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  • Which Master's degree?

    I currently have my Bachelor's. Lately, I've been kicking around the idea of getting an advanced degree.

    These days, with just about every college and university offering online degrees, it seems easier than ever. But I'm a little unsure about what may be most advantageous to me for career progression.

    Masters in Public Administration seems to be the most common among cops I know with advanced degrees. But a fellow officer recently got a Masters in Homeland Security, which seemed kind of interesting.

    One thing I'm pretty sure of is that law school is probably not for me.

    I'm very early in my research, so I'm open to any and all ideas for further study.

  • #2
    I've been considering an MPA myself. Honestly, anything you're interested in would be fine because lets be real, as far as I know, very few sworn LE positions require advanced degrees in a specific field.

    Also consider: is the financial cost worth it? Don't do it if you're going to go into debt and the degree is not a requirement for you to advance in your career. A bachelors already puts you further ahead than many.

    I am only going to do the MPA if I can pay for it in cash. My local public universities are pretty reasonable and offer very flexible scheduling.

    Comment


    • Saluki89
      Saluki89 commented
      Editing a comment
      The school might waive tuition if you offer to come on as an adjunct or part time faculty member in the criminal justice program, teaching one class a semester.

  • #3
    I’ve enrolled in a masters level forensic science program that starts in February.

    I’m not planning on going into management, had enough of that in the Army, so I decided on something that will make me better at my job.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

    "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

    Comment


    • #4
      I got mine in Homeland Security-Transportation. Excellent classes and an area I love to work in. It also tied into my USCG time, so it made it more fun.

      Comment


      • #5
        Just make sure whatever you chose you get a return on your investment of time and money.

        Comment


        • wheresthebeef
          wheresthebeef commented
          Editing a comment
          Exactly. No point dropping a bunch of money or going into debt for little to no returns in your career.

          If you can reasonably advance up the ladder without the degree, I'd think twice.

      • #6
        go to law school

        I just met a rookie Iowa State trooper who has one..............& know several other cops who have got one
        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

        Comment


        • #7
          MBA is practical and you can’t really go wrong with one. Personally, I don’t find the subject interesting at all and I’m currently getting mine in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. I find the subject to be engaging and I can also use it to branch out from law enforcement. I’m even toying at the idea of going for my doctoral when I’m done.

          I would recommend a program you find engaging. Nothing is worse than doing a program you have no passion for.

          Comment


          • #8
            I advise getting a degree in something not based on your police work. When you are ready to pull the pin, you will not be looking to continue in the same field.

            Comment


            • #9
              I have a MPA. However I can't say it has any relevance in my life yet other than being on my resume and helping me qualify for GS9 vs GS7 when applying to federal jobs.

              I had an assistantship which paid for my masters.

              I don't think my experience bears any relevance to anyone else's situation as I am new in my career and graduated college recently so I won't vouch for or against it.

              Last edited by Saluki89; 12-13-2020, 08:36 AM.

              Comment


              • #10
                I know many who got their masters degree. For some, the degree helped getting on with an agency but for most it did absolutely nothing to further their LE career. People promote because they are ambitious, because they're smart, because they made a name for themselves, or because they kiss the right butts. No one promotes because they have an advanced degree.


                Education is a good thing, I get that, but as far as I'm concerned, the only edge is you'd be a hot sh*t candidate for a $35/hour community college professor job after retirement.....
                Quickness is the essence of war.

                -Sun Tzu

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                  go to law school

                  I just met a rookie Iowa State trooper who has one..............& know several other cops who have got one
                  Respect your wisdom on many a topic Iowa, but not on going to law school. My wife is an attorney and has been in practice over 20 years. She says the job market is absolutely flooded with new attorneys and no jobs for them. She steered our oldest away from law school before he began college several years ago and is doing the same with our youngest. Just my .02.
                  Why are there so many babies on O.com? Creole, you and your buddy JPSO Recruit help me out on this one....

                  * "Preach always, if necessary, use words!" St Francis of Assisi

                  * Luke Chapter 6, Verses 27-36

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by towncop View Post

                    Respect your wisdom on many a topic Iowa, but not on going to law school. My wife is an attorney and has been in practice over 20 years. She says the job market is absolutely flooded with new attorneys and no jobs for them. She steered our oldest away from law school before he began college several years ago and is doing the same with our youngest. Just my .02.
                    I understand what you are saying but the OP is asking about a degree for professional progression...............IE promotion on his cop career. NOT for a different career

                    A law degree wouldn't hurt
                    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post
                      . No one promotes because they have an advanced degree.


                      ...
                      There are many agencies that require advanced degrees to promote................

                      My old SO requires a 4 yr degree for Lt and a graduate degree for any higher
                      Last edited by Iowa #1603; 12-13-2020, 04:14 PM.
                      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                      Comment


                      • Ratatatat
                        Ratatatat commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I can honestly say I know of only one situation where having a grad degree was a requirement to promotion: retired buddy got hired as police chief at a mid-size university... and they made him get his masters (free of course) as a condition of employment.

                        So for the first couple of years, he took a class a semester and eventually he got the degree.

                        I asked once over a few beers how the degree was going. “Great”, he said, “If you enjoy listening to a bunch of 22 year olds who never did the job give their opinions about how things should be done.”

                        Hearing that was enough to extinguish any notion I had of pursuing further education....

                    • #14
                      Lol.

                      "Higher education" has become a marketing scam.

                      I never even earned a high school diploma, and my daily commuter vehicle before I retired, was a brand-new custom-ordered Porsche convertible.

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Originally posted by Aidokea View Post
                        Lol.

                        "Higher education" has become a marketing scam.

                        I never even earned a high school diploma, and my daily commuter vehicle before I retired, was a brand-new custom-ordered Porsche convertible.
                        For every person like you, there are 100 trying to make ends meet working in fast food.

                        You're the exception, not the rule.
                        "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                        "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                        Comment

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