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  • Accept conditional offer or start graduate school?

    Hello, I am in a unique position right now where I am actually able to make good money and further my education. The dilemma is that this may be my last chance to further my education before I continue in a career that will have significantly more demands. Further, with degree in Intelligence and Analysis I am hoping to apply to Federal Agencies that have more stringent requirements for Master's. I am still not 100 percent on what I want to do, but having graduate would be such an awesome personal achievement to have, yet I am also extremely nervous of waiting another two years. Right now it seems just about every agency is on a hiring spree and who knows where the economy and jobs will be in two years. Am I taking too much of a risk by getting my graduate especially considering I may end up applying to a local agency after?

  • #2
    We can't answer that for you....its all you. If another degree is important to you then do that, the jobs will always be here, especially on the federal side. I would rather do the job than and I am perfectly fine only having my bachelors degree, the whole reason I got the dang degree was to get into Federal Law Enforcement so the job has always been a priority for me... you just have to find yours, nothing wrong with either choice.

    Comment


    • comrade
      comrade commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for the input, just hearing that either choice is reasonable makes me feel better.

  • #3
    comrade as Gollywompas stated it's your life choose what is best for you. On a different note, depending on which agency and position you're applying to, the process can take year(s), if you even get hired, which would allow you the ability to attend graduate school. Even if you get hired before you graduate, you can always take a leave of absence and then finish the degree when you're ready.

    Currently I am in the process with CBP and I just recently started an online graduate program.

    Comment


    • comrade
      comrade commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for your input, that is an excellent point. I've been in the process with a local agency for a year and just got a conditional offer. One of the coworkers recently got picked up with DEA and his processed was to my surprise faster.

  • #4
    Another degree means more money...

    Comment


    • Lovetocamp
      Lovetocamp commented
      Editing a comment
      Not necessarily. In the federal level its just 1 GS level higher than a bachelors. Is it worth that extra debt and time? Usually not. End up poorer with it.

  • #5
    You can probably start and finish your master's in the time it takes to get hired for a federal LE job. Or can you get it online while employed.

    Also, how old are you? Clock is always ticking on your age if you're not in a covered position already.

    While there certainly are some agencies that may care, I don't think having a Master's over a 4 year will make a lot of difference for the mass-hiring 1811s; USSS, HSI, DEA, ATF, etc. Most guys I know in these agencies have their bachelor, and for every one that has their master's, I know one without a degree at all.
    UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
    "90 years of tradition unhindered by progress!"


    honor first

    Comment


    • comrade
      comrade commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the reply; I am 27. Reason for master's is because I am strongly considering applying for Intelligence Analyst with CIA, but don't want to end up with degree and another hiring freeze due to economy.

  • #6
    I’m hoping that you concentrate on your grammar, not what might never be...
    Now go home and get your shine box!

    Comment


    • comrade
      comrade commented
      Editing a comment
      Can you be more specific? I've written hundreds of declarations for court appearances and although don't claim to be perfect by any means, I am struggling to find what was so grammatically incorrect in my statement.

  • #7
    Originally posted by comrade View Post
    Hello, I am in a unique position right now where I am actually able to make good money and further my education. The dilemma is that this may be my last chance to further my education before I continue in a career that will have significantly more demands. Further, with degree in Intelligence and Analysis I am hoping to apply to Federal Agencies that have more stringent requirements for Master's. I am still not 100 percent on what I want to do, but having graduate would be such an awesome personal achievement to have, yet I am also extremely nervous of waiting another two years. Right now it seems just about every agency is on a hiring spree and who knows where the economy and jobs will be in two years. Am I taking too much of a risk by getting my graduate especially considering I may end up applying to a local agency after?
    I think you are severely underestimating how tight the federal law enforcement job market is, especially as it relates to an 1811 gig, assuming that's what you are aiming for. Hundreds if not thousands of people with amazing credentials and law enforcement experience put in for these criminal investigator positions that often only have 1 vacancy per announcement. Your worried about degrees when you should be concerned about networking with agents and their supervisors, looking at internships, or maybe consider getting some law enforcement experience as a state or local cop. I am not trying to be a debby downer but just giving it to you real.

    If the only thing your hanging your hat on is a bachelor's in Intel and Analysis (and potentially a master's degree) then there is a 99% probability that you will never get a criminal investigator gig. Maybe a path forward is take an intelligence analyst position (at my agency they top out at a GS 7) and network that way. Other than that man I think you're presenting a false choice for yourself as a master's degree will help you make the certification list but the likelihood of it actually getting you the job is pretty much non-existent. I know its not what you wanted to hear man, but far too often I see these posts from people that don't have reasonable expectations considering what they want, their qualifications for it, and the competition out there.
    Last edited by La_Bamba; 06-28-2019, 11:33 AM.

    Comment


    • comrade
      comrade commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the reply. Just to clarify, I am not necessarily interested in being a criminal investigator, but leaning towards Intelligence Analysis (which is why I'm doing graduate program in that field). I have about 4 years experience related to fugitive apprehension and executive protection. I am not sure whether I want to end up in local or federal and have more of a desk career vs special agent

  • #8
    Not sure what happened with what I typed.
    Last edited by MrIncredible004; 06-29-2019, 06:22 PM.

