Degrees in Homeland Security Continue to be in Demand; Military Students Using Online Programs to Enhance Education

Sgt. Maj. Timothy Jones is deployed in Afghanistan and, simultaneously, in pursuit of a bachelor's degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management from Ashford University.


Jones, with 31 years of military service in the National Guard, represents the changing face of higher education. Online higher education brings the classroom to him in the trenches, enabling Jones to enhance his education without disrupting his career. 

Since the Department of Homeland Security was created in 2002, careers in this field have escalated. According to Homeland Security Today, there are now more than 140 educational institutions offering courses in "Homeland Security" and almost 60 listing programs for "Homeland Defense."

Approaching the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, more than 10 different books and career guides now include "Homeland Security" in the title and it is gradually becoming a "recession-proof career."

Ashford University first introduced courses in Homeland Security in 2009 and now offers specialized degree programs that examine security-oriented topics from the psychology behind terrorism to public safety and environmental health.

Courses in Homeland Security and Emergency Management are as diverse and complex as the challenges professionals face on a daily basis. A sampling of course titles in the undergraduate program at Ashford University include: International Relations; Ethics and Homeland Security; Revolution and Terrorism in the Modern World and Introduction to Cyberterrorism.

"After my deployment here I plan to return to my hometown in Georgia, resuming my duties as a Correctional Officer at the Whitworth Parole Center. I know that my enhanced skills through education will allow me to advance my career and open up new opportunities," Jones said.

At age 48, Jones was appointed to the dean's list at Ashford University, even while deployed with the 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade "Task Force Hydra," an Army National Guard unit out of Columbus. "The ability to study and take classes during times that worked for me, not just during a fixed class schedule, was essential to my success as a student," he added.

While Jones is returning to his position in corrections, students in the Homeland Security and Emergency Management degree program at Ashford University develop skills to obtain positions at the federal, state and local levels. A diverse set of careers can begin with this type of degree, including Security Analyst, Emergency Planning Manager, Counter Terrorism Agent, Border Patrol Officer, Private Security Consultant and Emergency Response Manager, to name a few.

"I know my education will help prepare me for whatever the next step is in my career and help me adapt as my field continues to evolve," Jones concluded.

About Ashford University
Ashford University is defining the modern college experience by combining the heritage of a traditional campus with the flexibility and effectiveness of online learning. The University provides a vibrant learning community where high-quality programs and leading-edge technology create a dynamic, immersive and stimulating learning experience. Ashford University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association ( The University offers practical and progressive associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs online, as well as bachelor's degree programs at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. Ashford University – where heritage meets innovation. For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513, or [email protected].