Tremendous Growth Expected in the Disaster Management Job Market

A look at the job market today can be somewhat disheartening unless you know where to look.  While many industries have made considerable cut-backs, a few are actually adding jobs.  According to U.S. News and World Report, Emergency / Disaster Management is one of the top 50 best career fields.[1]  Over the past 10 years, the field has moved from around 4 university and college programs to now almost 150.  Colleges and Universities are adding these programs because the market is requiring them. 

Everything changed after 9/11.  The September 11th attacks still sounds loudly through public & private sector organizations.  As a result of this improved awareness, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment to grow by 22 percent, between 2008 and 2018.[2]  This rate is much higher than many other professions, and is expected to continue growing as more organizations realize they need someone on their staff dedicated to keeping them safe and prepared. 

Ohio Christian University is one of the few colleges or universities in the United States today offering this type of education.  Disaster Management Director, Thad Hicks stated, “OCU was ahead of the curve 4 years ago when the program was started, and we continue to be today.”  He added, “The administration has a good feel for what industries will be growing, and that is where they are focusing.”  Due to the continued and growing interest in the program, Ohio Christian University is rolling out a number of online courses in the discipline, including, Introduction to Disaster Management, Emergency Work in Conflict Situations, Trauma, Understanding and Intervening, and Natural & Man-made Disasters.  As the program continues to grow more courses will be added to OCU’s online offerings. 


[1] Webster, H. (2012) U.S. News and World Report, Best Careers: Emergency Management Specialist, accessed on 05-30-2012, from

[2] Huseman, K., and Buchanan, M., (2005) FEMA Emergency Management Higher Education Project, Emergency Management and Related Labor Market Data and Statistics, Millersville University of Pennsylvania