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  • Any good advice?

    Hi guys, I'm sure this is not the first time someone posts this, but I'm about to graduate (BA in Criminal Justice) and i'm pretty concerned about my professional future, of course, I'm interested on working in law enforcement, specially federal agencies, is there any of you who knows if the internship programs for students are really profitable? Is any other better way to create some experience to get hired? Is that experience really indispensable for federal agencies or anyone with the basic requirements can apply? thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by albertogc View Post
    Hi guys, I'm sure this is not the first time someone posts this, but I'm about to graduate (BA in Criminal Justice) and i'm pretty concerned about my professional future, of course, I'm interested on working in law enforcement, specially federal agencies, is there any of you who knows if the internship programs for students are really profitable? Is any other better way to create some experience to get hired? Is that experience really indispensable for federal agencies or anyone with the basic requirements can apply? thanks
    The process for hiring is rather lengthy with the Feds, so if you're not already started, you'll be sitting around for awhile without a job. Also, the recession is settling in with the public sector right now, hiring is drying up. Your best bet is to shotgun as many apps as you can with local, state, and federal and hope you get something. Start working and building the resume and your experience. Once the economy improves, you can start really trying to get on with the Feds.

    I don't see too many 22-year old federal agents. They're there, but they're a very small minority. Understand your competition will be cops with years of LE experience and veterans returning from war with five and ten point hiring preferences. And they will have the college degree like you (and majors don't make a difference... you can be a crim justice, an engineer, or a history major... the Feds just want the college degree).

    So, think of it in those terms. Getting a federal job coming right off the college graduation stage will be near impossible. Your best bet is to get into the LE profession on the local or state level, build your experience and resume, and then apply. You'll be doing yourself (and the agency that hires you) a favor.

    Good luck with your pursuits!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by albertogc View Post
      Hi guys, I'm sure this is not the first time someone posts this, but I'm about to graduate (BA in Criminal Justice) and i'm pretty concerned about my professional future, of course, I'm interested on working in law enforcement, specially federal agencies, is there any of you who knows if the internship programs for students are really profitable? Is any other better way to create some experience to get hired? Is that experience really indispensable for federal agencies or anyone with the basic requirements can apply? thanks
      Border Patrol, Customs, and the U.S. Park Police are all great entry level federal law enforcement agencies.
      They all offer a diverse range of enforcement duties that include investigative work.
      A bonus is that their hiring process seems to move quicker then most. However, it will still take about a year or more to get hired.

      Other entry level positions include the Secret Service's Uniformed Division, Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and TSA's Air Marshals.
      Last edited by o2force; 10-08-2011, 08:53 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by o2force View Post
        Border Patrol, Customs, and the U.S. Park Police are all great entry level federal law enforcement agencies.
        They all offer a diverse range of enforcement duties that include investigative work.
        A bonus is that their hiring process seems to move quicker then most. However, it will still take about a year or more to get hired.

        Other entry level positions include the Secret Service's Uniformed Division, Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and TSA's Air Marshals.

        I am aware about the typically long hiring process with federal agencies, but I'm pretty interested in trying to get an opportunity while being a student. I understand that they have pretty good pilot programs for senior students, where you can start building your experience in LE. I am now 28, so I understand I'm not too young for it, I think I'm doing it at the right time. I'm also considering going to the armed forces for a while, maybe reserve, to improve my resume and recently I was told by a CBP agent that 95% of them have a military background, so that might be another possibility.

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        • #5
          You can try researching the SCEP (Student Career Experience Program) here for ICE: http://www.ice.gov/careers/internships/. I had never heard of it, but two guys in my CITP/ICESAT class got hired through it and I believe a couple of people in a class behind me got in too -- sounds like a pretty awesome deal. You are a paid intern at the agency, get to see what the work is like, get your name known, and then frequently an accelerated hiring process. Apparently it's pretty competitive to get in, but if you do, it seems like a decent shot at a permenant job. Particularly because of how many people applied to the last ICE 1811 opening and how selective they were about that one, it may be about your only chance at getting a similar position without any other experience.

          The military is always good for your resume and enhancing your hiring prospects (that's how I got in), but that definitely shouldn't be the only reason for signing up. Whichever service you are interested in, that's a big comittment, and shouldn't just be a means to an end.