    Comment


    • #9
      Originally posted by La_Bamba View Post

      I think you are severely underestimating how tight the federal law enforcement job market is, especially as it relates to an 1811 gig, assuming that's what you are aiming for. Hundreds if not thousands of people with amazing credentials and law enforcement experience put in for these criminal investigator positions that often only have 1 vacancy per announcement. Your worried about degrees when you should be concerned about networking with agents and their supervisors, looking at internships, or maybe consider getting some law enforcement experience as a state or local cop. I am not trying to be a debby downer but just giving it to you real.

      If the only thing your hanging your hat on is a bachelor's in Intel and Analysis (and potentially a master's degree) then there is a 99% probability that you will never get a criminal investigator gig. Maybe a path forward is take an intelligence analyst position (at my agency they top out at a GS 7) and network that way. Other than that man I think you're presenting a false choice for yourself as a master's degree will help you make the certification list but the likelihood of it actually getting you the job is pretty much non-existent. I know its not what you wanted to hear man, but far too often I see these posts from people that don't have reasonable expectations considering what they want, their qualifications for it, and the competition out there.
      This too. I think there's very few 1811s that wouldnt hire someone with no LE experience with a bachelor, but would for a person with a masters. For example, USSS hires prob 50% of their new people with no LE experience (if not more from my personal experience) but with bachelor's. So the Masters isn't necessary at that point.

      I know you mentioned federal agencies with more stringent requirements for masters, and I'm sure there are agencies that hire people with zero experience but super specific Masters, small unheard of agencies (NSF OIG for example), but the reality is that the majority of investigative 1811s don't require a masters, so if you have the opportunity to get into the covered retirement federal law enforcement world with just a bachelor's I would do it. If you want a master's for agencies down the road or for personal accomplishment then go for it while employed.
      UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
      "90 years of tradition unhindered by progress!"


      honor first

      Comment


      • comrade
        comrade commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you. Good advice.

    • #10
      1. The only real world edge a master's degree brings is to get a teaching job. A local university has several openings for part-time CJ instructors and won't consider applicants without master degrees for accreditation reasons. Even community colleges now want their instructors to have master's degrees.

      Basically, you could have zero experience but if you had a online masters from Southeastern New Hampshire State, you would be more likely to get hired as a college CJ instructor than someone with 30 years on the street w/ no masters. Sad and pathetic, but that's how higher education rolls....

      2. Intel analyst... special agent... local LE.... comrade, you are all over the map. You might as well add astronaut and professional Lego builder to your list of job interests.

      My nickel advice? Narrow your focus down to the one job that best suits your interests and personality traits. Intel analysts connect the dots at computer screens. Agents spend years building complicated cases brick by brick. Local LE is the front line emergency response to their community. All are very different.

      When you get that figured out, take the job first and get the masters degree later.
      There are two types of people in this world: those who are humble and those who will be humbled.

      Comment


      • #11
        Funny aside on the topic of a masters degree:


        A former colleague retired after twenty-five years and a couple years later, gets hired as chief of police for a small college PD. One of the stipulations at time of hire was he would get a CJ masters degree (which the college offered.)

        By random coincidence, another former colleague teaches at the college and asks if I could perform a dog and pony show for one of his classes. You know- slap together a powerpoint with some action photos, tell a few stories about blood and teeth on the ground, give some advice to millennials interested in LE. After class I run into the chief in the hallway- he was in a CJ master's class next door. "How's the grad program going?", I ask. "Great", he says, "If you enjoy hearing a bunch of 22 year olds who have never been cops talk about what it's like to be a cop."
        There are two types of people in this world: those who are humble and those who will be humbled.

        Comment


        • #12
          You can do either option, there is no wrong path in life. However, in the Federal gov't like everyone above me has stated, you don't necessarily need a Masters until you are looking at Executive roles, but even then--it's questionable. Many people have gone up the ranks and/or have been accepted into Federal law enforcement positions without a degree. From my own experience, in order to succeed at a career in intelligence, you usually would learn best from the training that agency would provide as your foundation and the rest is all experience and learning as you go.

          Nothing in college will fully prepare you (if at all) for a career in law enforcement in general; but of course it would help. You can be like many other professionals that do part time Masters programs later on as well--I would recommend this because it's a good refresher if the degree is somewhat like a MBA Exec. program. Good luck on your path.

          Comment


          • #13
            If you've been given a conditional offer with just a bachelor's degree take it and run. Nobody would give me a second look with a master's degree. I ended up entering the Army as a CID agent to get where I want to be.

            Comment


            • #14
              Being a police officer on the street verses sitting behind a desk doing intelligence analysis couldn't be more far apart in duties and lifestyle. Decide which life you want, then go with that.

              Comment


              • #15
                I got my MPA in May of 2019 and then decided it would probably be fun to arrest people and now I am a Deputy. I just turned 30 as well.

                My personal opinion is to finish school before starting your career. If you want a Masters, go get it. If you want to be a cop, go be a cop. Others probably disagree but this is just my POV; you have plenty of time to start your career.

                A Masters may or may not help you down the road. If you do stay make sure you get an assistantship so you don't have to pay tuition.
                Last edited by Saluki89; 07-03-2019, 08:53 PM.

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