Graduates of the Security & Safety Engineering programme have multiple career pathways in the field of safety and security.
Some possible areas of employment are:
- Occupational health and safety
- Fire prevention, explosion protection
- Disaster control, warning systems and emergency services
- Crisis communication and management
- Prevention of surveillance, industrial espionage, product piracy
- Property protection, factory security
- Personal security
- Protection against biological hazards (epidemics, pandemics, attacks with biochemical substances, etc.)
- Security at large events (large concerts, sporting events, ...)
- Protection of mobility and transport infrastructure: airports, ports, railway stations, etc.
- Protection of critical supply infrastructures: communication, energy, water, etc.
Security and safety experts can be employed or self-employed in the following areas:
- Businesses in any field and of all sizes, e.g. airports, large industry (chemicals, pharmaceuticals, etc.), production companies, logistics companies, insurances, trade, events management, events agencies, etc.
- Safety and security service providers, e.g. fire services, emergency rescue services, surveillance services, etc.
- Institutions such as occupational insurance, medical insurance companies and the civil service
Tip: Want to get as much practical experience in your future career field as possible while you are studying? Wondering how you should best finance your studies?
The HFU Cooperative Trainee Programme might be a good alternative for you – because it can be combined with your degree programme.
"In my job as a consultant for cybersecurity/ information security the subject of fire protection also plays an important role. Information must be secured both digitally and physically."
Mirjam Blumenstein is a Cybersecurity Consultant for COCUS Schweiz AG in Basel and advises clients in a wide variety of areas. Previously she was an audit manager for a large internet services company responsible for the maintenance of accreditation as a de-mail service provider.
She didn't start her SSE degree right away: "I started off taking another degree programme but switched to Security & Safety Engineering because the course sounded so interesting," says Blumenstein. She didn't know at the beginning what she wanted to specialize in. "That's what's good about the course - you don't have to decide right away". But from the second semester on, computer science was what she found most interesting. By the time she had finished her internship semester Mirjam Blumenstein was sure that she wanted to work in the area of information security and data protection.
What I learned at university is still relevant for me today: "I use a lot of what I learned in my everyday work. Through the broad course curriculum you get a comprehensive overview of many isolated security areas," says Mirjam Blumenstein. Thus other things such as fire protection or non-IT-based security are also important in information security as the information has to be secured in more ways than only digitally.
"SSB graduates are all-rounders who can deal with all the safety and security requirements of a company."
Samuel B. Kaupp worked as a trained paramedic before he took his degree. What he found interesting about the Security & Safety Engineering (SSB) bachelor's programme was the breadth of the curriculum and the good job prospects. Added to that were the choice of specialist areas: "During my course I decided to specialize in occupational safety and hazardous materials and fire protection," says Kaupp. He also liked to good mix in the course: "Methodological skills and a sound basis in the natural sciences are just as important as specialist areas," explained the SSB graduate who is currently doing a master's.
While he was studying and until today, Kaupp worked as a volunteer specialist for Safety and Health Protection in the Schleswig-Holstein State Association of the German Life-saving Society (DLRG LV SH). His efforts include the setting up of a safety programme for members and running training courses on volunteer safety and health protection.
In his bachelor's thesis, Samuel Kaupp dealt with the subject of GDA-ORGAchecks in organizations such as the DLRG. He also published a specialist article in "Sicherheitsingenieur" magazine, 7/2017 issue.
"Through the in-depth focus on dangers, risks and counter measures in the SSB programme, I have developed a deep intuition for what can go wrong, what preventative measures can be taken and how these can be communicated."
As a Business Security Consultant, Juri Tschöll consults with a wide variety of companies on all aspects of information security. Besides strategic aspects such as IS guidelines and IT governance, this also includes running training courses to support awareness and technical requirements for current IT projects. His employer, PMC Services GmbH, is an IT service provider and consulting firm which specializes in business security.
He decided to take the Security & Safety Engineering bachelor programme because of its broad curriculum. At first he was more interested in civil and disaster protection, but later his focus changed to information security. " I learned about a wide range of disciplines in the field of security. Even if I don't need to know every single detail for my current project, this can change from project to project," says Tschöll.
In his current work, he is also able to use what he learned about laws and norms as well as his experience with documentation and presentations. "Besides the hard facts about programming, network infrastructure, information security guidelines and risk analysis, I can also use many of the so-called soft factors particularly the feeling for security which develops out of dealing so intensively with security topics," added Tschöll.
"The career prospects for SSE graduates in IT security are excellent."
Dennis Pokupec graduated from the Security & Safety Engineering programme at HFU in 2015 and has been working since then for the consultancy firm Sopra Steria. He began as a Junior Consultant and today he is employed as an information security consultant.
When he began his course Pokupec was mainly interested in property security but later became more interested in information security in companies. During his internship semester he had to design a substation safety concept for a property security company. What he enjoyed about the course was the connection between security and safety topics which is still useful in his work today, e.g. in the design of security concepts.