          That pretty much sums up my knowledge of internship programs so I don't think I can answer any more specific questions about it, but if there's anything else you want to know, I can try to pass questions along to those who have more experience with it. Good luck.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gragoat06 View Post
            You can try researching the SCEP (Student Career Experience Program) here for ICE: http://www.ice.gov/careers/internships/. I had never heard of it, but two guys in my CITP/ICESAT class got hired through it and I believe a couple of people in a class behind me got in too -- sounds like a pretty awesome deal. You are a paid intern at the agency, get to see what the work is like, get your name known, and then frequently an accelerated hiring process. Apparently it's pretty competitive to get in, but if you do, it seems like a decent shot at a permenant job. Particularly because of how many people applied to the last ICE 1811 opening and how selective they were about that one, it may be about your only chance at getting a similar position without any other experience.

            The military is always good for your resume and enhancing your hiring prospects (that's how I got in), but that definitely shouldn't be the only reason for signing up. Whichever service you are interested in, that's a big comittment, and shouldn't just be a means to an end.

            That pretty much sums up my knowledge of internship programs so I don't think I can answer any more specific questions about it, but if there's anything else you want to know, I can try to pass questions along to those who have more experience with it. Good luck.
            Thank you very much for your help, I have a classmate who is an ICE agent, he might point me in the good direction with the SCEP, definitely that's the better way for me to start and also my first option. I understand that other agencies like DEA have the program also.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by albertogc View Post
              Thank you very much for your help, I have a classmate who is an ICE agent, he might point me in the good direction with the SCEP, definitely that's the better way for me to start and also my first option. I understand that other agencies like DEA have the program also.
              US Marshals have a coop program too.

              Comment


              • #8
                I will give you a hint of how difficult it is to get into LE right now based on my own personal experience.

                I am 24 graduated college May 2010 with a BA in Political Science and minors in Sociology and Computer Science.
                I will graduate in May 2012 with a Master of Arts in Social and Public Policy Administration and Analysis.
                I am working 2 jobs while working on my masters both in supervisory capacity in event and armed security.

                I have been applying to LE Agencies since November of 2009 and have put in over 30 apps (lost count of the actual number).
                I have applied to AFOSI 3 times, USSS 4 times, PA State Police, Pittsburgh Police, University of Pittsburgh Police, CBP, ICE and numerous other agencies (local, state, federal) that I can not even begin to try and remember all of them.

                I have taken written tests, interviewed, ran marathon's worth of PT tests and no luck so far but I keep applying and trying until someone sees something that they like in me.

                My honest advice is to you is to enlist in a branch of the military. With a BA most branches will bump you up to an E-3, that is if you don't want to wait on the officer selection process. Military background is valued in all forms of LE because of the values it instills. Furthermore if you get your vet points that only helps your selection chances when you get out or hell you may decide that you like it and stay in. My father joined the Air Force after college because he couldn't get a job in LE and he decided that he enjoyed the Air Force and didn't leave till that mandatory retirement at 55 thing.

                So just keep it up and be prepared for a long journey into getting hired.
                Last edited by duqjeep2010; 10-09-2011, 09:51 AM.

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                • #9
                  damn glitches lol

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by duqjeep2010 View Post
                    damn glitches lol
                    You got a very good point man, it might be one of the best options, of course after trying to get into an internship program first, but the truth is that no one is going to help you out in this better than yourself and your perseverance. I also thought a while ago getting involved or even join the police department, but here in Puerto Rico, state and local police is not a very respected agency, with lots of deficiencies and most of all, not very well prepared professionals.

