weapons, and those who are inadmissible from entering the country. In Canada, there are 1,100 points of service where border officers are stationed.
It’s your job to adhere to and enforce all the regulations and laws in Canada. Besides the air, land, and sea borders, these officers also work at postal facilities and rail ports. They play an essential part in Canada’s safe and secure border system. The average yearly salary for a border services officer is $64,234-$71,525 when you are a trainee. Once you have passed the training, your salary will increase up to $82,411.
A crime analyst is a position that can be found all across Canada. On average, crime analysts will make $78,546/year and you are typically stationed in a local police office within the criminal investigation division. As a crime analyst, it will be your job to spot and make sense of patterns of crime, and also provide answers that have to do with deviant behaviour. Crime analysts are meant to help other law enforcement personnel go about an investigation, providing them with useful insight and information.
In order to excel in this job you’ll need to be great with patterns, have no problem interpreting data, and not be scared off by research.
As a data analyst, you have a lot of freedom in that you can choose to work in the private or public sector. The average yearly salary is $75,158, and you’ve got the opportunity to go above and beyond the average. Much like the crime analyst, in this job, you will be doing research, collecting data, analyzing that data, and then using it in various ways that will aid in public safety.
Here’s a very highly respected job that offers employment Canada-wide. As a firefighter, some of the responsibilities in this job include operating all the necessary equipment used to put out fires, conducting first aid on people, educating the public on the importance of fire safety, maintaining all the firefighting equipment, working with first responders, and of course rescuing people from fires.
This job can be extremely stressful, fast-paced, and dangerous, so it’s not going to be for everyone. Depending on where you work in Canada the average yearly salary for a firefighter is $75,000-$105,000.
Risk Management and Patient Safety
As a risk manager in patient safety your job is to assess, then develop and implement, and monitor risk plans meant to help reduce the risk to patients while receiving care. This job is all-encompassing and never boring as you are constantly looking for ways to minimize risk, and at the same time improve patient safety levels.
Emergency Management Coordinator
Emergency management coordinators are a job that has become increasingly important in the past year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. These coordinators are the ones behind the scene that are preparing and planning for all different types of emergencies and scenarios. Because they are behind the scenes, people may not even realize these jobs exist. As an emergency management coordinator, you may be working for a government agency, a municipality, and others.
Responsibilities will include creating a very specific detailed emergency preparedness plan that outlines the reaction for responding to threats. This could be a community emergency, a natural disaster, an active assailant situation, and so forth. You will need to carefully analyze all potential hazards to property and people, create the plan in writing, train staff on how to respond, and ensure any equipment needed to respond to the emergency is on-hand and ready to go if needed.
Just to make the job more stressful and fast-paced, these plans often require re-working as so many situations are fluid and don’t stay the same.
Director of Security
Here’s another interesting job to pursue under the umbrella of public safety. As a security director, your number one goal is to ensure the safety of all people and property that you are overseeing. In this role, you can work in the private or public sector, as there are plenty of businesses, organizations, and government departments that are looking to fill this position.
Everyday duties include supervising the operation and administration of the security staff and equipment. While your job is a senior-level position, you will still be reporting to someone higher than you. This is usually top management in the company, organization, or government agency.
You will be involved in the strategic planning and decision-making process, and may even need to take part in financial planning in regards to security measures that need to be and are implemented. Some skills that can help you to excel in this job include excellent communication skills, an eye for detail, and the ability to multi-task.
A Degree that Can Lead to a Wide Variety of Jobs
Not every degree program is able to provide graduates with a plethora of options. Some are so specific that you truly do have to stick to one path, which can make it hard to get a job. Obtaining your Masters in Public Safety means you are opening the door to a number of different paths. You can pick a job that is currently in-demand and growing, pays well, and yet suits your specific skills and interests.
Let’s also point out that there are opportunities for advancement, so wherever you start out doesn’t mean you are finishing your career in that same position and location.