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Homeland Security Degree Programs on the Rise

Terrorism, major natural disasters, border security - these are the times, and these are the very real threats that we Americans must deal with in the early 21st century. To combat terror and protect us from disaster, more and more students are looking at college programs in homeland security. There is a growing number of homeland security degree majors available nationwide as schools try to meet a rising demand for workers trained in a variety of national defense areas.

So far, graduates are finding themselves attractive to government agencies, defense contractors, and private companies. Some programs focus on terrorism and man-made threats while other colleges train students to help with major disasters in the wake of Hurricane Katrina's immense destruction of the Gulf Coast. More than 300 colleges have some type of instruction in homeland security, a trend that started soon after the September 11 terrorist attacks, according to the National Academic Consortium for Homeland Security, which started three years ago with just a handful of institutions.

The Department of Homeland Security has a division dedicated to university programs, and it is spending about $50 million this year on grants to colleges with research in national defense and on science and engineering scholarships. Large government contractors such as Lockheed Martin Corp. are beginning to look for qualified candidates with a homeland security degree, among other areas of expertise, when recruiting workers.

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