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  • Entry Level Jobs with BS Degree

    I have browsed and searched these boards and a few others looking for quality information. I know the topic sounds a bit general, but I do have many preferences in what I hope to do as I enter the Law Enforcement community.

    My background: Graduating with a BS in Criminal Justice in May 2010, 24 yo, 3.8 gpa, no family plans yet, excellent physical fitness, no disqualifying factors (i.e. med condtions, vision, hearing, etc.), never done any form of drugs...ever.

    I was hoping I could get a bit more personal answers on this topic from guys who have BTDT. Where is the best place to start in this field in my position?

    Criteria: -I have a great interest in Counterterrorism/Counterintelligence.
    -I would like to have a Federal job vs state/local.
    -Plan to get my Master's down the road.
    -International travel interests me.
    -Would like to learn a foreign language not necessarily Spanish as I'm well versed in it, but not fluent.
    -Military hasn't been ruled out, but low on list.
    -Don't mind a job that would have me moving frequently
    -Very interested in learning tactical operations and special weapons AND applying these
    -CIA core collector has been at the top of my list, hard to get much info concerning this job though

    This is just a basis and considerations I'm looking at now. I'm very open to other ideas/options/directions. If anyone would like to discuss more detail in private I would be open to that. In the end, I know that my direction is solely my decision. Thanks in advance for any advice given.

    -Ian

  • #2
    sent you a PM

    Comment


    • #3
      Google AFOSI and look at the "Palace Aquire" program.

      M-11
      “All men dream...... But not equally..
      Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
      but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
      for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

      TE Lawrence

      Comment


      • #4
        Double123 - thanks for the info, a reply PM is inbound

        M-11 - thanks as well, that program looks like a good fit for someone in my shoes. I'm going to look into it more in depth.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by XFitKdub View Post
          I have browsed and searched these boards and a few others looking for quality information. I know the topic sounds a bit general, but I do have many preferences in what I hope to do as I enter the Law Enforcement community.

          My background: Graduating with a BS in Criminal Justice in May 2010, 24 yo, 3.8 gpa, no family plans yet, excellent physical fitness, no disqualifying factors (i.e. med condtions, vision, hearing, etc.), never done any form of drugs...ever.

          I was hoping I could get a bit more personal answers on this topic from guys who have BTDT. Where is the best place to start in this field in my position?

          Criteria: -I have a great interest in Counterterrorism/Counterintelligence.
          -I would like to have a Federal job vs state/local.
          -Plan to get my Master's down the road.
          -International travel interests me.
          -Would like to learn a foreign language not necessarily Spanish as I'm well versed in it, but not fluent.
          -Military hasn't been ruled out, but low on list.
          -Don't mind a job that would have me moving frequently
          -Very interested in learning tactical operations and special weapons AND applying these
          -CIA core collector has been at the top of my list, hard to get much info concerning this job though

          This is just a basis and considerations I'm looking at now. I'm very open to other ideas/options/directions. If anyone would like to discuss more detail in private I would be open to that. In the end, I know that my direction is solely my decision. Thanks in advance for any advice given.

          -Ian
          I think the best way to break into counterintelligence is through the military, primarily the Army. The FBI does domestic counterintelligence, but I think you need a bit more work experience to qualify there.

          The main problem trying to break into counterintelligence in the civilian world is that you are competing against people who are already credentialed CI Agents coming from the military.

          You can get into counterterrorism with much more ease. I'm not trying to dissuade you from seeking a CI gig, just telling you from my experience that CI is a field that hires incestuously.

          Another route into a possible CI/CT career is the DIA Entry Level Program. They'll hire you on as a support person, then allow you to progress into an intelligence officer position after a while. Waltzing straight out of college into a CI Agent is going to be a tough row to hoe.

          Although I'm a Marine, my suggestion is to enlist in the Army as a HUMINT collector, and then get into CI Agent (which isn't an entry level position in the Army).
          Big Brother is watching

          Comment


          • #6
            As you may or may not know, there aren't a whole lot of entry level Federal jobs that are going to give you the opportunity to do most of those things you are interested in right off the bat, but there are a few that you could use as a stepping stone to where you want to be.

            Most of the 1811 jobs technically hire at the entry level, but in practice it doesn't really happen. They like prior LE/military experience. The exception is the FBI, who hires people from a variety of backgrounds. You'd be better off getting your masters first before you throw your hat in with them, but its worth a shot. I know DSS was hiring not too long ago, which would definitely allow you to travel... ALOT. The Secret Service is worth checking out too, as they are always hiring. USSS Uniformed Division as well, though you may not like what you find there.

            The Border Patrol also hires agents right out of college as well. That is an EXCELLENT stepping stone to pretty much any Fed job you want. Do a couple years with them and you can pretty much write your own ticket. Plus, you'll go from being "well versed" in Spanish to fluent pretty quickly.

            I've been in your shoes before, coming right out of college and having some well thought out goals for myself in regard to my career. I looked at all of my options at the time, including most of the ones that I suggested here. In the end, I ended up deciding to put my time in locally and gain experience that way. I just didn't want to take the chance of taking a job thats going to ship me wherever and then realize that I hate it.

            In any case, good luck to you.

            Comment


            • #7
              From what I have learned and if I am wrong on anything please correct me but the Border Patrol also has a high speed tactical team called BORTAC which is their nationally based tactical team. From what I understand BORTAC is constantly being called out on missions both home and abroad, so they travel internationally. BP has Special Response Teams that are similar to BORTAC as far as tactical teams go, the difference however, is that SRT is sector based which means they stay in their assigned sector.

