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  • Masters Degree?

    I have decided to go for my Masters degree in Criminal Justice, I was wondering if anyone in the forums has this degree and what they've been able to do with it. Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Masters Degree?

    Originally posted by audi0xpl0de
    I have decided to go for my Masters degree in Criminal Justice, I was wondering if anyone in the forums has this degree and what they've been able to do with it. Thanks.
    I am also attempting to earn an M.S in Criminal Justice. What school are you going with?
    I chose a school called Columbia Southern University. Its Nationally Accredited, see www.detc.org for more accredited schools. Its not as well recognized as Regionally Accredited, but its still accredited.
    I think earning a M.S degree will provide you with one more credential in the event you get out of law enforcement. I know I had an interview within my department for Detective, and I told them I was a grad student at Columbia Southern, and it added points to my overall score. Although I did eventually lose out to another officer with 13 years experience. I have only 2 years. I also had a job interview with the Secret Service and my M.S degree came up during the interview and it also was very positive. So, I just think having a M.S is a way of "padding" the resume, but at the same time I think it will truely open doors that otherwise would be shut.
    "When I went to the gate of the city and took my seat in the public square, the young men saw me and stepped aside and the old men rose to their feet; the chief men refrained from speaking and covered their mouths with their hands; the voices of the nobles were hished, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths. Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him. The man who was dying blessed me; I made the widow's heart sing. I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and turban. I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger. I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth. JOB:29

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    • #3
      USF has a special MA in criminology for sworn officers, but the next class probably won't be starting-up for another 18 to 20 months. For their next class, they are going to solicit officers from the Tampa area. If you are interested, then contact Dr. Peter French at USF. It is the best program that I have ever attended, by far.

      Our prosecutor told me that a Masters degree won't help a cop and, to some degree, I agree with him. It won't necessarily help with career advancement, but it will help with personal enrichment, along with a greater understanding of how a police agency should be administered.
      Visit TheologyWeb.com now!!!

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      • #4
        I was just accepted to the University of Cincinnati for my Master's. I'm just looking to plan ahead and see what's available. Eventually I'd like to go into federal law enforcement.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Yxboom
          but it will help with personal enrichment
          In more ways than one. One local agency offers an 18% salary increase for officers with a 4-year degree and an additional 18% for those with a Masters. It's a college town, so there are a lot of patrol officers tooling around town with their advanced degree.
          Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

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          • #6
            Wouldn't a Master's in Public Administration or Management be more beneficial as far as promotions go? All the Police Chiefs I've ever met or know have them in those or a related field.
            *Not a cop*

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            • #7
              That was my other consideration. I have a bachelor's degree in Public Management, so I was looking for a more specialized degree. But I might end up just going for a masters in public management.

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              • #8
                I think a Master's in Public Admin or Management or something similar would make you a lot more appealing once you get out of law enforcement.
                *Not a cop*

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                • #9
                  • Quote:
                    Originally posted by lsmalibu
                    Wouldn't a Master's in Public Administration or Management be more beneficial as far as promotions go? All the Police Chiefs I've ever met or know have them in those or a related field.
                  There are several things to consider when making a decision as to which graduate degree to get: Criminal justice? Management? Public administration? An MBA?

                  For the position of chief, many agencies require a Bachelors or a Masters degree in business management or in criminal justice, specifically. I haven't seen any advretisements that specified a degree in public administration, although I acknowledge that the utility of this particular degree may be good. I studied it a little in graduate school and was very interested in this field.

                  Regarding teaching at the collegiate level: Colleges and universities require a minimum of 18 graduate-level credits in the field that you want to teach. However, most require a minimum of a graduate degree in the field that you want to teach in. Consequently, if you want to teach criminal justice at the collegiate level, then your choice of a masters degree becomes more important. An MBA is insufficient to teach criminal justice at the community college level.

                  Regarding teaching criminal justice, there is an exception to this. If the criminal justice curriculum is at the A.S. level, then the instructor simply needs an A.S. in CJ. However, if the CJ curriculum is at the A.A. level, then the instructor will need a minimum of 18 graduate-level credits in CJ to qualify him to teach it. The regional accreditators established this minimum standard.

                  Then there is the issue of "personal enrichment." What would you enjoy most??? I was bored stiff in my undergraduate studies because I was in a business management program. But in graduate school, I studied criminology, which I found to be richly rewarding for personal reasons. I enjoyed it immensely.
                  Visit TheologyWeb.com now!!!

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                  • #10
                    I would recommend a Master's in business or public administration. I went the business route and it has opened some doors for continuing directly into a Doctorate's rather than making up some missing core classes to enter the program had I pursued the other degree. I didn't have any aspirations for continuing past my Master's but now that I am here, I can see continuing on with my education.

                    Another thought for you would be to get hired and take advantage of the employer paying for your degree. One department paid for my Bachelor's and my current department paid for my Master's. I will see if my luck continues and this department pay also for my Doctorate's. The chief already vowed to pay.

                    The most important thought regarding which degree to pursue rests in the options available to you if you obtain your Master's in Criminal Justice and get hired by you dream department. Quickly into your career you step in a pothole while chasing a dirtbag and wrench your knee to the degree that the department has to let you go; which degree will offer you the best options in the worst case scenario but still open doors for hiring and promotions?

                    Good luck!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kirch
                      In more ways than one. One local agency offers an 18% salary increase for officers with a 4-year degree and an additional 18% for those with a Masters. It's a college town, so there are a lot of patrol officers tooling around town with their advanced degree.
                      Here in MA you get a raise of 10% for an Associates, 20% for Bachelors, and 25% for a Masters. It must be either CJ or Law. Personal enrichment maybe...more Benjamins? Absolutely...
                      Whitechapel - Hate Creation

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