Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

to pursue a masters degree or not

Collapse

300x250 Mobile

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • to pursue a masters degree or not

    In 2019 I decided to go back and finish my college. I'm finishing my bachelors degree in December (BAAS in Criminal Justice Administration). I'm struggling with the decision to continue my education and pursue a masters degree. My school offers a non-thesis Masters in Criminal Justice degree. The fact that it doesn't require a thesis makes it pretty enticing.
    I just don't know if the expense, time, and energy is worth it or not.

    On one hand: I'm already in the "school mode" and adjusted to working 40hrs and completing my studies; I might get a pay bump if I go elsewhere (current agency doesn't have educational pay); some higher paying admin jobs (chief/deputy chief) have requirements for a masters; it might open doors to do something else with higher pay before or after I retire.

    On the other hand: It's a substantial expense and takes time away from my family; I already have a bachelors and enough years of experience to qualify for most jobs.

    What's your opinion? Is a masters degree in this field worth it?
    Chris

    XBOX Live: Citizen GaKar


    http://i36.tinypic.com/1zoxgtc.gif

  • #2
    A graduate degree may or may not be useful in your current career, especially one in CJ. Everybody and their cat has one. If you’re looking for promotion try to stand out.

    Pick one you know will help in your next career AND possibly be useful in this one.

    MBA, psychology, accounting.. whatever you want to do after chasing ray-ray gets old.

    Im lining up an MS in Forensic Psycology.
    "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


    • #3
      A cop that works 40 hours a week? Wow...

      Comment


      • #4
        If I could do it again, I'd have avoided graduate school. Three years of not generating income or obtaining work experience, and a lifetime of debt. If you know want to be in law enforcement, I think most people are better served by getting into the job sooner rather than later. People who graduated high school and college with me are already much closer to retirement because they entered the system sooner.

        If you want to stand out and gain practical experience, I'd sooner join the military than pay out of pocket for two or three years of overpriced grad school. I say that as someone who went to grad school and only had to pay cost of living, not tuition for three years. The GI Bill benefits, veterans preference, and real life experience more than make up for the cost of four years. I joined after grad school and sorely regret not doing it right after college.

        Comment


        • #5
          It depends on what you want to do. As you noted it is frequently required or preferred for command positions in a lot of departments of any decent size unless you are in a small or rural environment. It is a lot of work. The reading and writing required in grad school is on a different level than in undergrad. Expect to miss a lot of family time. That's my experience with working full time and going to grad school.

          Comment


          • #6
            You mention Deputy Chief and Chief Deputy, so I'm assuming you're interested in working for a S/O?

            Sheriffs generally answers to NO ONE, except the voters every four years. He can hire, fire, and promote at will. They usually promote friends and others that they know and feel will help them be effective and stay elected; all of us would.

            Education won't balance out a bad background, nor will it bring you into the inner circle. You'll have a better shot with a PD that promotes through testing than a S/O.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Winter_Patriot View Post
              If I could do it again, I'd have avoided graduate school. Three years of not generating income or obtaining work experience, and a lifetime of debt.
              That's not grad school's fault.

              If you know want to be in law enforcement, I think most people are better served by getting into the job sooner rather than later. People who graduated high school and college with me are already much closer to retirement because they entered the system sooner.
              The two aren't mutually exclusive.

              I say that as someone who went to grad school and only had to pay cost of living, not tuition for three years.
              Then how did you generate a lifetime of debt?

              "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


              • #8
                Thanks for the advice everyone. I appreciate the input and great insights.

                Originally posted by Aidokea View Post
                A cop that works 40 hours a week? Wow...
                haha yea I have a pretty great job right now (airport police dpt in Texas).


                Originally posted by Winter_Patriot View Post
                If I could do it again, I'd have avoided graduate school. Three years of not generating income or obtaining work experience, and a lifetime of debt. If you know want to be in law enforcement, I think most people are better served by getting into the job sooner rather than later. People who graduated high school and college with me are already much closer to retirement because they entered the system sooner.

