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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinates disaster responses throughout the United States. First implemented by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, this agency employs more than 20,000 people. Their diverse staff supports every state, local government, tribal, and territorial jurisdiction in the country.

The agency provides its employees with a comprehensive benefits package, on-the-job training, and flexible work schedules. What education and career path might lead you to a job at FEMA?

Introduction to FEMA

FEMA takes a whole community approach to deal with catastrophic events like hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes. This strategy seeks to mobilize the full potential of the commercial and nonprofit sectors, including corporations, faith-based and disability groups, and the American public, in collaboration with state, county, municipal, tribal, territorial, and federal governmental partners. It is an approach that allows them to better understand the communities they serve.

FEMA states their objective is to assist residents and first responders in working together to plan for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and minimize  the hazards and threats our country faces.

FEMA Pathways Programs

The FEMA Pathways Programs are a gateway for students and recent graduates that are considering a career in this agency. They provide a variety of work options, training, and networking opportunities that build technical skills and knowledge of the organization and its benefits.

Features of the FEMA Pathways Program include:

  • Exposure to a range of federal occupations
  • Meaningful training
  • Mentoring
  • Opportunities for career development

There is a chance of a non-competitive conversion, but it is not guaranteed. Benefits include paid federal holidays, leave accrual, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), and the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). It’s a chance to get a first-hand look at all this agency does for communities and to find your place there.


FEMA offers internship opportunities if you are a current student in high school, college, trade school, or another qualifying educational institution. Please see the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for qualifications and current requirements.

Recent Graduates

FEMA’s current recent graduate program is for students who have just graduated within the last two years. The program provides career growth opportunities through training and mentoring. You must apply within two years of receiving your diploma or degree. If you are a veteran, you have up to six years to apply due to a military service obligation.

More Student Opportunities in Homeland Security

FEMA is a part of the Department of Homeland Security, which offers other programs for students looking to learn more about working for this agency. Their student programs include a mix of academic opportunities.

Acquisition and Procurement

Work as part of the acquisition and procurement team responsible for more than 20 billion dollars’ worth of services.


The Secretary’s Honors Program Cyber Student Intern Program is open to current undergraduate and graduate students studying in a cybersecurity-related discipline. Selected students learn about the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity mission, do hands-on cybersecurity work, and get technical knowledge in crucial areas such as digital forensics, network diagnostics, and incident response. Students also participate in mentorship and professional development events with DHS managers and senior executives from various components.


The Pathways Program federal government option, as detailed above, provides clear avenues to government internships and employment for students from high school to post-graduate school and essential training and career development opportunities for those just starting in federal service.

Health and Science

The Department of Homeland Security provides a variety of Health and Science Programs to help students pursue degrees in health and science-related fields. These programs are intended to give students thorough hands-on instruction in areas that complement the Department’s purpose and aims.

Intelligence and Analysis

The Internship for the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) is designed for current undergraduate and graduate students who want to start a career in homeland security and intelligence. I&A provides exceptional internships in Intelligence Analysis, Intelligence Operations, Management/Support, Information Technology, and Policy. The I&A Internship Program gives the experience and skills necessary to become skilled, well-rounded, and competent DHS intelligence employees.

Law Enforcement

The Department of Homeland Security provides a number of Law Enforcement Programs to students seeking degrees in criminal justice, criminology, or other law enforcement-related fields. These programs are designed to give students practical training and hands-on experience in federal law enforcement tasks that support the Department’s mission and goals.


These programs are intended to give aspiring legal professionals practical training and significant individual responsibility in areas that serve the General Counsel’s Office’s mission and goals.

Public Affairs

The Office of Public Affairs (OPA) Internship Program gives students the chance to support OPA’s purpose of managing the department’s external and internal communications.

In addition, the Presidential Management Fellows program is for talented men and women from a wide range of academic fields and professional paths who have a strong interest in and commitment to excellence in the administration and management of public policies and programs. This paid program provides options for jobs throughout the country.

Why Get an Emergency Management Degree?

A degree in emergency management could open the door to a wide range of job prospects in rapidly expanding industries like cybersecurity. Although emergency management tends to be associated with government and state agencies, there is also work in hospitals, research institutes, and colleges and universities.

Emergency management professionals also work for non-profits, private enterprises, community groups, and private sector businesses.

If you are interested in working in the exciting field of emergency management, check out the Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management and Homeland Security at Post University today!

Thank you for reading! The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly!

Please note jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s program and their outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions representative.