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The Customs and Border Protection, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, is tasked with the protection of our country’s borders. Their mission also spans the prevention of entry of terrorists and/or their weapons of mass destruction into the United States. Dedicated Border Patrol Agents (BPAs) and Marine Interdiction Agents (MIAs) patrol our land borders and waterways like oceans, rivers, and lakes. They work long hours, sometimes in isolated places and in hazardous conditions, to carry out their responsibilities.
While Border Patrol Agents and Marine Interdiction Agents are the most popular jobs with the CBP, did you know that there are also other careers with the agency depending on your college major? Although there are also positions in the CBP where college majors are not necessary, you have higher chances of employment if you do possess a major.
If you have a course in Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, or Foreign Languages, then you can become a border patrol agent. Intelligence specialists, CBP Officers, and personnel security specialists’ positions are also available for those with these educational backgrounds.
For those who majored in Accounting and/or Business, possible positions include accountants, auditors, contract specialists, financial analysts, and import specialists. They can also work as budget analysts, trade specialists, and miscellaneous administrative and program specialists. If you majored in Economics, Finance, or Marketing then you can also work in these positions.
Those with Engineering majors may also work with the CBP as general engineers, civil engineers, electrical engineers, or computer engineers. If you graduated from a Computer Science/Information Technology course then you can become a computer specialist, program manager, management analyst, computer programmer, or an IT specialist for the CBP.
The CBP also hires agricultural specialists at times. You need to have Botany, Biology, or Chemistry background to become one.
What about those with fine arts and applied arts backgrounds? There is space for them too as they can be hired with the CBP as they can work as audio-visual production specialists, photographers, and visual information specialists. Communications majors can also be hired as public affairs specialists, technical writers and editors, and as writers and editors for the agency. Even those who hold English and Literature majors can work as editorial assistants, printing specialists, public affairs specialists, and analysts. Journalism graduates can also hold similar positions. Psychology majors can work as personnel research psychologists, employee development specialists, and human resources specialists.
What about if your major is not in the list? Depending on the vacancy and on your qualifications, you may also be hired in personnel occupations, administrative specialists/officers, management and program analysts, logistics management, public affairs, and contract administrator.