              Most of the the federal agencies have some sort of highly trained tactical team-HRT, SOG, BORTAC, FAST, just to name a few. The hard part is getting hired into the agency and then once in the agency you do your time and learn the job then you can try out for one of these teams. My understanding of most of these highly trained tactical teams is that they are extremely well versed in everything from tactical operations to a lot of the secret squirly stuff that CI involves. Again, this is my understanding of these types of teams based on a lot of research so if I am wrong on anything I hope someone will correct me.

              Such a tactical team would be something that would meet most, if not all of the criteria you have listed. The problem, of course, is that you must choose an agency where you will be happy no matter what because there is always an extremely high rate of attrition amongst those who tryout for these teams. Making it is far from a sure thing so you need to be happy with whichever agency you choose.

              A lot of federal agencies will take guys right out of college. The FBI requires three years of work experience on top of a bachelor degree but there are plenty out there that will pick you up right out of college, and there are a lot of really cool agencies out there so don't limit yourself. That 3.8 will only help so keep that GPA up!
              Last edited by Ryno2; 10-23-2009, 10:20 AM.

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              • #8
                I know people that were hired as 1811's with no prior LE/Military experience with ICE, USSS, ATF, US Marshals and FAMS.

                Comment


                • #9
                  State Investigator positions are a little easier to get into and will provide good background experience.
                  Military is the best way to get experience also a TS clearance in a quick(er) fashion.
                  Supplement your CJ degree w/ accounting or law.
                  Stay fit,
                  start networking.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Intelligence community is tight-knit. I'd also recommend going into the military for intelligence positions. Make sure you go enlisted instead of the officer program, though.

                    Officers move around from unit to unit who do ALL sorts of different jobs. Think of them as general purpose managers.

                    Enlisted people get job-specific training and are doing the job you signed up for rather quickly. You'll get real world experience and get an "in" into that community. If you like it well enough, you can also stay in and specialize through the Warrant Officer programs in a couple branches.

                    Use the military to pay for more college if you like. Everybody and their brother in this market has a CJ degree. Up the ante and get something Intelligence-related through the government. Some of those schools/degrees are restricted to the Intelligence community.
                    NRA Life Member

                    The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. - Sir Robert Peel

                    Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. - H. L. Mencken

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                    • #11
                      Sgt. Slaughter said it best, every Swinging Richard has a BS in CJ including many on the local law enforcement level.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sgt. Slaughter View Post
                        The Intelligence community is tight-knit. I'd also recommend going into the military for intelligence positions. Make sure you go enlisted instead of the officer program, though.

                        Officers move around from unit to unit who do ALL sorts of different jobs. Think of them as general purpose managers.

                        Enlisted people get job-specific training and are doing the job you signed up for rather quickly. You'll get real world experience and get an "in" into that community. If you like it well enough, you can also stay in and specialize through the Warrant Officer programs in a couple branches.

                        Use the military to pay for more college if you like. Everybody and their brother in this market has a CJ degree. Up the ante and get something Intelligence-related through the government. Some of those schools/degrees are restricted to the Intelligence community.
                        Yes. The Army officers all start as all-source types, and there is no guarantee that you will even get an MI slot (HIGHLY competitive at OCS). You can get a guaranteed field when you enlist. The CI officers don't even run CI investigations, they supervise the enlisted CI Agents that do them.

                        I'm a MI guy myself, and it has opened many doors for me. As young as you are, I would definately hit up the military if you are serious about getting into CI/CT work. Not only do you get the TS/SCI clearance, but you get experience that is worth more than any college degree you could imagine. You could also possibly hook yourself up with a boondoggle to DLI and learn a critical language. I'm no CI or CT guy, but the military intelligence experience and active clearance is gold on a resume.
                        Big Brother is watching

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by devil-dog0311 View Post
                          Sgt. Slaughter said it best, every Swinging Richard has a BS in CJ including many on the local law enforcement level.
                          How does a BS in accounting look in comparison on the federal level with no prior experience at 21 yrs old?

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                          • #14
                            All these responses has been a wealth of knowledge. Many, many hours of research probably wouldn't provide everything listed here. Basically, I am looking for the best entry-level stepping stone for success in a career that falls in closely with the criteria I listed. I appreciate every penny guys.

                            Like I say, military hasn't been ruled out. There are just a few other options I think I would like to attempt before stirring up that pot. I've been lucky enough to obtain a full academic scholarship in school and I believe I've found a way to pay for grad school if needed, so it wouldn't be school money that I would be looking for from the military. Its always an option though.

                            I'm still skimming the agencies looking at requirements and opportunities. I'm strongly considering a PD and obtaining a Masters degree then attacking the Federal level with a few more weapons for success in my arsenal. Experience seems paramount with about any agency from what I hear. I'm young so that can be obtained with the same hard work thats got me where I am now.

                            How is personal life in the BP? Where do you start out there, are placed in a locale or do you pick? It seems like an excellent stepping stone.

                            Once again, I appreciate the info. Keep the replies coming guys.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Code Seven
                              You said you're primarily interested in counterterrorism and counterintelligence. What vision comes to mind what you think of these two fields?
                              A HUMINT job on the ground somewhere. Using contacts and resources to develop leads. Or possibly even being the one that receives the intel and helps make sense of it all. Helping thwart terrorist plots, attacks, and expansion. I guess that would be it in a nutshell.

                              Sadly, I think a CJ degree does nothing for this job. Maybe my interests and realities are in conflict on this one.

                              Comment

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