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Careers in the Age of Terrorism

By Marty Nemko

By all projections, terrorism will remain a regrettable part of life in the 21st century. What sorts of expertise is likely to be in demand in The Age of Terrorism? In addition to military commandoes, hunting terrorists in the hills of Afghanistan, I envision demand for expertise on subjects such as these:

  • Extremist religious sects and cults

  • Political extremist groups

  • Unaffiliated terrorism-prone individuals

  • Countries likely to spawn terrorist groups or state-sponsored terrorism

  • Prevention of conventional bomb attacks. Subspecialties: bomb detection, infrastructure preparedness.

  • Prevention of radiological attack (dirty nukes)

  • Remediation of communities affected by a radiological or nuclear attack. Subspecialties: infrastructure, medical, public information, psychological issues

  • Prevention of biological or chemical weapon attacks. Subspecialties: detection, infrastructure preparedness

  • Remediation of communities affected by a biological or chemical attack. Subspecialties: infrastructure, medical, public information, and psychological issues

  • Prevention of a cyber attack

  • Remediation after a cyber attack

  • Food supply protection

  • Water supply protection

  • Public venue (e.g., arenas, trains) protection

  • Port protection

  • Disaster preparedness planners for companies and non-profit organizations

  • Disaster preparedness planners for communities

  • Terrorism insurance

Learning about these fields

A first step to learning more about any of those fields is simply to google them. For example, if you’re interested in a career in port protection, google such terms as (consultant “port protection” and expert “protecting ports”) Don’t just google the Web, also use Google’s Blog tab to search the blogosphere and its News tab to search news publications.

Who will employ these people?

The federal government will be the largest employer. Hiring will extend to many agencies in addition to Homeland Security, for example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of Intelligence & Analysis, the United States Secret Service, and the Science and Technology Directorate. The portal to job listings for these and all the other federal terrorism-related entities is: The portal to state offices of Homeland Security is:

Local governments will also be major employers. Many cities have departments of emergency services, often under the aegis of their fire or police departments. Local planning departments often hire terrorism consultants.

Mid-sized to large companies also hire terrorism consultants.

Some jobs should be available at disaster-related nonprofit organizations such as the Red Cross.

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