Virtual learning has taken the world of public safety education by storm.
Gone are the days when the only ways to earn a master’s in public safety was by physically being on a college campus.
Thanks to technological advancements such as video conferencing apps and learning management systems, busy professionals can now advance their careers without taking time off work.
This sounds great, but is an online degree in public safety even legitimate? Are they respected by employers?
Surprisingly, they are. In fact, a recent survey shows that over 50% of human resources professionals revealed that courses taken online were similar in quality to courses in traditional schools.
Now that we have established the legitimacy of online degrees, let’s dive in further and look at how the flexibility of online learning positively impacts professionals.
It allows for self-paced learning
Traditional learning works on a particular schedule. The professor discusses a topic during the class, assigns homework, and quizzes the students the next day.
After a week, a new topic is discussed, and the previous one can sometimes become an afterthought.
For someone studying a public safety course, this can be quite alarming. Like it or not, a course in public safety is complex and requires students to dedicate a good amount of time to learning technical concepts.
With online education, you can go at your desired pace and ensure that you can retain your knowledge as you move through the course.
This allows you to dig deep into the concentrations that match the four pillars of public safety – emergency management, countering crime, border strategies and national security.
It can also support inductive thinking, which refers to the ability to take information and then come up with conclusions based on that data.
This can be especially critical in the field of public safety where effective and quick decision-making is required to succeed.
When you can learn at your desired pace, you will be capable enough to effectively improve and critically evaluate the performance of your education and make the necessary adjustments for optimal learning.
Moreover, self-paced learning allows students to focus on areas that interest them the most or that they understand better.
This, in turn, reduces the feelings of boredom, anxiety and frustration that students may experience in a classroom setting.
If that’s not good enough, learning at your desired pace empowers you to develop ownership of your learning.
You become your own master. You define what to do, and how to, when to, and how long to study to build an immense amount of knowledge to deal with all the possibilities of the public safety profession.
When this happens, you increase the likelihood of delving into deeper research to expand your knowledge even after your online class is done.
It creates a balanced life
As a professional, striking a healthy balance between your work and personal life is a must, but few actually manage to do it.
When you add school, balance can sometimes go out of the window. The advantage of online education is that it gives you an opportunity to balance your priorities.
Unlike the traditional classroom environment, an online degree does not require you to attend classes on a particular time or day.
The issue with traditional learning is that it prompts you to focus too much on a specific set of responsibilities in your life.
For instance, many working professionals return to school to get their master’s degree in order to advance their careers.
Usually, when that happens, you may find yourself neglecting the demands of your job to devote more time and focus to studying. This can ultimately lead to you being demoted or perhaps getting fired.
On the flipside, if you do not make sufficient time for your schoolwork, you may fall behind in your classes and fail to earn a degree.
Also, many people who try to juggle both work and school end up sacrificing their health and wellbeing.
You may sleep less, eat poorly, or spend less time with the people you care about, which can have an adverse impact on your physical and mental health.
Depending on your current health, you may also find yourself visiting the doctor because you are sick or cannot deal with overwhelming feelings of depression and stress.
Even if you are allocating more time to your education, your academic performance could still take a massive hit.
When you sign up for a Master of Public Safety online course, you get to fit your learning around your busy schedule and not the other way around.
You can watch lectures and take classes at your most convenient time. Rather than leaving the office early or skipping family time to head to campus, you can log in at a time that does not interfere with your commitments.
Contingent upon your chosen academic institution, public safety courses are delivered through various formats.
Some are synchronous, which means that all enrolled students can access the course material simultaneously. In this online class setting, you may also be required to check in for attendance through teleconferencing or online chats.
Alternatively, you can opt for asynchronous public safety courses, which let you view course materials in any way you like.
It promotes focused learning
Every student has a different learning style. There will always be those who understand a concept faster and those who need more time to digest information and apply it in real-life scenarios.
A student’s learning style has a significant impact on their ability to get the most out of any delivery model.
Through online education, you can customize your learning environment to be conducive to your studying needs.
This can include adding a lampshade on your study table, getting rid of distractions, and purchasing the tools you need to improve the overall experience.
Also, an online class usually has small class sizes. This means that students can be given specific and personalized teaching while benefiting from regular and detailed marking and feedback.
The incentive of a small-class approach is that it encourages students to pay attention and become involved simply because it is obvious when they do not.
