How To Build A Career In Counterterrorism

November 16, 2020
a person who has built a career in counterterrorism looks at a computer screen with maps and software

There are many fields in which someone interested in cyber and information security can pursue a career. One area that is always in demand is counterterrorism.

What is counterterrorism?

Counterterrorism involves implementing coordinated strategies in order to prevent or combat terrorist attacks of all kinds – physical and digital. The first counterterrorism unit was established in Britain in the 1880s and since then has become a major part of every country’s defense strategies.

Counterterrorism brings together government, military, law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and business to enforce tactics, techniques, and strategy aimed at overcoming terrorism. While terrorism is often considered a threat from a foreign entity, counterterrorism efforts also tackle concerns from within the United States.

Why is counterterrorism important in today’s world?
The U.S. faces consistent terrorist threats, on both the large and small scale. The Country Reports on Terrorism 2019, produced by the Department of State, lists ISIS and al-Qa’ida (AQ) as persistent threats. There has also been an increasing threat from racially or ethnically motivated terrorism (REMT), particularly white supremacist terrorism. 

Successful terrorist attacks have terrible immediate consequences, with loss of life at the top of the list, and physical destruction creating additional problems. Attacks may impact key pieces of critical infrastructure, such as water, electricity, and food services. The impact of attacks linger, leading to emotional turmoil for those who experienced the attack, financial consequences for both affected individuals and countries, and vulnerability to future attacks.

What opportunities are available to those studying counterterrorism?

As reported in the Counter Cyber Terrorism – Global Market Trajectory & Analytics report, the global market for counter cyber terrorism is estimated at $30 billion for the year 2020, with $8.8 billion of that attributed to the U.S. The global market is expected to reach $37.9 billion by 2027.

As such, there is a large market for skilled intelligence and cybersecurity staff to assist in preventing terrorist attacks.

There are a number of government agencies that are looking to hire for jobs related to counterterrorism. These include:

  • Department of Homeland Security
  • National Counterterrorism Center
  • Department of Defense
  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation

Government-related businesses, like Lockheed Martin and Booz Allen Hamilton, also hire counterterrorism staff.

Jobs in this field include intelligence analyst, records examiner, counterterrorism analyst, and strategic analyst.

Want to learn more? Capitol Tech offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in security, intelligence, and critical infrastructure and cyber and information security. Many courses are available both on-campus and online. To learn more about Capitol Tech’s degree programs, contact


Categories: Cybersecurity