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Favorable Graduate Degree for FLE?

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  • Favorable Graduate Degree for FLE?

    Little background on me: BA Poli Sci, 23 year old kid about 1 year out of college. Currently working an entry-level position in my state's AG's office.

    Landing the 1811 gig is the goal, more or less. It is not lost on me that my current resume will not get me in the door at all. I scored a 95 on the BPA exam, but ultimately not willing to move to SE Texas for 5 years. I may have the ability to enroll in grad school, probably something online. Just wondering what would be considered a favorable degree? Would getting my MPA work more in my favor over getting my MA in Poli Sci, or History? Why?

  • #2
    Education is a good thing, but a Masters would be a waste of time and money if the sole reason were to get an 1811 job.

    Focus on work experience. Build a name for yourself at the AG office. Get on a task force that has 1811s (i.e.- human trafficking, benefit fraud, public corruption, many more). Buy one of them a beer sometime and bend their ear. Don't cringe if they order a craft beer for $7, because not only is $7 a lot cheaper than paying $36,000 for a grad degree, it may open the door a lot faster....
    Last edited by Ratatatat; 04-23-2019, 03:59 PM.
    There are two types of people in this world: those who are humble and those who will be humbled.

    Comment


    • Jam1095
      Jam1095 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, will be keeping this in mind. Gotta condition myself not to make a funny face when someone orders the 13 dollar quadruple imperial skunk **** IPA.

    • Ratatatat
      Ratatatat commented
      Editing a comment
      Where I live, craft beers are huge. And expensive. There’s one local place though that has Natty Light drafts for a buck. Needless to say, it’s always packed...

    • ForzaMilan
      ForzaMilan commented
      Editing a comment
      Damn , man. Craft beer for $7, that's happy hour prices here Good advice though. Great work attitude and networking off work is better than expensive master degree.

    • Jam1095
      Jam1095 commented
      Editing a comment
      Keep in mind I am 23 - if you mention dollar natty light drafts my eyes still light up

  • #3
    I submit the number of 1811s with grad degrees is ten percent, maybe fifteen percent. It's definitely not a must.

    I'll also submit that on-line degrees are essentially big revenue makers for schools that are selling a dream, but have minimal value in the real world.
    There are two types of people in this world: those who are humble and those who will be humbled.

    Comment


    • #4
      An online master's degree that's earned from Stanford is the same as an on-campus degree that's earned from Stanford. There is absolutely no difference between the transcripts/diplomas, so employers can't tell the difference. There are many good schools offering online degree programs. I'm not saying that you should get a master's degree to get an 1811 position, but I am saying that there is no difference between earning an MA from a traditional university online or on campus.

      I've landed several jobs with a bachelor's degree that was earned online at a state university. I also got into a Top 30, on-campus PhD program with a master's degree that was earned online from a state university. Soon, I'll be starting a federal government job because of that same master's degree.

      Comment


      • MDPO32
        MDPO32 commented
        Editing a comment
        Just curious how do you know that it’s the masters that got you hired? I started a fed uniform job straight out of college and got my 1811 at 27.

      • Lady_Corrections
        Lady_Corrections commented
        Editing a comment
        I didn't have the related work experience to qualify for GS-9 or GS-7. I got hired at GS-9. I also received a job offer from another federal agency, and they talked a lot in the interview about being impressed with my education.

      • MDPO32
        MDPO32 commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah but what kind of federal gig?

    • #5
      I think relevant work experience is important, but also a grad degree can get you looked at too. I worked as a state probation officer for almost 6 years. The whole time I worked as a PO I also applied to different fed gigs. Never was referred for any of them. I left the probation position, went to law school, and worked as a county deputy while going to law school. About half way through law school and 1.5 years into the deputy position I started getting referred to about every position I applied for. It's hard to say whether it was the relevant work experience or the schooling that got me looked at, but my money is on the combination of the two. I wouldn't just dump money into a grad degree unless you have multiple exit strategies for that investment. While in school, I was applying to 1811 gigs and lawyer gigs. If you opt for a grad degree make sure it is something useful and not just to check a box. If you go for work experience I would recommend something federal like BOP. Getting a foot in the door is a huge deal. Maybe don't take an either or approach. Rather, try to get as much of both as you can.

