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What is an Emergency Management Degree?

Oct 3, 2012 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Columnist | 0 Comments

Emergency managers are a company or organization’s first line of defense against crisis. Their job is to develop plans for response to natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes or man-made emergencies such as terrorism, hazardous material spills, nuclear reactor breakdowns, or other events.  Some emergency management professionals also concern themselves with the day-to-day safety and health of employees, protection of data and property in case of an emergency, and business continuity issues.

Companies often hire emergency management personnel to manage their emergency and disaster response and ensure minimal loss of equipment and valuable data. In addition, emergency response professionals can find employment within the government, either in policy development or hands-on leadership positions. Higher education programs in this area are growing—and there are many opportunities to earn a degree in the area. Here’s a selection of online emergency management degrees available—and what you’ll learn.

Police Officer

Emergency management professionals are essential to government, businesses, and communities.




Online Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management

This degree program provides an in-depth study in interdisciplinary emergency planning and leadership. Graduates will learn strategic planning to help organizations and communities prevent disasters, reduce their chances, respond to them, and recover from them. The school offers an approach based on hands-on experience as well as classroom-style assignments and lectures. Bachelor’s degrees in emergency management are a useful entry-level credential for the field.

Online Master of Science in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

This in-depth Masters program offers classes in the history and evolution of the US emergency management practice, business continuity, public emergency services, and disaster planning and recovery. It also includes topics involving the legal compliance aspect of disaster response and management—including workers’ compensation and labor laws. A Masters degree in emergency management can help prepare students for more senior roles or consulting positions.

Online Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Services Management

This degree program offers instructors with field experience and training in areas that include emergency services management, operations and finance, group dynamics, management skills, law and ethics for emergency services professionals, and human relations. It requires a certain number of prerequisites in terms of credit and experience—which could include either work experience, a portfolio of work, or life experience and career history. An Associate’s degree in this field is ideal for hands-on entry-level positions in fields including paramedics, EMT, firefighting, and law enforcement

Online Master of Science in Public Safety: Emergency Management

This degree program prepares students for leadership roles within emergency management and response. Courses of study include stress management in response to crisis incidents; human psychology in crisis, risk assessment, evaluation and analysis, and planning.

Online Master of Science in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management: Concentration in Ergonomics

This degree program offers courses in regulatory requirements of emergency planning and management, assessment of risk factors, policy and procedure development, ergonomic management skills, and effective development of occupational safety programs. The ergonomics focus is designed for students interested in overseeing the safe and healthy working environment of employees within the workspace.  

Emergency management professionals are essential to government, businesses, and communities. Online degree programs allow you to work studying around a full-time job—and may be a good option for you, especially if you’re a nontraditional student who has to balance a job or family obligations with studying. There are a lot of degree options out there—so do some research to determine which is right for you.



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