New Department at Embry-Riddle Prepares Students for Rapidly Expanding Homeland Security Job Market

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Embry-Riddle's Security Studies and International Affairs Department is growing to keep pace with a career focused curriculum that includes cybersecurity, forensic accounting, international relations and terrorism studies

“The Homeland Security degree is designed for students who have a passion to serve the nation." Dr. Jim Ramsay

When Dr. Jim Ramsay joined the Embry-Riddle faculty in 2006 to launch the Homeland Security academic program at the Daytona Beach, Fla., campus, he welcomed the opportunity to “build something special from scratch, a new field of study, given that there were just a handful of Homeland Security programs nationwide at the time.”

Today, the program is the basis for the newest department on campus, Security Studies and International Affairs (SSIA), which is housed in the state-of-the-art College of Arts and Sciences building. The Homeland Security program continues to expand, with courses that offer advanced learning methodologies, including a required internship, a senior capstone, thesis opportunities and research projects. The career focused curriculum is being emulated by several schools around the country.

“The Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security program at Embry-Riddle now offers more than 30 sections of courses to almost 700 students per semester,” said Dr. Ramsay. “In SSIA, we offer the B.S. in Homeland Security and minors in Cybersecurity, Forensic Accounting, Homeland Security, International Relations and Terrorism Studies. We’re also adding two new online graduate programs – an M.S. in Cybersecurity Management and Policy and an M.S. in Human Security and Resilience.”

The homeland security job market is exploding, according to Homeland Security Newswire. Tens of thousands of new positions need to be filled each year – more than 23,000 high-paying cybersecurity jobs were available in Washington, D.C., in 2013 alone.

Embry-Riddle is adding faculty members to SSIA to meet the demand from incoming students, and Dr. Ramsay is keeping the program in the national spotlight. He was recently reappointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services to the board of scientific counselors for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has also published two books, Introduction to Homeland Security and Critical Issues Within the Homeland Security Enterprise: A Casebook, and is working on his third.

Ramsay and colleagues from Penn State recently co-hosted a special round-table at Penn State on “Climate Change and Homeland Security,” which featured top-level executives from the homeland, national security and intelligence communities, think tanks, the U.S. Dept. of Defense and the White House. The main goal of the round-table was to produce a national research agenda for climate change, environmental security and homeland security, and to influence the content of federal strategic plans.

“The Homeland Security degree is designed for students who have a passion to serve the nation and an interest in obtaining a strong foundation in the many areas that a career in homeland security encompasses,” said Dr. Ramsay. “Our students graduate with highly marketable skills, finding challenging, high-paying employment opportunities in federal or state government and the private sector. The degree program is also a solid preparation for graduate school.”

Randy Kuykendoll, a senior at Embry-Riddle, said, “The Homeland Security program has given me a deeper knowledge of the many security disciplines, international events and trends, and the complex geopolitical issues facing the world and the United States. The experience I’ve gained has more than effectively prepared me for a career in the homeland security sphere and even beyond it.”

Go online to learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security.

MEDIA CONTACT: James Roddey, Communications and Media Relations Manager, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.; (386) 226-6198; james(dot)roddey(at)erau(dot)edu.

About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 70 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and, and find expert videos at

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