West Virginia residents who have dreams of becoming homeland security professionals should know that possessing a formal, higher education from an accredited college or university is absolutely vital to their success. In truth, the vast majority of successful homeland security agents and officers in the state will have at least a bachelor’s degree in homeland security itself or in a related area.

Associate’s degrees may be earned as well, but they are typically sought after only with the intention of later transferring the credits to receive a related bachelor’s degree. If you already have your bachelor’s degree, even if it is in an unrelated subject, you should consider earning your master’s degree or, if you already have that taken care of, your PhD. Generally, the higher your educational level, the higher your salary will be.

No matter what major or which degree level you choose to pursue, you will want to do so at a top school. What makes a college or university a top choice is , most importantly, being accredited. Ideally, your institution should also have a long and reputable history, as well as a strong reputation in your state and beyond, a high success rate for its homeland security graduates, and ample opportunities for its students to succeed in a variety of ways.

Since the school you choose may very well determine whether you get a job or are passed over, you will want to take the decision of which school to attend very seriously. Definitely take the time to do your research on any school that you are seriously consider. Tour the campus when possible, and don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as it takes in order to feel good about the decision that you are making.

Some of the top West Virginia schools for you to consider include American Public University System, Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, and Bluefield State College. The first school, located in Charles Town, is impressive for the sheer amount of programs it offers, and for the fact that many of them can be attended online, either partially or fully.

Associate’s level programs offered by the school include counter terrorism studies, and weapons of mass destruction preparedness. Bachelor’s degree programs consist of general criminal justice, emergency and disaster management, homeland security, security management, information systems security, forensics, intelligence analysis, and many others.

At Blue Ridge, also mentioned above, you can earn associate’s degrees in safety technology, general criminal justice, or legal assisting. There are also certification programs in homeland security, justice systems, safety technology, and forensic computer examination, the last of which is offered online.

Then, Bluefield State College has bachelor’s degree programs in corrections and in law enforcement as well. These choices, however, are just a few of many in the state. Plus, you have the world of online schooling to consider, and we do literally mean “world.” With a good, online school, it doesn’t mater where it is based.