As a security consultant he works on site with the customers. "The regular change of location doesn't bother me. I gain a lot of experience and learn something new every day," says Dennis Pokupec. One of the things he is currently most involved in is IT authorization management. When he has specialist questions, he often gets in touch with his ex-coursemates who are working in many different areas of security. His tip for SSB students: "Establish a good network early on and look after it."
"The Security & Safety Engineering degree programme offers a unique combination of technology, psychology and IT. As Risk Assurance consultant at EY (Ernst & Young), I cover IT risks for company audits. This is a good fit with my degree in "Security & Safety Engineering“ with its combination of technology, psychology and IT. The identification and implementation of risk reduction measures was a core theme of the 7-semester programme and is now part of my daily work. I was offered responsibility right away at EY as a graduate."
"Production and process technologies play an important role in the company. Therefore in my daily work I need nearly everything I learned in my university programme."
As a trained system electronics technician, Manuel Holzweißig was particularly interested in security technology when he started his course. During the course he specialized in the areas of occupational safety, fire and radiation protection.
Today, as Head of Occupational Safety, Environment Protection and Factory Security at Aesculap AG in Tuttlingen, Holzweißig has broad responsibilities ranging from standard risk evaluation in occupational safety, through the functioning of the drainage systems which require knowledge of chemistry, the storage of dangerous materials, building and plant fire protection, to radiation protection in material analysis or security devices for factory security. Top priority is given to safety in the workplace, the maintenance and support of employee health and environmental protection.
Aesculap AG, a manufacturer of medical technology and products, employs approximately 11,600 staff worldwide and belongs to the Braun concern.
"The broad range of security and safety topics taught on the course were a solid foundation which have enabled me to find answers to the many questions which come up in a production company."
As the manager in charge of Safety, Health & Environment in a Nestlé plant, Simon Lonau is not only responsible for occupational safety, but is also involved in project management, contractor management, health and environment management, sanitation and security."Whether it's technology and maintenance, quality management, production planning or facility management - every day I have a new challenge," says Lonau.
An accident during a holiday job was what originally interested Simon Lonau in the subject of "occupational safety". He also wanted a job where he would use his communication skills intensively. He likes the fact that as an occupational safety expert, he can combine both interests: "The challenge in occupational safety is to pack the formalities so that the staff actually realize why it is important for them."
Nestlé is the largest foodstuffs concern in the world. Currently around 300 staff are employed in the plant in Wangen (Switzerland). Production is centred on dough, e.g. for cakes and pizza.
"What I learned at university is repeated in our way of working here: safety doesn't just happen - it is planned and coordinated."
Andreas Müller is the Managing Director of ProteQ GmbH in Schaffhausen (Switzerland) a planning office specializing in fire protection. He founded the company together with colleagues from Switzerland during his internship semester. "My job is mainly consulting with building contractors and architects during their building projects as well as of course supporting, planning and checking the necessary fire safety regulations for the building in question," says Müller. The planning office also deals with occupational safety, explosion prevention and the hazardous incidents ordinance.
"In the Security & Safety Engineering course I learned to look for and apply the correct guidelines and how to ask the right questions. The programme also helped me to interpret and explain directives and clauses," says Andreas Müller. Working in Switzerland, he had to become familiar with the different legislation that they have there.
"In my work I am constantly using what I learned during my SSE course, e.g. electrical engineering to understand the safety controls on machines and plant. Or, for example, chemistry to be able to evaluate processes with hazardous materials."
Before he went to university, Christian Niedrig trained as a materials inspector in a chemicals lab. "I often asked myself whether the many regulations for safe handling of chemicals were really necessary because they often prevented me from doing my job efficiently," says Niedrig. The wish to plan work processes efficiently and at the same time to help employees understand why occupational safety is important, is what led him to take the "Security & Safety Engineering" degree at HFU.
As a safety engineer and fire safety officer at WABCO, Christian Niedrig today supports the board and the management in the implementation of legal requirements and supports continual improvement of occupational, health and fire protection in the company's four locations in Niedersachsen. "In my everyday work I deal with questions where I am thankful for the broad spectrum of the course content," added Niedrig. "For example, What has to be taken into consideration in test-driving from an SHE (safety, health and environment) point of view?, How can psychological stress in the workplace be evaluated? or Will the extinguishing equipment still be needed after modifying the machine?"
WABCO is a world-leading supplier of the commercial vehicles and automobile industry with headquarters in Brussels. The company has approximately 12,000 employees in 39 countries, 2,500 of whom are employed in Niedersachsen.
"Thanks to the interdisciplinary nature of the programme, I am able to solve complex problems in a methodical way. The practical work in the course has been the most useful for me in my everyday work."
As a safety engineer, Heinrich Schneider is responsible for the areas of occupational safety, fire safety and crisis management in the company. In addition he supports the board of directors in the representation of their political interests in federal and European politics.
Schluchseewerk AG with headquarters in Laufenburg (D) on the Rhine, has 5 pumped storage power stations with a total power of around 1,800 megawatts in the southern Black Forest area and has approximately 350 employees.