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Criminology - useful?

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  • Criminology - useful?

    So...I'm aware that the cj degree has been debated to death here and every other le forum. But what I haven't found is much information on the usefulness of a criminology degree. I'm currently a college junior and hoping to go into federal law enforcement someday; at the same time, I've become well aware that I shouldn't put all my eggs in at particular basket. If things don't work out right off the bat I do want to pursue an advanced degree. While my first option is law, I've also thought about criminology. I do sociological research right now and criminology just happens to appeal to me.

    My question, then, is whether a criminology degree would have any use in federal le. I know that a JD would open a lot of doors, but I would probably enjoy earning a crim MA as well.

    For those unclear on the exact differences, criminology is a more theoretical overview of crime, causes of crime, criminal psycholog, etc.
    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/

  • #2
    I've got a MA in criminology and work as a federal agent, so there's those of us out there with that education. Will it help you become a fed LEO? Depends on how you define "help." If it's something you're interested in which helps you attain a higher GPA, that certainly could help. Is it a credential that is a "guarantee" that you'll get a fed LE job upon graduation? No.
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    • #3
      Criminology is ok just remember you are putting all your eggs in one basket and you will have a degree that is not very marketable outside of criminal justice. It's just something to seriously think about because as agency's funding falls jobs are getting more scarce to come by. Also remember that an education will open doors for you but so will experience so try to get both, even if it's not FLE.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Traditionalist View Post
        Criminology is ok just remember you are putting all your eggs in one basket and you will have a degree that is not very marketable outside of criminal justice.
        That's actually one of my bigger concerns so it's good hearing this from someone in LE.
        http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/

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        • #5
          Take some accounting classes if you can. If you want to be a fed, most fed crimes have a money component. Feeling comfortable with books and records will pay dividends in the long run.

          My 2 cents.
          "From now until the end of the world, we and it shall be remembered. We few, we Band of Brothers. For he who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother." - William Shakespeare ("King Henry V")

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Traditionalist View Post
            Criminology is ok just remember you are putting all your eggs in one basket and you will have a degree that is not very marketable outside of criminal justice. It's just something to seriously think about because as agency's funding falls jobs are getting more scarce to come by. Also remember that an education will open doors for you but so will experience so try to get both, even if it's not FLE.
            +1 on this and Kimble's GPA comment.

            The feds don't seem to care what your degree is in, rather that you have it and what level it is (BA, MA, PHD, etc).

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Scout0315 View Post
              Take some accounting classes if you can. If you want to be a fed, most fed crimes have a money component. Feeling comfortable with books and records will pay dividends in the long run.
              Very good point. Other than maybe US Marshals and ATF I can't think of a federal criminal investigative agency that does not investigate fraud/economic crime cases.
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              • #8
                You know, when it comes to accounting, I always wanted to learn it just because I figured it would be useful knowledge for life in general, 1811 or not.

                My school doesn't have an accounting major though, and I doubt that a few accounting courses at a different college would make a difference on a resume. Is there a certificate or something in accounting that can be listed on an application as indicative of accounting skills?
                http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/

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                • #9
                  Some schools have Post Bac accounting cerfiticates that give one enough credits to sit for the CPA exam. Might want to look for one of those programs. I have seen them online as well thru a few universities. I received mine from Portland State University.

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                  • #10
                    Degrees are great, and often a necessity for federal criminal investigator positions. However, I think that the greatest bang for your buck comes in the form of knowing a foreign language. Federal Investigative Agencies are putting more and more people on the southwest border, making Spanish a valuable quality for a candidate. In fact, recently I have seen announcements that were limited to only those who are fluent in Spanish.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chadliey View Post
                      Some schools have Post Bac accounting cerfiticates that give one enough credits to sit for the CPA exam. Might want to look for one of those programs. I have seen them online as well thru a few universities. I received mine from Portland State University.
                      Do the online ones carry as much weight as a regular degree? Maybe it's just me but I thought I read somewhere that on-campus degrees are preferred.

                      Then again, I guess accounting is something you could study adequately via distance-learning.
                      http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/

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