Today it is more important than ever to minimize risk and to provide safeguards for the public in case of emergencies. These events can include natural disasters, hazardous spills, security threats, terrorism and more. Earning a master’s degree in emergency management can offer you the necessary skills to ensure that the public is kept safe.
With a master’s in emergency management, you will be able to learn the advanced management skills that you need to prepare, plan and respond to vital threats in life and in business in your community.
This degree is becoming more popular, and is designed to provide both current and aspiring emergency management managers with the project management and personal people skills to face many challenges today.
You will have the knowledge and abilities to evaluate readiness strategies for preparedness, response and recovery; degree programs in this field most often use the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Incident Management System or FIMS.
A degree in this field is most often a strong foundation for you to enjoy a dynamic career in these type of positions:
- Emergency management director: These professionals plan and prepare for responses to natural disasters, terrorism and other emergencies. They are leaders of the first response to these events, and help the community to both prepare and to recover from many emergencies. You will need to work closely with many other public safety officials, elected legislators, nonprofit groups and state and local agencies. You must be very good at analyzing resources, staff and equipment that are available to respond to various emergencies. If the resources are lacking in any way, you will need to be able to revise the plans.
- Management analyst: While you may not think that an emergency management background would be a good fit for this type of position, this is not the case. Management analysts must be able to determine ways to improve the efficiency of organizations. This is a very important skill to have in the business world, but it also is very applicable in the emergency management and government fields. It is important to be able to show first responder organizations, for example, how to improve their response time and efficiency.
- Firefighter: Many professionals with a master’s degree in emergency management may be one of the lead managers and team leaders in a group of firefighters. When firefighters are responding to emergencies, they need to have capable and experienced leadership in emergency management practices.
Why Earn a Master’s Degree in Emergency Management?
Earning this master’s degree will prepare you for exciting and challenging positions of leadership in emergency response and disaster preparedness. This is a very valuable field to be a part of in the 21st century, especially given the increasing risk of terrorism and natural disasters in many parts of the world.
Emergency management is a good field to be in because these professionals can work in many different settings, both in the public and private sector. Some emergency management managers may work for state and local agencies, while others may work for private companies, such as private security firms. Many good positions are available with FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security and even NASA. Some may also work with hospitals, the Red Cross or universities.
Whether you aim to work for a public or private entity, there is little doubt that there will be ample job opportunities for emergency management professionals in most of the country today.
Interested in getting your master’s degree in emergency management? We advise you to be able to meet the following requirements:
- 8 GPA and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
- Statement of purpose about why you want to work as a leader in emergency management
- Three letters of recommendation. You should have at least one academic reference from your bachelor’s work, and one from a current or past work supervisor.
- Updated resume that ideally reflects work or volunteer experience in emergency management, disaster relief, or a related field.
- Official college transcripts
Curriculum and Courses
Southern New Hampshire University offers a Master of Science in Emergency Management. This fully online program will give you a good grasp of the many challenges and issues with disaster relief and response. You will learn how to effectively evaluate crisis planning strategies, which includes the responsibilities and roles of various levels of government in disaster relief.
Also, you will learn how to safeguard organizations, nations and communities from unpredictable and dangerous events, either natural or man made. The classes you take will use real world examples and case studies so that you will have the experience you need to deal with an emergency in real life if and when it occurs.
Earning this master’s degree will put you in a strong position to be employed by government agencies, health care companies, education organizations and many business organizations. Also, you will have the flexibility with this degree to apply your acquired management skills in many industries.
Required classes in this two year, online program are:
- Cultivating Organizational Culture
- Critical Issues in Management
- Corporate Communications
- Business Research
- Strategic Human Resource Management
- Principles of Emergency Management
- Emergency Planning and Preparedness
- Disaster Response and Recovery
- Applied Emergency Management
Career Outcomes and Job Titles
With this master’s degree, you can find work with these types of job titles:
- Crisis Recovery Manager
- Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
- Disaster Program Manager
- Hazard/Risk Manager Specialist
- Global Response Communicator
Job and Salary Outlook
- Emergency Management Director — This field will grow by 6% by 2024. Employment should steadily increase in the coming years as local and state governments are spending more to make preparations for natural and human made disasters. There is a strong motivation to avoid being underprepared for these emergencies. Growth in employment could be reduced is some areas due to budget shortfalls in some states. States with stronger economic growth in the south could be better states to work in for these professionals. The median salary is $67,000 per year.
- Management Analyst — Employment demand will rise by 14% by 2024, which is faster than average. Demand for consulting services in the emergency management field should rise as government agencies come under pressure to boost efficiency and control costs of emergency management programs. Government agencies need to be sure they are fully prepared for emergencies, or there can be serious consequences after the fact. The median salary is $81,300.
- Firefighter: Growth in this profession will be 5% by 2024, which is about as fast as average. There have been improvements in building materials in the last few decades, and there are fewer fires and deaths related to them. However, firefighters are needed to be available for various emergencies, and emergency management professionals are in demand to lead fire departments in their emergency response. Median salary is $46,800.
Scholarships and Grants
- Jacksonville State University: You can find grants and scholarships at this university if you are studying emergency management or a related field.
- International Association of Emergency Managers: This highly regarded organization of international emergency managers has a number of scholarships available for graduate and doctoral students.
- Emergency Preparedness – CDC: This federal government website offers many tools and suggestions for being prepared for a disaster.
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: This organization offers extensive tools and resources for how to manage emergencies that affect the environment and humans.