Emergency management has been a college degree one could seek for more than three decades; hundreds of degree programs now exist and are producing thousands of graduates each year. Many scholars believe that the subsequent job placement of program graduates should be purposefully examined, as job placement is an established concern to those involved in emergency management higher education. As of now, however, this has not been carefully considered by scholars within that field. In fact, as of the spring of 2019, there has been no empirical research on this or the related topic of employability of emergency management graduates. Research on both is critical, and this manuscript seeks to develop an initial theoretical framework to facilitate research on topics related to the employment of graduates from these programs. This framework is rooted in dialogues within the greater emergency management community as well as in the scholarship outside of emergency management. Keywords: emergency management student, emergency management degree, jobs, employment, career, job placement, employability


Jessica Jensen

Jessica Jensen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Management at North Dakota State University. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Emergency Management and a B.A. in Political Science. Jensen studies a range of topics central to the practice of emergency management (e.g., planning effectiveness, household preparedness, NIMS/ICS) by examining relevant scholarship, collecting data through work with practitioners in the field, and exploring policy. Her work has been featured at conferences and in a variety of scholarly journals articles and book chapters.

Sarah Kirkpatrick

Sarah Kirkpatrick is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Management at North Dakota State University. She is a 2002 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy and served in the Coast Guard from 2002 until 2007. She holds an M.A. in Diplomacy and a Ph.D. in Emergency Management. Her primary research interests center on the holistic recovery of communities and individuals from disaster events and community volunteers in disaster response and recovery.

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Emergency Management Degree Program Graduate Job Outcomes: A Potential Theoretical Framework for Future Research