OptionsThe range of specialties in counterterrorism is wide indeed. For example:
- Intelligence production: Yes, undercover agents, but more so forensic data analysts, cryptographers, and others.
- Conventional bombs. Subspecialties: detection, infrastructure preparedness.
- Nuclear or radiologic (dirty nuke) devices. Subspecialties: prevention, preparedness, remediation.
- Biological weapons.
- Chemical weapons.
- Food supply protection.
- Water supply protection.
- Transportation protection: airports, seaports, trains, buses.
- Arena protection.
- Medical preparedness and remediation.
- Public information.
- Psychological remediation.
- Terrorism insurance.
Start learning about a specialty simply by Googling it. Top-ranked results usually contain at least one good introduction, which include links to other sites.
Who's hiring?The National Counterterrorism Center is the hub for federal counterterrorism jobs. Explore the links on that site to find careers for which you'd like to train or jobs for which you'd like to get hired. Jobs are available in a perhaps not-surprisingly large number of agencies. Yes, there are the obvious ones: CIA, FBI, and Homeland Security but counterterrorism-related jobs are available everywhere -- from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of the Treasury, with jobs in everything from financial analysis to information technology to watchlist monitoring.
State and local agencies also hire. All 50 states have some sort of Office of Homeland Security and major police departments have intelligence and counterterrorism divisions.
While government does most of the anti-terrorism hiring, the private sector does some. For example, security providers and consultants offer jobs ranging from workplace risk auditor to human resources manager, security guard to trainer to CEO. Job sites such as CareerBuilder (an AOL Jobs partner) list many such positions. Type terrorism and security in the title, and you'll find 141 jobs on CareerBuilder.
There may even be self-employment opportunities, for example, consulting with businesses on how to establish or enhance their security systems and emergency plans. VonFrederick is a small such consultancy; Wexford is a larger one.
'The New Normal.'Following the Boston Bombing, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, "This is more reflective of the 'new normal.' " Indeed, we must face the unfortunate reality that there are infinite soft targets and many ways to terrorize each. If we continue to spend ever more billions to try to stop them, it will likely be money that, net, would have been better spent on initiatives more likely to yield societal benefit, for example, reduce our national debt. After all, Michael Mullin, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, ''The biggest threat to our national security is our debt."
Alas, that's not the way government works. To avoid voters viewing Congress as ineffectual, after every disaster, Congress spends big and imposes often onerous regulations. That's why after even an aborted terrorism attempt, many of us must now remove our shoes before boarding an airplane.
The good news is that government's tendency to overreact means more jobs are available.
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