                    Keep it up with your applications, i'm sure that your perseverance will end up with great results for you. I'll be doing the same, working hard to do what I really want to.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by albertogc View Post
                      Hi guys, I'm sure this is not the first time someone posts this, but I'm about to graduate (BA in Criminal Justice) and i'm pretty concerned about my professional future, of course, I'm interested on working in law enforcement, specially federal agencies, is there any of you who knows if the internship programs for students are really profitable? Is any other better way to create some experience to get hired? Is that experience really indispensable for federal agencies or anyone with the basic requirements can apply? thanks
                      From someone that is a recent grad that just got hired by a federal law enforcement agency, I would recommend that you first really do some research on the different federal agencies to see which one suits what you are looking for in a career and see what they are looking for, most agency websites would tell you the minimum qualifications and this forum, along with a few others will give you a more in depth look on what makes you a better candidate. Different agencies have very different missions and thus, you could be working very different cases depending on which agency you are with. It's very important for you to identify what attracts you to work for the feds, instead of local, because I have found from talking to other applicants many of them have a distorted vision of what the feds actually do. Many think that Feds would see more action and be more fast paced, when in actuality that is not true. Most 1811 (special agent/criminal investigator) positions deal with criminal investigations, which entails a ton of paperwork and a lot of office hours, you will get out to work leads and meet with sources. But if what attracts you is going out to kick in doors and arrest the bad guys, you might want to re-consider working for most federal agencies. Now, there are some very cool programs that federal agencies offer that locals don't, but the day to day work of a 1811 is not action packed at all. In addition, it is very difficult to get in as a 1811 period, especially right out of college. So, like others have already said, if you are going to graduate and thus no longer eligible for the SCEP, military is a great way for you to spend the next few years gaining experience while waiting out the mass hiring freezes going on right now. If you serve a few years in programs such as military intelligence will definitely give you a huge legs up when you do apply a few years from now. Good luck!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dl6389 View Post
                        From someone that is a recent grad that just got hired by a federal law enforcement agency, I would recommend that you first really do some research on the different federal agencies to see which one suits what you are looking for in a career and see what they are looking for, most agency websites would tell you the minimum qualifications and this forum, along with a few others will give you a more in depth look on what makes you a better candidate. Different agencies have very different missions and thus, you could be working very different cases depending on which agency you are with. It's very important for you to identify what attracts you to work for the feds, instead of local, because I have found from talking to other applicants many of them have a distorted vision of what the feds actually do. Many think that Feds would see more action and be more fast paced, when in actuality that is not true. Most 1811 (special agent/criminal investigator) positions deal with criminal investigations, which entails a ton of paperwork and a lot of office hours, you will get out to work leads and meet with sources. But if what attracts you is going out to kick in doors and arrest the bad guys, you might want to re-consider working for most federal agencies. Now, there are some very cool programs that federal agencies offer that locals don't, but the day to day work of a 1811 is not action packed at all. In addition, it is very difficult to get in as a 1811 period, especially right out of college. So, like others have already said, if you are going to graduate and thus no longer eligible for the SCEP, military is a great way for you to spend the next few years gaining experience while waiting out the mass hiring freezes going on right now. If you serve a few years in programs such as military intelligence will definitely give you a huge legs up when you do apply a few years from now. Good luck!
                        Thanks for the advice, the truth is that I'm really interested on the USMS and what they do. I really did a lot of research in all the principal agencies (ATF, DEA, FBI, SS, ICE, USMS, etc.) and that's the one I feel more identified with. My university has a pilot program with them, but it seems like they're kind of waiting for what's going to happen with the famous budget. I'm also sensing this "mass hiring freeze". Without a doubt, if the internship program does not work right now, the military will be definitely be a good option, kind of a difficult decision though, specially when you have a family.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by albertogc View Post
                          Thanks for the advice, the truth is that I'm really interested on the USMS and what they do. I really did a lot of research in all the principal agencies (ATF, DEA, FBI, SS, ICE, USMS, etc.) and that's the one I feel more identified with. My university has a pilot program with them, but it seems like they're kind of waiting for what's going to happen with the famous budget. I'm also sensing this "mass hiring freeze". Without a doubt, if the internship program does not work right now, the military will be definitely be a good option, kind of a difficult decision though, specially when you have a family.
                          I hear ya man, it definitely will be a very difficult decision. I'm young and single and I had to make some difficult decisions with regards to moving and jobs during the hiring process. I can't even imagine guys and gals who are trying to do this with a spouse and kids. It's definitely a sacrifice that you and your family have to be willing to make, with FLE or military, otherwise it just won't work. At the end though, this is what one of the older agents told me, make sure you take care of your family and do what's best for them, because that's all you will have and all that matters in the end. So good luck to you coming from a young and dumb new face to FLE.

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                          • #14
                            Those of you who are just out of college and are looking to get some experience may need to start thinking about applying to departments around the country rather than just around where you live. Departments are hiring, but you have to do some digging and be willing to move

                            Here is a start

                            http://www.golawenforcement.com/jobs.htm

                            good luck

                            Comment

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