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  • Degree Choice...

    In these tough economic times, I am considering going back to school. I am looking at law school or an MS in Homeland Security. My career goal is in law enforcement. I graduated from the academy as a non-affiliate on 10/31/2008 and I have have many applications in with state and federal agencies but things are moving slow if they are moving at all. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • #2
    I can't think of any job where a MS in "homeland security" would be of any special value. However, a juris doctorate (JD) is pretty versitile, and could be used within LE or in plenty of other fields. If these are the two advanced degrees you're looking at, if you want one that could actually be an advantage in the job field, go with the JD.
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    • #3
      I attend Fairleigh Dickinson University (I'm doing a mix of online and in person classes) for a MAS (Master's of Administrative Science).

      'Master of Administrative Science (MAS) - http://view.fdu.edu/default.aspx?id=74

      The Master of Administrative Science degree is a 30 credit program designed to develop critical managerial effectiveness. The degree, designed for working adults who are eager to enhance their educational credentials, consists of courses which improve a student’s administrative as well as analytic and decision making competencies.'

      In addition to my MAS I'll have Graduate Certificates in:

      Global Security and Terrorism Studies & Law and Public Safety Administration

      I started the degree FALL '08 and working thru the Summer I intend to graduate Sept '09 (4 Semesters).


      They also have a Homeland Security (MSHS) for those who are interested.

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      • #4
        If you are wondering which degree would benefit you more greatly, then the JD would be the overwhelming choice.

        Scroll through the threads a bit and you will find a recent discussion regarding Homeland Security degrees. In my opinion, it would be a waste of money. Sure, a MS in anything wouldn't hurt you, but the funds spent on a Homeland Security degree could be better allocated in areas that would benefit you more greatly.

        However, a JD isn't simply "going back to school." It's a huge commitment with a big price tag. Going to get your JD full time is just that...FULL-TIME! It's not like your undergraduate studies, much more intensive. It will be your life for 2-3 years, if you enjoy school and academia then go for it. Even if you plan to go part time (4-6 years of study) balancing a career and Law School is exhausting. While the majority of majors in higher education have been "tailored" to fit the needs of working adults, JD's programs have changed very little. Most schools only offer full-time programs and the part-time ones really aren't part-time, just scaled back.

        I say study and take your Lsat's and see if you'd even be competitive. In the meantime forget about Homeland Security and start looking into MBA programs.

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        • #5
          I enrolled in DeSales University's MACJ in Computer Forensics. You can choose between Forensic Science or Computer Forensics. In this day and age with everything being digital, I think the choice is a no brainer. You have the option of doing the program fully online, classroom, or mixed. One of the best decisions I've ever made.

          http://www.desales.edu/default.aspx?pageid=7834

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          • #6
            I am finishing up my JD. It's 3 years full-time and 4 part-time. Don't go to law school if an 1811 is your end goal. The reality is law school is ridiculously expensive, time consuming, and miserable. There are plenty of other graduate degrees you can get to make yourself marketable.

            Get a JD to be a lawyer. Sure, there are folks that do other things with them, but your ability to become an 1811 with $120k of debt to pay back is a hard road.

            One thing that is definitely true as Green said: Part-time programs are hardly part time. You take 10 credits per semester. Generally 3-4 classes. While working full-time that's no joke.

            Good luck and PM if you have law school specific questions.

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