      "Be so good they can't ignore you"-Steve Martin

      Comment


      • Jam1095
        Jam1095 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you, this was incredibly insightful

    • #6
      I had classmates in BP who had no prior experience other than their short time in BP and a 4 year degree make 1811s in 2 years flat. I applied to an 1811 with only 2.5 years in BP, no degree, no prior experience before BP, no vet, and was picked up. Granted it took over two years to get hired, but what matters is that I was hired off my 2.5 year resume (since you cant update anything after the announcement closes). I also received another 1811 offer within the same month, based on my same lowly resume (granted the second offer came from the details I had done in my last two years, but still lowly BP)..

      So the point is, if you want to go federal, why not start your federal retirement countdown, retirement calculation, federal clearances, etc now with BP or another entry level agency. There's really no reason you can't get picked up by someone like USSS or HSI with just 1-3 years in BP and your degree.

      But to comment on above, a masters really isn't worth much more than a bachelors for most, non-specialized 1811s such as HSI, USSS, ATF, DEA, etc. By non-specialized, I mean agencies that don't hire like doctors or SMEs in particular fields.
      Last edited by battlewagon; 04-23-2019, 08:47 PM.
      UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
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      honor first

      Comment


      • Jam1095
        Jam1095 commented
        Editing a comment
        I was initially thinking about BP...but not in the cards for me to head down south for an extended amt of time. I put in for BOP as they are hiring around me, got a BQ NOR so hoping to hear back. Appreciate the advice though, getting in and getting my countdown started would be ideal. I only thought of my masters due to a lot of the 1811 (or gs-9 and above) gigs requiring a masters if you don't have fed experience. I can see how getting the fed experience would be much, much cheaper

    • #7
      I am thoroughly disappointed no one has mentioned a Master's degree in Under Water Basket Weaving, with a Graduate Minor in Memes.

      Comment


      • Jam1095
        Jam1095 commented
        Editing a comment
        My undergrad is already in Clown Science, looking for something with a little more substance this time around

    • #8
      What battlewagon said is probably the most important thing. Get your foot in the door somewhere and it opens more doors to you. You will become eligible to apply to more postings once you’re in the fed system. Also, when submitting a resume for a fed gig make sure to use the resume builder on USAJobs. It makes a difference for whatever reason.

      Comment


      • #9
        I’d avoid the BOP.

        Comment


        • Evolution81
          Evolution81 commented
          Editing a comment
          no dont avoid the BOP it stops your clock..just use the experience and start applying once your year is up thats what i did

        • Exbpa340
          Exbpa340 commented
          Editing a comment
          There are a couple of other entry agencies(BP & CBP) that I would look at before BOP. All will stop the clock but BP and CBP pays much better and you literally don’t have to go to prison.

        • Nieto2588
          Nieto2588 commented
          Editing a comment
          What’s your reason in avoiding the BOP? I’d argue that your experience is going to be much better than with CBP. You will make less money, but if it’s not your end aspiration, that shouldn’t matter too much. BP, you’ll have active call volume, but again, with the BOP, especially working high security facilities, the experience you’ll gain will be much greater.

      • #10
        Degree is a check in the box, unless maybe you're considering the FBI, than a specialized one might help. Right now, I'd agree with the above, get on a task force. That will be your in for schedule B hiring, depending on the agency. Your BA is fine, a MA might help in promotion, but really isn't necessary.

        Comment


        • #11
          a Master's degree is not a bad idea to get if you want to get your 1811 and you aren't planning on doing another LE job prior.

          Comment


          • #12
            I did a dual MS Crim Justice/MPA. The dual program saved me 6 classes or so and I think it has certainly helped me in my career.

            Comment


            • #13
              At upper mid career (7 years from retirement) with well over a decade as an 1811 and time in the spooky IC, I’d offer this...who the F knows. There is no magic bullet, make yourself standout but also prepare for the long haul. Apply to places that interest you, not places to just ‘stop the clock’. Unless...you don’t care. Then stop the clock and do your thing.

              I’ve given up trying to make it make sense. I stick to just not quitting and working at Starbucks most days. That’s assuming I could get hired at Starbucks, mind you.

              One last biased thing, f getting a masters. Every person I ever worked with that got their masters to get into the G, or after was a tool. No offense to you fine people that are perfectly well adjusted and normal, but it isn’t needed for an 1811 gig, no matter the agency.

              Comment


              • #14
                Every person I ever worked with that got their masters to get into the G, or after was a tool.

                With the exception of a couple of people, I'd have to agree.
                There are two types of people in this world: those who are humble and those who will be humbled.

                Comment


                • izamsilas
                  izamsilas commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I’m painting with a broad stroke, I’m sure there have been exceptions. The reason I likely don’t know about them is because they probably didn’t constantly talk about their MBA while on surveillance, etc

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