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Guide to Earning an Online Ph.D. in Safety

written by: Sylvia Cochran•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 7/27/2009

The field of safety is not narrowly defined, but instead offers a lot of career opportunities to the well trained applicant. That being said, an online Ph.D. in safety has the power to open doors unlike any other degree. Read on for more information.

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    Understanding the Employment Opportunities in the Field of Safety

    In simplest terms, a degree in public safety enables the successful graduate to work toward preserving the common good for society at large. First responders – usually police officers, firefighters, or EMTs – are perhaps the most visible employees charged with the public’s safety; however, health inspectors, safety enforcement personnel, consumer advocates, HAZMAT workers, and managerial workers at the Department of Public Safety all fall under the same category.

    While you may not consider earning an online Ph.D. in safety as being instrumental in increasing your employability, it may very well offer you the boost you need if you intend on climbing the career ladder on the administrative side of the field. Bright Hub’s own gabbi525 discussed how to “Get Your Online Graduate Certificate In Emergency Management” to enhance your employment chances in emergency service fields

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that when pitting a desired shrinking of government – the main employer of safety specialists – against the voters’ expressed demands for public safety, positions are likely to remain intact. While master’s level work is recommended for those seeking advancement in the administrative area of the field, a doctorate is sure to propel you even further. The BLS points out that supervisory positions are subject to extreme competition, in part based on the limited amount of open jobs. Nevertheless, since work may be found at the state or federal government level, as well as in the private sector, there is likely no shortage of growth potential for the highly qualified candidate.

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    Earning an Online Ph.D. in Safety

    One of the most attractive advanced degree opportunities in public safety is offered by Walden University, which is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Providing eligible students the ability to take advantage of a bachelor degree to Ph.D. program, the final degree is a doctorate in public policy and administration. Part and parcel of this degree is the opportunity to tack on a specialization, which – among other fields – includes public safety management. The total length of this public safety program is 132 quarter credit hours. Since students are expected to already be active in their chosen fields, the online classroom option is perfect for a busy career professional on the career track.

    Another school that might fit the bill is Capella University, which carries a similar accreditation. If you already possess a master’s degree, then the Doctor of Philosophy in Public Safety may be the next logical step. It is noteworthy that while the degree is available via distance learning, there are three five-day meetings over the course of the program that you are expected to attend in person. The entire course is made up of 120 quarter credits, of which a maximum of 48 may be transfer credits. This makes it an excellent choice for a student who may have started an on-campus degree but realizes that class attendance, coursework, the career path, and family obligations are simply too much to juggle.

    Since these degrees offer a high level of leadership training alongside the core subject matter in the field of public safety, there is a good chance that graduates with an online Ph.D. in safety will find employment options in the private sector in industries that may not necessarily have to do with public safety, but instead deal with performance enhancements, regulatory practices, and also executive level human resources management.

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    • Walden University -
    • Capella University -
    • Bureau of Labor Statistics -