For young people considering career paths, working in security isn’t necessarily uppermost in their minds.
According to SeekLearning Australia, the security industry isn’t among the top ten hiring in 2015. However, with the ever changing sociopolitical situation in Australia and the world, it stands to reason that the defence and foreign ministries, the military and private protection agencies are keen to bolster their ranks with competent, qualified people.
Why should I study security?
The security industry is a rapidly growing one. If you’re interested in becoming a bodyguard, cash-in-transit officer, an intelligence officer or an agent in ensuring security at big events, there are several courses available to prepare you for work in the field. These courses are also ideal for experienced ex-military or ex-police personnel who’d like to use their expertise in a different branch of the security field.
Counter terrorism is another interesting option in the security field. Criminal and terrorist organisations have become more sophisticated, even using social media and other internet platforms to spread their propaganda. The main aim of counter terrorism and security studies is to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. Ultimately, the aim is to have a more effective, better staffed intelligence branch. This means better chances of preventing terrorist activity and stamping out its presence on Australian soil.
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What courses are available for security studies?
Depending on which branch on the security field you’re interested in joining, there are a number of tailored courses available online and at institutions throughout the country. Security and risk management courses prepare you for everything from investigating for the Department of Foreign Affairs to roles within private security agencies for large businesses. These courses are available as graduate and postgraduate degrees, as well as short and personal development courses.
- Bachelor of Arts - Security, Terrorism and Anti-terrorism provided by Open Universities Australia. This online course highlights the evolution of terrorist activity in the 21st century and the implications for global security.
- Bachelor of Security Studies provided by Macquarie University, Sydney. This undergraduate course focuses on national risk-management strategies, the use of military force and domestic law enforcement.
- Bachelor of Science (Security) provided by Edith Cowan University. With a special focus on security technologies, students cover the techniques employed in the protection of assets.
- Master of International Security Studies provided by Macquarie University, Sydney. Besides military, terrorism and law enforcement, this course also covers a wide range of challenges to environmental and economic security.
- Master of Counter-terrorism Studies provided by Monash University. Also ideal for professionals already working in public defence and intelligence, this course takes an indepth look at the religious and ideological origins of terrorism, as well as case studies of events that have both encouraged and discouraged acts of terrorism.
- Master of International Security provided by the University of Sydney. Students learn about classic and contemporary challenges to ensuring national security, with particular emphasis on international relations and current public policy.
Any short courses for professional development?
- National Strategic Intelligence Course provided by Charles Sturt University. This 10-day course is designed to assist Australian law enforcement better understand the value of strategic intelligence, programme management and data analysis. This course is strictly for intelligence personnel.
- The Relationship Between Intelligence and Policy offered by the National Security College (Australian National University). This short courses focuses on the roles of the national security agencies and departments, as well as how intelligence and policy sectors worked together to respond to specific incidents.
- Cyber Security (Industrial Control Systems) offered by the Queensland University of Technology. Designed for people working in the industrial control systems industry, this course focuses on preventing attacks from hackers, organised crime syndicates and nation states.
What are the tuition fees and other expenses to study Security?
Whether a Masters degree or a personal development course, getting qualified online is cheaper because there’s no real overhead costs incurred by the institution - assignments are delivered via email or file-sharing, and you don’t have to go to classes everyday.
Diplomas from a college cost less than ones from a university. For example, the Diploma of Government (Security) offered by the College for Law, Education and Training (CLET) costs around $2,995 in total, while the Bachelor of Security Studies offered by Macquarie University costs $6,152 per year.
If you’re staying on the university’s campus, accommodation costs start around $260 to upwards of $450 per year depending on where you’re lodged. Your overall projections also depends on whether you’re studying part time or full time; part time implies higher fees since it’s almost double the amount of time to finish.Back to top
Best institutes to study security in Australia
In the same way that your desired career path determines which course is best for you, it also plays a role in where you decide to study. For example, someone wishing to pursue a Masters in international securities would apply to a university, while an ex-army man interested in qualifying for private security work might apply to a specialised college.
For bachelor and postgraduate diplomas, some of the best security and risk-management courses are available at the following universities:
- Charles Sturt University
- Macquarie University
- Australian National University (National Security College)
- Monash University
The following institutions offer shorter courses for experienced individuals looking to enter the industry and those already working in the field:
- International Academy of Law Enforcement and Security
- Risk, Response and Rescue
- Torrens Resilience Institute
- Australia and New Zealand School of Government
What are career opportunities for studies in security?
Depending on the course and the field of study, students in security studies can go into one of the following careers:
- Law enforcement
- Government intelligence
- International security
- Natural disaster management
- Personal security
- Private security agencies
- Cyber security
The average rate for a security Guard is $20.73 p/h in Australia.