                If you want to stand out and gain practical experience, I'd sooner join the military than pay out of pocket for two or three years of overpriced grad school. I say that as someone who went to grad school and only had to pay cost of living, not tuition for three years. The GI Bill benefits, veterans preference, and real life experience more than make up for the cost of four years. I joined after grad school and sorely regret not doing it right after college.
                Thanks. To clarify, I would continue to work as an officer while going through grad school so I wouldn't have to worry about not generating income or gaining work experience (I'm not going to quit my job). Also the military isn't an option for a number of reasons (I'm already in my late 30s, have an established family, I'm already working in LE...since 2009). If I was a young buck straight out of high-school or college then that would totally be an excellent option.

                Chris

                XBOX Live: Citizen GaKar


                http://i36.tinypic.com/1zoxgtc.gif

                Comment


                • Winter_Patriot
                  Winter_Patriot commented
                  Editing a comment
                  In that case, there isn't as much to lose by pursuing a graduate degree. Personally, I would still either probably pass on the grad degree or take only one class at a time. It's very tough to manage a full-time LE job, a family, and school all at once.

                  I had ambitions about taking accounting classes on the side, but it will probably never happen. I don't have the time and energy even when I'm only working 45-50 hours a week on generally an 8-5pm schedule, aside from a few field days a month.

              • #9
                Originally posted by tanksoldier View Post
                A graduate degree may or may not be useful in your current career, especially one in CJ. Everybody and their cat has one. If you’re looking for promotion try to stand out.

                Pick one you know will help in your next career AND possibly be useful in this one.

                MBA, psychology, accounting.. whatever you want to do after chasing ray-ray gets old.

                Im lining up an MS in Forensic Psycology.
                this is superb advice. It's something I have been considering and exploring as an option. Thanks.

                Chris

                XBOX Live: Citizen GaKar


                http://i36.tinypic.com/1zoxgtc.gif

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by NolaT View Post
                  You mention Deputy Chief and Chief Deputy, so I'm assuming you're interested in working for a S/O?

                  Sheriffs generally answers to NO ONE, except the voters every four years. He can hire, fire, and promote at will. They usually promote friends and others that they know and feel will help them be effective and stay elected; all of us would.

                  Education won't balance out a bad background, nor will it bring you into the inner circle. You'll have a better shot with a PD that promotes through testing than a S/O.
                  Yea I've worked for both during my career. I like both for different reasons. I'm mainly looking at Chief or Deputy Chief (assistant chief) jobs as a future goal (so PD). I don't think I'll return to a sheriffs office for the exact reason you discussed. I worked at a small SO in west texas and we were always concerned around election time...the new guy could come in and ****-can everyone.
                  Chris

                  XBOX Live: Citizen GaKar


                  http://i36.tinypic.com/1zoxgtc.gif

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    A S/O is great until you fall out of favor, or the election brings change.

                    One day you're a Deputy, the next you're Under Sheriff / Chief Deputy,.....the next day you're unemployed.

                    As it's pointed out early on, you all work at the will of the Sheriff. One can very easily fall just as quickly as they rose,......

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I started into a masters program at a major university about 15 years ago, 15 or so years after getting my bachelors. The first class was one night a week, for three hours. The prof would assign a couple of academic papers to read and the class would meet and discuss. All I can say is there's nothing like listening to a bunch of 22 year old wokesters who haven't worked a hard day in their life offer easy solutions to societal problems. The cherry of course is paying $785 per credit hour for such privilege, or about what you'd pay for a 40 year old bottle of Glenlivet. Looking back, I should have gotten the scotch.

                      I took a second class and it was mostly Asian students, as the university loved foreign nationals and their tuition money like a tick loves a dog. Class was excruitating... discussion meant sitting around while Chinese students paged through translation books trying to find the right words for concepts they had no basic understanding of, like the right to bear arms or freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. I then realized I'd rather listen to 22 year olds pine on about how they'd solve all the world's problems and after the third class, I walked out during a break and never returned.

                      Ultimately, not having a masters degree made zero difference in my career and now that I am watching the lawn grow, it's made no difference in post-retirement options, except in one field: higher academia. Even the community colleges in my area won't hire part-time CJ instructors unless they have a masters degree.

