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All About Online Emergency Management Masters Degrees

While earning an Online Masters in Emergency Management, courses teach you how to prepare for and respond to various disasters and emergencies. They also teach you how to coordinate operations and resources from different agencies. Therefore, courses also focus on developing your leadership and decision-making skills.

Did You Know?

Eight of the ten most deadly natural disasters since 1980 have occurred after the year 2000. The most deadly of which was the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that resulted in more than 222,000 deaths.

What Is Emergency Management?

Emergency management is the process of planning for, mitigating, responding to, and recovering from natural and man-made disasters. Training, conducting drills, and testing equipment helps towns and businesses get ready for any kind of crisis. Emergency management also means coordinating operations and managing resources after an emergency situation has occurred.

Online Masters in Emergency Management: Basics

Most emergency management online masters degree programs require that you’ve earned a bachelors degree from an accredited university. Some schools require that you maintained a 2.3 GPA to earn a Masters Degree in Emergency Management Online. Though some schools are more strict than others. Check with individual schools to find out what their admissions requirements are.

When you pass all of the courses that you are required to take, you usually need to complete a capstone or thesis project next in order to earn your degree. Most students can earn an emergency management masters degree in two to four years. However, every school has a unique structure and timeline for Masters Degree in Emergency Management Online programs.

Different Types of Emergency Management Masters Degrees

Typically, emergency management masters degrees are offered as a masters of science (MS). However, there are some schools that offer a masters of public administration (MPA). Most MS degrees are technically focused to develop you as an expert in emergency management.

On the other hand, MPA degrees are the public sector’s version of an MBA. Therefore, while earning an MPA, courses focus on how to be a leader, how to make decisions, and how to solve problems that come your way.

Different Names of Online Masters in Emergency Management Degrees

There are a number of different emergency management online masters degrees available. All of them are aimed at how to show you how you can run things and manage your resources before, during, and after an emergency has occurred.

Check out the list below for some of the different degree names that you might see when doing your research.

  • Emergency Management Leadership
  • Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
  • Emergency Management and Homeland Security
  • Emergency and Disaster Management
  • Emergency Services Administration
  • Disaster Management
  • Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Management
  • Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness
  • Threat and Response Management
  • Crisis and Emergency Management

While there are many similarities, each of the different masters degrees in emergency management may have a different focus. Research a number of different schools to find one that matches your goals.

Emergency Management Masters Degrees: What You’ll Learn

While you earn an online masters in emergency management, your courses may focus on how you can plan, get ready for, and respond to critical threats. Normally, online masters in emergency management programs focus on both a government or local point of view, as well as a business or an organizational one. This means that you will be ready for problems that might occur in a number of different settings.

Typically, courses also teach you how to apply research methodologies, analyze data, and assess risk susceptibility. Some schools also have virtual simulations that can provide feedback on various tasks. This may help you grow your critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

A Look at the Four Phases of Emergency Management

The four phases of emergency management that you will study include the following.

  1. Mitigation: This means deciding how you can make the force of the disaster a little bit less. An example is shoring up the banks of a river when there is a flood.
  2. Preparedness: Preparedness is when you have a plan in place and know how you will act when you are faced with an event. For example, does your town have a plan to get everyone out safely if there is a problem at the local nuclear plant?
  3. Response: How exactly will you and all of the key players react when a disaster happens? You need a plan to lay this all out in plain English. How will you get in touch with all of the people who need to help out in order to make things right? What are your back-up plans in case the first plan falls through? What if phone lines don't work? How will you stay in touch with the team?
  4. Recovery: This is your plan for how you can work on fixing things that were damaged or hurt during the event. You may need to rebuild, put people in hotels for awhile, feed them, or raise money to help with other needs that they might have.

These steps help to continuously prepare communities and organizations for various types of emergencies and disasters. By focusing on preparation, training, and drills, communities and businesses are better equipped for when disasters occur. So some of your studies in an online masters in emergency management will touch on subjects like this.

Online Emergency Management Courses

Common courses while earning your masters degree in emergency management online teach you how to coordinate various agencies, resources, and operations in the event of a disaster. This helps develop critical analysis, leadership, and decision-making skills.

For some of these courses, check out the list below.

  • Emergency Planning and Preparedness: This course emphasizes risks, threats and vulnerabilities to create strategies that safeguard against disasters.
  • Disaster Response and Recovery: Students are taught issues and challenges facing the response and recovery from disasters and emergencies. Topics include evacuation, relocation, and the coordination of various agencies.
  • Applied Emergency Management: Typically, this course uses different scenarios for students to differentiate between crises to create and develop effective responses.
  • Business Continuity Planning: During this course, students study how to manage disruptions, maintain continuity of critical operations, and how to mitigate loses.
  • Organizational Planning and Response: Students are taught various methodologies in order to evaluate, critique, and apply social science and government research to create effective disaster response plans and strategies.

It’s important to remember that every online masters in emergency management program has a unique structure. Therefore, courses may vary from school to school.

What Is a Business Continuity Plan?

A business continuity plan recognizes various threats and risks to ensure that a business is able to function in the event of a disaster. Typically, this includes the following four steps.

  1. Business Impact Analysis
  2. Recovering Strategies
  3. Plan Development
  4. Testing and Exercises

While earning your masters degree, you may be taught the importance of properly planning in case of an emergency. Preparing for the unexpected may help businesses mitigate losses when a disaster occurs.

Potential Careers in Emergency Management

After earning a masters degree in emergency management online, you can pursue a number of different careers. One of these is emergency management director. This career encompasses a number of different job titles, which include the following list.

  • Emergency Management Consultant
  • Emergency Management System (EMS) Director
  • Emergency Services Directori

Most of the time, you only need a bachelors degree and a number of years of experience to become an emergency management director.ii However, 15% of those who currently hold the position have a masters degree. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the number of emergency management directors to increase 6% in the ten years 2014 to 2024. iii

Take the Next Step!

If you’re interested in helping communities and organizations plan for and respond to disasters, take the next step to earn your masters degree in emergency management online. Click on any of the sponsored listings for online masters in emergency management programs on this page. There, you’ll find program descriptions, specific courses, and admissions requirements. You can even directly contact schools you think are a perfect match to request more information.


i onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9161.00 ii bls.gov/ooh/management/emergency-management-directors.htm#tab-4 iii  bls.gov/ooh/management/emergency-management-directors.htm#tab-6

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