We live in a dangerous world. It’s a matter of opinion whether the blitzkrieg of bombs and rockets that rained on London decades ago is worse than the cyber wars, jihadists, suicide bombers, cyberattacks and countless and relentless strikes by terrorist groups acting in cells or as individuals against targets all over the world. Normal law enforcement techniques are outclassed.
The Internet has become the primary tool for terrorists to plan, communicate and move resources; and the soldiers are unrecognisable because they look like any of us. Combatting these attacks are challenging, and talented, trained people are needed in law enforcement, the intelligence community and the military. The advancements in detecting, psychologically profiling and anticipating threats are even now becoming critical components of educational programs developed to train investigators, diplomats, law enforcement personnel and people like you who want to challenge these new threats by enemies that clever fiction writers have not yet imagined.
This has opened a world of opportunities for those who want to do their duty in combating terrorism. Here, we look through a few educational opportunities available for such careers in the UK and the US.
1. UCL (University College London)
UCL offers a graduate programme for security professionals in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism through the Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science. This course provides the opportunity to peruse subjects including the causation of public violence, public policies in global economies and methods involved in developing strategies to address extremist threats against citizens, corporations and other critical targets.
2. King’s College London
KCL has extensive study programs at the graduate level in their Centre for Science and Security Studies on subjects such as preventing nuclear terrorism, perspectives on Afghanistan and war studies.
3. UCLAN (University of Central Lancashire)
UCLAN, through their school of Forensic and Investigative Sciences, offers a counterterrorism degree programme, as well as related programme in cybercrime and financial crime investigation.
4. The University of Buckingham
The University of Buckingham presents their program in Terrorism and Counter Terrorism from a humanities perspective, which allows students to understand the political and historical context of terrorism from a Islamic fundamentalist perspective. It looks at radicalisation, motivation and attacks in the US and UK. Graduates will be able to both anticipate and formulate counterintelligence and counterterrorism strategies.
5. Coventry University
Coventry offers a master’s degree programme in Peace and Reconciliation Studies, which includes theory and practice of conflict transformation, international human rights law and other modules.
6. Henley-Putnam University
Henley-Putnam in Santa Clara, California is focused on the strategic safety industry, which includes law enforcement, military and intelligence management. They have bachelors and masters degrees in intelligence management, counterterrorism studies and strategic security; doctorate programmes in strategic security as well as certificates in counterterrorism, intelligence collection and other subjects.
7. The University of Massachusetts
The University of Massachusetts in Lowell, MA, in their School of Criminology and Justice Studies, has a range of degrees and certificates within the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies including a Ph.D. in terrorism studies, where dissertations focus on current challenges in counterterrorism.
8. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire offers an MS in Justice Studies with a concentration in terrorism and homeland security. It details emergency management, terrorism, strategic response and other relevant law enforcement concerns.
9. INSCT (The Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism)
This Institute at Syracuse University, NY, offers a variety of programs, including a curricular program in National Security and Counterterrorism Law for law students specialising in cyber security, national security, counterterrorism, homeland security and related subjects. They also offer an online course in cybersecurity law and policy, which is an interdisciplinary discussion about the gravity of threats to US interests and how to address this security challenge without harming civil liberties.
10. American University
American University in Washington, DC has developed a Master’s Degree in Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy through their Department of Justice, Law and Criminology Department. Their approach to security issues is through the social sciences, and is informed by law enforcement and criminology. This programme emphasises strategic policy-based solutions on a diplomatic scale.
In addition to these and many other programmes, there are several institutes that both support educational establishments or provide forums for academics to publicise research papers.
11. The Foreign Policy Research Institute
The Foreign Policy Research Institute is a Philadelphia, PA think tank that analyses critical international issues, and brings the insights of scholarship and academia to bear on the formation of policies that advance national interests. They have a Center for the Study of Terrorism, which gathers and analyses details on terrorist’s organisations, operations and motivating factors, in order to gain insights into threats posed by Islamist and other terrorists, and develop strategies to prevent large scale attacks in the future. They also offer educational programs for teachers, high school students and the public, including webcasts and forums reporting on issues of the day.
12. The CSIS (Center for Strategic & International Studies)
CSIS sponsors a Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program, which sponsors research and studies on disaster preparedness, response, recovery, resilience, the evolving dynamics of militancy, security cooperation between governments, the future of al Qaeda and affiliates, the emergence of new threats such as ISIS, homegrown extremism, and other critical issues on the international stage.
Your Turn: Interested pursuing a career in counterterrorism or national security issues? Want to learn more about how to combat cyber terrorism? Tell us about your educational goals.