A Master's in Emergency Management degree program will most likely be offered through innovative online schools and traditional on-campus programs. These programs may offer specializations in areas like threat response, crisis management, emergency leadership, disaster preparedness or public administration. These specialization degrees will require specific prerequisites. General emergency management degree programs will likely require prerequisites in leadership, organizational behavior, emergency services, public administration, strategic planning, government finance and occupational safety and health
Basic Prerequisite Classes
Many students of graduate-level emergency management degree programs may come from the private business sector, so schools will require these students to complete prerequisites in basic classes. For example, a disaster mitigation and preparedness class will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the risk and vulnerability factors that impact public safety. Students will learn how to plan for disasters and emergencies while applying the common concepts of crisis management.
Classes on disaster response and recovery will cover the following two phases of the disaster cycle. Students will explore documented case studies in order to understand how real disaster situations interrupt operational efficiency and effectiveness.
Potential Prerequisite Classes
Some degree programs will expect new students to be able to discuss comprehensive ways of improvising disaster response situations, systematic planning efficiency and community collaboration methodology. Students may be required to have taken advanced classes on disaster and emergency management. This will mean that students should have taken classes on government operations and functioning related to emergency management. Students should also be familiar with the important roles that NGOs, non-profits and private organizations play in emergency management.Students are taught how to use collaborative management techniques to promote the proper restoration of community living and functioning after a disaster. These basic classes cover a wide range of disaster types, factors, settings and complications.
Emergency Management Degree Programs
These degrees are designed to provide newcomers and emergency services professionals with the academic training needed to successfully handle disasters and emergencies. These degrees may incorporate standard emergency management training courses that are offered through FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI), the federal Incident Command System (ICS) or the State's Department of Public Safety. The field of emergency management is shifting from a narrowly focused occupation to a multilevel focused profession that requires continual retraining.
Emergency management is becoming more complicated and demanding because the number, severity and long-lasting consequences of disasters are increasing. Some public sector agencies are failing to mitigate and prevent the effects of expected disasters because of budget limitations and operational constraints. Therefore, employers are always looking for emergency management professionals who understand the hidden nuances of man-made and natural disasters. An emergency management degree won't provide all the experience employers are seeking, so job hunters must have additional training and experience.
Anyone who gets a Master's in Emergency Management should consider getting the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) certification. Every emergency managers' resume should show evidence of completing at least a few FEMA Independent Study courses through the EMI.