If you are already working in a public safety field and want to boost your skills to propel your career, or are retired from a similar area and are looking to move into the public safety field, then you can use your existing skills to work towards your dream job. You may already have many of the skills and traits required to succeed in a public safety position and just need guidance as to how to apply these to the new situations you could be working in. If you are considering a career in public safety, then here are a couple of questions to ask yourself before you start.
Public Safety: what is it?
Public safety is a very broad area of work, and it involves many different jobs and specialisms. The main aim of public safety is to keep the public safe from a multitude of threats, be those man-made or natural. Some of the public safety jobs you could work towards include:
- Emergency management
- Police officer
- Intelligence analyst
- Parole officer
- Border service officer
- Law enforcement
It is common for those who have retired from a similar role, such as in the military, to retrain for a public safety role as many of the skills and experiences are similar and transferable. These are only a few of the many public safety roles that exist, and more may be developing in the future with the increase in various types of threats and risks. Public safety is a growing sector, with an estimated 37% increase in job availability between 2020-2025.
Who can work in public safety?
With the main aim of public safety to keep the public out of harm’s way, if you are passionate about helping others, training and teaching them, and keeping people safe, then there may be a role within public safety for you. The training you receive will provide you with both the technical and personal skills and knowledge to work in your chosen area, but there are some general skills that will contribute. These include:
- Communication – the way in which you speak with and listen to others
- Leadership – your ability to lead and manage other people in a professional and effective manner
- Teamwork – working and collaborating with a range of people
- Willingness to learn – keeping your knowledge and skillset up-to-date to ensure that you have recent knowledge and awareness
- Knowledgeable – having a deep understanding of your specific area or role
- Critical thinking – being able to efficiently make decisions with the best outcome, sometimes under intense pressure
- Decision making – weighing up various options and outcomes in order to draw the best conclusions
- Integrity – being honest and consistently upholding your moral values
- Creativity – thinking outside of the box to come up with innovative ideas and solutions
Specific jobs within public safety will require specific skills, but many of these are soft skills which mean they are transferable. Soft skills are non-technical, personal skills that help you excel in any workplace. Some roles require more than others, and they may need to be implemented in different ways. This is where your training can help you understand how to develop and use your skills effectively.
How can you have a career in public safety?
Working in public safety requires experience, knowledge, and skills that are both professional and personal. Many people choose to move into this industry from a similar field or degree and can complete a course such as a public safety degree, which will give them a high level of education and qualifications to prepare them to apply for jobs and work in the industry.
Why should you study online?
Some public safety degrees are designed to be studied completely remotely. This means that you can learn from a location of your choosing and schedule your course around the rest of your life. This is incredibly beneficial for many people, especially those who cannot commit to a full-time, in-person course but still want to receive a high level of training.
Being a student can be very expensive, and one of the most common reasons people decide against study and further education is the various costs involved. These costs can include tuition fees themselves, learning materials, living costs, transport, and accommodation. With an online course, some of these costs may be reduced. For example, when learning from home you will not have to rent campus accommodation, travel to classes and you can still work and earn money alongside the course.
One of the main benefits of any online course is the flexibility and control it offers you. Depending on the type of course, commitment levels, location, teaching styles, and subject, you may have much more control over your schedule than you would on an in-person course. Learning at your own pace is a good way to practice scheduling and managing your time, as well as helping you to enjoy the course more and remove some of the pressure. You will also be able to discover the different styles of learning and understand more about how your brain works. Once you know what kind of learner you are, you can tailor your study sessions to suit your requirements. This is also a very valuable skill to take with you in a public safety career, as one of the most important skills is a willingness to learn constantly.
With a course that is taught 100% remotely, you will be able to create your perfect learning environment. This will look different for everyone and will depend on a great number of factors. In general, you will need somewhere quiet and clear to remove as many distractions as possible and let you focus on your course. Personalizing your workspace can make it more comfortable, which can make you more willing to spend time there while you complete your degree to the highest standard. Furthermore, your local university may not offer a public safety degree, and the internet can make the courses you need more accessible to you.