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Will earning a degree in Criminal Justice give me an edge

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  • Will earning a degree in Criminal Justice give me an edge

    Hello, I'm Nick. And honestly, becoming a police officer has always been a dream of mine. My father himself is a police officer and because of him, I want to do this. He risks his life every day doing something worthy.
    While becoming a police officer is a dream of mine, I do want a college degree. So I plan on majoring in Criminal Justice. I heard from my mother's co-worker that she knew a man who graduated with a Criminal Justice degree and couldn't find a job in Florida. Will having this degree really not help me at all?
    Oh and on a side note, I'd like to ask why the Collier County Sheriff's Office is so popular.

  • #2
    Earning a college degree will always give you an edge in the United States of America

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    • #3
      Yes, an edge I suppose. But it never necessarily guarantees you a job.

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      • #4
        Degree?

        I think everyone in Law Enforcement should strive for a degree. I think in this day and age you need to use whatever advantage you have. I am not sure a degree in Criminal Justice will help you if you dont get a job in Law Enforcement. I would get a BS in a subject you can use if Law Enforcement doesnt work out. I have a Masters Degree, it never got me the job but atleast got me to the interview.... FYI, having the degree will also help for promotion in most jobs as you climb up the ladder...

        I say its the smartest thing you could do...

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        • #5
          Most agency around here require at least an Associates degree or equivalent.

          A bachelors degree of any kind will look good and get you more of a look than someone with out it. Having a degree is more important than what it's in. Criminal Justice can't hurt and if you want to be in Law Enforcement sounds like a good choice, but I don't think it it a major factor if it's in something other than Criminal Justice.

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          • #6
            I do plan on getting a second degree. I might minor in education or in nursing. I haven't figured out what I really want as a safety degree. Because I do know that a CJ degree will be basically useless if I don't get a job as a police officer.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nick14 View Post
              I heard from my mother's co-worker that she knew a man who graduated with a Criminal Justice degree and couldn't find a job in Florida.

              Will having this degree really not help me at all?
              There's probably alot more to that story than just the watered down "office gossip". Literally hundreds of things could've factored into that such as criminal record, drugs, driving record, polygraph results, medical conditions,etc. And regardless how well you know someone, unless it's a family member (and even then, I'd hold my breath), there is always information held back for whatever reason. What if he was a guy with a criminal past and a criminal justice degree from University of Phoenix Online ? see my point...

              The job market is tough in general, and will most likely only become tougher in the future...it is my personal view that even an AA degree these days is pretty much worthless. I believe in the future to be truly competitive in any job/career hunt, a BA will be pretty much a minimum requirement. Long story short, don't factor in any information, and yes; go and get yourself a degree. Whether or not to pursue an education should NEVER be a "should I, or shouldn't I" question. Remember, a degree can never be a negative thing.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nick14 View Post
                Because I do know that a CJ degree will be basically useless if I don't get a job as a police officer.
                Not true...

                google is your friend.

                http://www.worldwidelearn.com/online...tice-major.htm

                I personally know a few people who have used a CJ degree to catapult themselves into law school, as well as different departments within the Justice System.... There's more to the field of Law Enforcement than just patrol cops.

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                • #9
                  That is very true. Growing up with a teacher for a mother and a police officer for a father, I've always been told education is everything. I'm not going to mess this up at all.

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                  • #10
                    Other than being a police officer, I'd never want to go into law in any other form. That's why I said that a CJ degree would be useless to me.

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                    • #11
                      A CJ degree is not useless, but don't get one if the only intention is its use in law enforcement. CJ is mostly theory, and in of itself will not help you get a job any more than any other degree, and will not necessarily help you on the job.

                      If CJ theory is what interests you, please get a degree in it. If history or music interest you, get that. If you really want to be a cop, but could also see yourself at some point going into education or nursing, I would get one of those. If you have an education degree, and become a cop, you'll have a bigger edge if you want to teach on the side (be it at the academy or just normal college classes) than you would with just a CJ degree.

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                      • #12
                        As a 20 year vet I beg to differ..... Unfortunatley a Criminal Justice Degree will not be of use in anything that you do i life... including Law Enforcement!!!!
                        Do yourself a favor and determine what you would like to do besides Law Enforcement and talk to a professional counselor at a university.. Dont listen to me or any other idiot on this site...

                        FYI, StudChris, I will disagree with your theory on how other degrees dont prepare you for other occupations.... I dont know your educational background but you are 100% wrong when it comes to that!!!!!

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                        • #13
                          An education is always great and it's smart of you to pursue it. Unfortunately it doesn't give much of an edge. I'd say get a degree in what interests you whether it be cj or not

                          good luck!!

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                          • #14
                            So it's fine if I get a degree in nursing or education? And I'd still be able to join law enforcement fairly easily? well, not easily. But having a degree would be good. It wouldn't stop me right? The fact that I have a degree in something completely different.

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                            • #15
                              Hell Nursing (if you're interested) would be great you can work on your days off. As a bachelors none is better than another from what I've seen. As you start furthering your career and want to rise through the ranks you may want to get a masters in public administration or business management.

                              Remember don't get a degree in something that doesn't interest you. It's the worst!!! Take my advice on that one

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