National Security Careers

This course discusses careers in national security. It provides you with the history, background, and recent advances in this field. Millions of people work in national security positions, from military enlisted personnel, writers, politicians, photographers, and law enforcement personnel to agents, investigators, scientists, and administrative personnel. Just about any career you can imagine is available in national security.

In Unit 1, students learn that the term national security means much more than just U.S. military, the CIA, or the FBI. National security includes the actions of the president, Congress, law enforcement, and many agencies working together to ensure the safety of the United States and our allies. The unit covers the major departments and agencies responsible for national security. It also presents the history, laws, and policies that guide these groups. In many cases, these laws and policies directly affect the lives of most Americans.

Unit 2 presents the policymakers and agencies that make up the national security bureaucracy. It outlines the national security roles of the president, presidential cabinet and advisors, the 17 national security agencies, and Congress. Oversight and funding are also discussed in this unit.

Unit 3 provides information on the history and national security roles of the U.S. armed forces. It covers the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, National Guard, and Coast Guard. Technological advancements are presented, as well as careers within these branches of the military.

Unit 4 covers intelligence agencies and federal law enforcement. It covers the roles, responsibilities, and legal limitations of intelligence and law enforcement. Intelligence gathering (operations) and analysis are presented, including careers with various intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Unit 5 discusses national security challenges in the 21st century. Rising threats such as terrorism, rogue nations, and weapons of mass destruction are presented. The unit also explores chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological weapons examples and threats.


  • Analyze and interpret the theories behind various national security policies.
  • Understand the duties of the various career paths in the national security field.
  • Recognize and be able to apply the different laws and regulations affecting national security policies.
  • Develop the interpersonal, conflict resolution, communication. and critical‐thinking skills that are required for successful careers in an ever‐changing economic, technological, political, and social environment.
  • Understand how various agencies interact to ensure the safety of the United States.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of military, intelligence, and law enforcement practices.
  • Apply analytical methods to understand the process of gathering and utilizing intelligence to detect threats to national security.
  • Understand the evolution of national security in the United States.
  • Recognize the importance of technology as part of the overall process of providing national security.
  • Develop an appreciation.

State: National, California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington
Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Category: Government & Public Administration
Course Length: Semester