As students feel more motivated to take part in class discussions, they can take more out of their online education and ask questions about topics they do not understand.
This increased attention not only benefits students but also helps teachers use the time to meet each student’s needs, especially higher achievers who wish to be challenged.
What’s more, it also allows for immediate feedback. Instead of waiting days or even weeks after exams, you can often get constant evaluation from your teachers.
In a traditional classroom, students may need to wait a long time to get feedback from instructors.
By quickly receiving feedback, students can learn quickly and make the necessary adjustments to ensure an optimal learning experience.
It increases your course options
Increased course variety is perhaps what makes online education an attractive option for executives and professionals alike.
Have you ever found yourself wanting to take a degree in public safety only to find out that the closest academic institution doesn’t offer it?
Even if you have the financial resources to move and pay for housing in another state, there’s a good chance that you cannot afford to take time off work.
This won’t be the case for online education. As you are not required to move into a campus, you can pick the best online academic institution that offers public safety education.
When you have an increased amount of course options, you can explore different fields to find what you are most interested in.
If you want to study for a master’s in public safety, then consider the program provided by Wilfrid Laurier University. Finding the right academic institution can be a critical component in having a fruitful career in public safety, and the Master of Public Safety Laurier course is run by a highly respected university.
The reality is that while online public safety degrees are respectable, most employers usually look at the university from which you earned your degree.
Is your chosen academic institution a leader in public safety education? Is it accredited by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA)?
With online education, you can ensure that your chosen academic institution has the necessary accreditations.
In doing so, you increase your career advancement opportunities by finding the most suitable job for your skills and abilities, rather than settling for work that isn’t related to your degree.
How to get started in online public safety education
Now that you have a full grasp of the flexibility of online education, you might be wondering how to get started.
While there is no one-size-fits-all formula to getting started, the first step you might want to take is to determine which online public safety degree is right for your career.
Similar to other fields, public safety is an expansive field. A master’s degree in public safety can be very useful for individuals wanting to have a career in the following fields:
- Local and provincial governments
- Policing and law enforcement
- Corrections and re-entry
- Emergency response and management
- Border security
- National security
Other than that, you may also want to evaluate the course curriculum to determine its reputation and quality.
Although the course curriculum will differ from one university to another, it will usually combine public safety principles that help you gain in-depth understanding of technologies, social aspects and contemporary issues that impact public safety practice.
The courses listed below are among the most likely that you will take while working towards your master’s degree in public safety.
Issues in contemporary public safety
In this course, you will learn the issues in global public safety, including the internal and external forces that are shaping current practices. You will also be evaluating existing and future issues facing public safety professionals. Topics that will be discussed include the impact of social media and training, fiscal restraints, technology, racism, intercultural competencies, migration, refugees and immigration, and professionalization.
Intelligence and analytics in public safety
This course will help you assess and evaluate the intelligence function within a specific public safety context. You will be exposed to intelligence doctrine and practices within the mandated areas of public safety, which include emergency management, countering crime, border strategies and national security.
It will also examine the basic and foundational intelligence concepts, while helping you assess how intelligence is directed within public safety industries. You will also explore modern data and information gathering techniques as well as the numerous challenges of intelligence dissemination among government sectors and private agencies.
Moreover, this course will also analyze intelligence analysis and assessment practices, while emphasizing the increasing impact of contemporary predictive analytics. On top of everything else, you will also learn and analyze issues of intelligence accountability, review, oversight and responsibility, and also establish corrective measures.
Leadership and ethics in public safety
This course will tackle the major theories and their application. Among the topics that will be covered are succession planning, ethics and leadership, change management, organizational decision-making, and leading effective and diverse teams. Each student will also be required to dig deep into case studies and practice their leadership skills through class exercises such as presentations, reflections, scenarios, and essays detailing related experiences.
Research methods and statistical analysis in public safety
In this course, you will learn advanced quantitative and qualitative methods for public safety. You will be examining topics related to data interpretation, qualitative analytical software use, content analysis, research design, measurement of variables, and ethics.
It will also concentrate on the common tools used to evaluate statistical comparisons, charts, quantitative outputs, as well as critical reviews of methodology in data found within the sphere of public safety, program analysis, and policy.
You will also be tackling the advantages and disadvantages of each method and the appropriateness of each process for research in the public safety realm.
Start earning your degree today
Working in public safety can be rewarding. Start your public safety journey by enrolling in a master’s degree today.