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Do you NEED a degree to get to the top?


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  • Do you NEED a degree to get to the top?

    Evaluating some future career moves. I only have an associates degree, but am curious about GS-15 and SES positions. Do you need a degree to be considered for promotion to either? Does anyone know anyone personally without a degree who has moved into senior management in a federal LE agency?

    Much appreciated in advance!
    USMS Schedule B 2020

    Oct20 Info Session
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    Jan21 Referred for GL-5
    Mar21 Interviewed (PASS)
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  • #2
    Most agencies require a bachelor's for 13 (usms doesn't require one I believe though), ours requires a master's for 15 (but you won't get a 14 without one) and all the ses candidates I've seen have a PhD. One ses know doesn't have a PhD though, just duel masters.

    If you don't have a degree you are going to be competing against those who do and do the same job as you. When it comes to promotion they'll always score higher than you due to point allocation


    • Checkmate
      Checkmate commented
      Editing a comment
      I have never heard of that before. CBP does not require a degree for a 13 (or 14, I don't think). At least AMO does not require a degree for GS-14 (front line supervisor).

      What agency are you that requires a master's degree for GS-14 de facto? EDIT: nevermind, I saw you are AFOSI.

  • #3
    I know a CBP Officer (Program Manager) who is a GS-14 without a degree.


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