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Accelerated emergency management degree programs are ideal for students who are in a position to advance in their careers, especially those who are already working in some area of emergency and disaster relief. All they need is the extra degree to be able to start moving forward. In some cases, an employer will offer the opportunity contingent on the student returning to school. Once they are enrolled in the accelerated classes, they may be able to take on some of the responsibilities associated with their new position prior to actually taking the job. With the accelerated emergency management programs, they are able to move forward much faster and still gain the hands-on experience they need to succeed.

Many accelerated emergency management programs are online which means a more flexible schedule and the ability to do their coursework in their free time. Online courses make it easy to go to work during the day and study in the evening, or vice versa, whichever is most convenient for the student. With online accelerated learning programs, students have the best of both worlds.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Accelerated Emergency Management Programs

The editors at Bachelor’s Degree Center build rankings around accredited, trusted institutions, researching accelerated online programs that will have a real, positive effect on graduates. Programs are ranked according to data from IPEDS and Niche, including tuition, reputation, and alumni salary.

1. Columbia College

Columbia College offers a BA in Disaster and Emergency Management that can be completed entirely online. Columbia College’s accelerated emergency management programs require the completion of 120 semester credits to graduate. Coursework for Columbia’s undergraduate degree in disaster and emergency management includes social dimensions of disaster, intro to emergency management, communication skills for managers, planning for emergencies and disasters, and a leadership seminar. US News recognizes Columbia College’s emergency management degree among the top 15% in the country.

Columbia College was established in 1854. The college is an all-women’s school that is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. More than 1,100 students attend classes offered by Columbia College.

What We Like: Columbia College holds the distinction of being one of the oldest of all women’s institutions of higher learning.

Degree: Disaster and Emergency Management, BA

2. Bellevue University

Bellevue University offers a BS in Emergency Management that is available online and on-campus. These accelerated emergency management programs from Bellevue University require the completion of 127 credit units to meet the program’s criteria. Core coursework includes 40 semester credits in classes that cover terrorism, legal issues in emergency management, national incident management system, emergency planning, exercise design, plus a culminating capstone project. BestColleges.com ranks Bellevue’s emergency program among the best online.

Bellevue University was established in 1966 as a private higher learning institute. More than 10,100 students attend classes on Bellevue University’s suburban campus. Bellevue University is one of the country’s top military-friendly schools. Business degrees from Bellevue University are accredited by IACBE.

What We Like: Bellevue University was borne from an idea to serve working learners in the Bellevue area.

Degree: Emergency Management, BS

3. University of Florida

The University of Florida offers a BS in Fire and Emergency Services that is one of Florida’s best accelerated emergency management programs. The University of Florida’s emergency management degree offers three specializations – a fire specialization, emergency medical services management, or emergency management. Students graduate from UF’s degree program and enter the workforce as a fire department manager, emergency services manager, and insurance adjusters, to name a few.

The University of Florida (UF) was founded under the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1853. In addition, this state university is a sea-grant and space-grant university. More than 56,100 students attend classes on-campus and online offered by UF.

What We Like: The University of Florida is considered among the top ten public universities in the country.

Degree: Fire and Emergency Services, BS

4. Eastern New Mexico University

Eastern New Mexico University offers an Emergency Management Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science (BAAS) degree that includes coursework that is approved by FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute. These accelerated emergency management programs are available to be completed entirely online. Classes included in Eastern New Mexico University’s emergency management degree include disaster recovery, hazard mitigation, emergency services administration, community risk reduction, legal and political issues, and public health emergencies, to name a few. In addition, degree candidates must complete a three-credit capstone project in an emergency management related field.

Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) was established in 1927 as a teacher’s training school. Eastern New Mexico University is a recognized Hispanic serving institution of higher education. More than 5,900 students attend classes on one of ENMU’s three campuses.

What We Like: Eastern New Mexico University is located on the eastern border near the Texas border.

Degree: Emergency Management, BAAS

5. University of Central Missouri

The University of Central Missouri offers a BS in Environmental Safety and Risk Management that is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and designed specifically for transfer students. The University of Central Missouri’s accelerated emergency management programs offer students an opportunity to complete the degree in 24 months. Students graduate from UCM’s emergency management degree program with skills that demonstrate the delivery of effective managerial and risk management decisions.

The University of Central Missouri (Central M) was established in 1871. This public higher learning institution was initially a teacher’s college but became a full university in 1972. More than 11,100 students are enrolled in classes offered by The University of Central Missouri studying for degrees available in the university’s five colleges/schools.

What We Like: The University of Central Missouri is the number one contributor to the GIMPS project – the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search.

Degree: Environmental Safety and Risk Management, BS

6. Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University offers a BS in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management that can be finished entirely online or on-campus. These accelerated emergency management programs from Arkansas State University are also accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Classes include incident management, global perspectives in disaster planning, ethics and law in emergency management, resource management hazardous materials containment, respiratory protection, disaster, and mental health, and pandemic planning, plus a capstone project senior year. ASU’s undergraduate emergency management program requires the completion of 120 semester credits to graduate.

Arkansas State University was established in 1909 as a public higher learning institution dedicated to agriculture. ASU is the flagship campus for the state university system.

What We Like: Arkansas State University holds the distinction of being the second largest of all universities in the state of Arkansas.

Degree: Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, BS

7. Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University offers an Emergency Management Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree that can be completed entirely online. Students enrolled in Northern Arizona University’s accelerated emergency management programs are required to complete 120 semester credits to graduate, of which 24 credits must be selected from the emergency management curriculum. Internships for this emergency management degree are optional but encouraged. Students graduate from Northern Arizona University’s baccalaureate degree to find rewarding work in evacuation planning, emergency management, homeland security, or environmental administration, to name a few. Many graduates from NAU’s program go on to complete their master’s degree in public administration or emergency management.

