Typically, those who pursue a bachelor in disaster and emergency management, as well as related areas, are interested in a career in both the emergency management and public safety sectors. The skills implemented in these careers are necessary to a variety of fields, such as in the government, businesses, and in academia.
While participating in these types of programs, students are most likely to come across courses that focus on hazardous materials, terrorism, border or coastal security, explosives, and quarantine. Other specific courses will usually include Public Policy, Emergency Planning, Natural Disaster Management, and Psychology of Disaster.
With this degree, graduates should be prepared for a variety of jobs in the emergency management sector. Some of these positions include an emergency management specialist, homeland security officer, emergency medical technician (EMT), hospital emergency preparedness administrator, and emergency dispatcher. Those who don’t work immediately with emergencies on a daily basis like EMTs or emergency dispatchers are usually involved in prevention and preparedness planning.
Having a team of capable individuals on multiple fronts is of upmost importance. In the case of a wide scale emergency, such as the event that took place on September 11, 2011, responders need to get to an area as fast as possible. While emergency responders send victims to hospitals and continue to look for survivors, medical institutions are receiving the patients and providing proper care. Sometimes this may involve only a few people, while other times a hospital may take in hundreds of patients at one time.
Students that choose to pursue a career such as a hospital emergency preparedness administrator will enter into courses that are more administrative in nature. However, these students must also be well-versed in all emergency situations. Students should also have developed planning skills, as preparation must be made for every type of situation: hazardous waste, chemicals, explosions, and many other acts of terrorism.
A bachelor degree is usually required for these positions, along with additional training designed to prepare students for these roles. Students that choose to pursue the career of an emergency management specialist will also assume the role of a teacher. Their job will be to prepare and train others for emergency personnel roles. As with a hospital emergency preparedness administrator, students will also need to have the skills to communicate and plan with others for disaster response.
Many of these positions also value previous experience before entering a full career. For example, if students are looking to enter the medical area, such as an EMT, a certain amount of hours riding along with EMT professionals are usually required to complete a bachelor’s program.