Northern Arizona University was established in 1899. The university’s campus in Flagstaff covers more than 700 acres and serves more than 30,200 students.

What We Like: Northern Arizona University offers each student a pledge promise that the tuition will remain the same for four years.

Degree: Emergency Management, BAS

8. SUNY College of Technology at Canton

SUNY College of Technology at Canton offers an Emergency Management Bachelor of Technology (BT) degree that requires students to complete internships in federal, state, local agencies and hospitals, emergency services agencies, among others. SUNY Canton’s accelerated emergency management programs include classes in fiscal management, legal issues in emergency and disaster, disaster simulation, disaster training, and preparedness, defending communities, human resource management professional ethics, public budgeting, plus a culminating senior project.

SUNY College of Technology at Canton was established in 1906 as an agricultural school. SUNY College of Technology at Canton’s campus is home to more than 3,100 students, studying for the nearly 50 academic degrees offered.

What We Like: All business programs offered by SUNY College of Technology at Canton are accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

Degree: Emergency Management, BS

9. University of Wisconsin Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin Green Bay Cofrin School of Business offers a baccalaureate degree in Emergency Management, Planning, and Administration that can be completed in under 24 months. The University of Wisconsin Green Bay’s accelerated emergency management programs offers coursework on a rotating basis, so course can be completed in any order. Classes included in this degree are Disaster Recovery, Policy Dimensions of Emergency Management, strategic emergency planning and implementation, and principles of emergency management, among others.

The University of Wisconsin Green Bay was established as a state higher learning institution in 1965. The university operates several regional facilities in Manitowoc, Sheboygan, and Marinette. More than 6,700 students attend classes on the University of Wisconsin Green Bay ‘s suburban campus in Green Bay, which overlooks Lake Michigan’s green bay.

What We Like: The University of Wisconsin Green Bay is nicknamed ECO-U because of its environmental and sustainability efforts.

Degree: Emergency Management, Planning and Administration

10. Bethel University

Bethel University offers a BS in Emergency Service Management that requires degree candidates to complete 128 credit hours, of which 45 hours must be classes from the emergency services curriculum. Classes for Bethel University’s accelerated emergency management programs include risk analysis and threat assessment, science and hazards, the management of terrorist incidents, natural disaster planning, financial management, strategic planning, and leadership in emergency management, to name a few. Bethel University’s undergraduate degree in emergency management is ranked as one of the country’s top five programs.

Bethel University was established in 1842 as a private institution of higher learning. Bethel University is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church Bethel’s campuses serve more than 4,400 students vying for degrees offered by Bethel’s three colleges/schools.

What We Like: Bethel University operates multiple campuses in Clarksville, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Clarksville, among others.

Degree: Emergency Service Management, BS

What Are the Advantages of an Accelerated Emergency Management Degree Program?

Accelerated emergency management programs offer several advantages over traditional degree programs. Accelerated degree programs offer the same lesson plans, resources, and skills as a regular degree program, but at a much faster pace. Instead of attending class for 2 years, or approximately 24 months, a student can complete their study and earn their degree in approximately 18 months. The lessons are more concise and offer more information without a lot of the extras that are often added into a longer degree program.

What If I Don’t Need a Bachelor’s Degree?

There are many jobs available in the emergency management field that don’t require a Bachelor’s degree. Earning an emergency management certificate may be all that is needed to get your foot in the door for many entry-level jobs. Your certificate in emergency management shows that you are able to assist in emergency response activities and have the skills and knowledge you need to make sure things go smoothly during an incredibly hectic and chaotic time. It also shows others that you are interested in moving forward on your chosen career path.

Individuals who have been working in the emergency management field for many years can earn a certificate in emergency management and use that to back up their many years of experience. Someone who has played an active role in the EMS in their area already understands what is needed and can provide the support their team needs as they move from the evaluation phase into the rescue and recovery phase. Earning their certificate provides them with credentials they lack.

What Are Some Entry Level Jobs in Emergency Management?

Entry-level jobs in emergency management take many forms. First responders, disaster relief specialists, logistics coordinators, shelter managers, and public affairs are some of the most common entry-level jobs that offer opportunities for advancement. Emergency management is a very diverse field. From firefighters and first responders to management coordinators who organize recovery efforts, there are entry-level positions in almost every area. While having a degree in emergency management is beneficial, hands-on learning is also a valuable tool.

Many people who apply for entry-level emergency management jobs have no formal training and often learn through trial and error. Once they have started to understand the basics of their position, most will enroll in an online degree program or at least earn a certificate in emergency management so that they can continue to pursue their professional goals. The more hands-on experience a graduate has the more valuable they are to the communities they serve. Add a degree or certificate to their list of credentials and you have a dedicated professional who is committed to helping others.

Are There Emergency Management Jobs in the Private Sector?

Private emergency management jobs are also available. Emergency management is a diverse field that encompasses jobs in both the public and private sectors. Emergency planners and coordinators from private companies are sometimes brought in to assist government agencies like FEMA and Homeland Security due to their specific field of expertise. A good example of this is hiring an emergency response specialist from a petroleum company to assist in containing an oil spill. Specific types of disasters require input from professionals who work in similar industries.

Many graduates who have earned their Bachelor’s or Masters’ in emergency management often look to the private sector for work because of the many different types of jobs that are available. Those who wish to specialize and work in a specific industry are more likely to find the job of their dreams in the private sector. The option to work with the public is still available and opportunities for career advancement in both are always an option. It is up to the graduate which path they wish to pursue. With a little research, the graduate will find the emergency management position that is right for them.

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