                      But I don't think I could spend a single minute listening to Gen Z or anyone from the People's Republic of China talk about police reform in America or urban recidivism rates or anything else right now so maybe not getting a masters degree is a cause to celebrate....
                      Last edited by Ratatatat; 07-07-2021, 12:11 PM.
                      Quickness is the essence of war.

                      -Sun Tzu

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        I prefer single malt Scotch from the Islay region, so I would think of it more in terms of $500 bottles of 25 year old Laphroaig. I've never had a whole bottle of my own, but I did use to frequent a place that had a glitch in their pricing system, and I was getting drams of it for about $20 each.

                        Actually, I usually just do $110 bottles of 16 year old Lagavulin, or $65 bottles of 10 year old Laphroaig in a pinch. Neat, in a proper Glencairn glass.

                        Either way, they all remind me of our time in Edinburgh.

                        Dang it Rat, now you've got me going...
                        Last edited by Aidokea; 07-07-2021, 08:47 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post
                          I started into a masters program at a major university about 15 years ago, 15 or so years after getting my bachelors. The first class was one night a week, for three hours. The prof would assign a couple of academic papers to read and the class would meet and discuss. All I can say is there's nothing like listening to a bunch of 22 year old wokesters who haven't worked a hard day in their life offer easy solutions to societal problems. The cherry of course is paying $785 per credit hour for such privilege, or about what you'd pay for a 40 year old bottle of Glenlivet. Looking back, I should have gotten the scotch.

                          I took a second class and it was mostly Asian students, as the university loved foreign nationals and their tuition money like a tick loves a dog. Class was excruitating... discussion meant sitting around while Chinese students paged through translation books trying to find the right words for concepts they had no basic understanding of, like the right to bear arms or freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. I then realized I'd rather listen to 22 year olds pine on about how they'd solve all the world's problems and after the third class, I walked out during a break and never returned.

                          Ultimately, not having a masters degree made zero difference in my career and now that I am watching the lawn grow, it's made no difference in post-retirement options, except in one field: higher academia. Even the community colleges in my area won't hire part-time CJ instructors unless they have a masters degree.

                          But I don't think I could spend a single minute listening to Gen Z or anyone from the People's Republic of China talk about police reform in America or urban recidivism rates or anything else right now so maybe not getting a masters degree is a cause to celebrate....
                          I went through 2 yrs of college and got an AA degree in Law Enforcement (There was no CJ degree back then)...........Then I went two work and never went back.
                          Thought about it in the mid 1980's when LEAAP money would pay for college, but I was young, dumb and working 80 plus hours a week so I didn't

                          Not having a 4 yr degree kept me from a job or two in Corrections where they wanted a degree to go for Counselor or Case Manager but actually I never wanted to go that direction.
                          Degrees were not necessary in the Custody tract & I ended up as a Shift Supervisor in charge of 32 people directly and 240 indirectly........I wasn't hampered much .
                          Only top administrators in the DOC had more than 4 yr degrees and I was definitely NOT going there.

                          My current sheriff as a HS degree as does the Chief Deputy
                          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Yeah, once you get sucked into law enforcement, doing college on top of all the overtime is pretty much impossible. Working back to back doubles on little to no sleep until you can't form coherent sentences, doesn't really leave any time for school.

                            When I was double-checking the high-3 calculations that the retirement people came up with, I realized that I averaged 65 hours a week, for almost 15 years, well into my 50s. If it hadn't been for six weeks a year of paid leave (which has no overtime), the real number probably would have been closer to 80 hours a week.

                            But then I made more than the Mayor. Heck, I made more than the average surgeon. But hey, it made the Porsche payments, and it jacked up my high-3 enough for us to be able to afford our ranch in Texas when I retired in my mid-50s. Neither my young wife nor I will ever have to work again, and we have free medical for life. I didn't really miss having a masters degree...or even a high school diploma, lol...
                            Last edited by Aidokea; 07-07-2021, 06:05 PM.

                            Comment

                            MR300x250 Tablet

                            Collapse

                            What's Going On

                            Collapse

                            There are currently 4393 users online. 307 members and 4086 guests.

                            Most users ever online was 158,966 at 04:57 AM on 01-16-2021.

                            Welcome Ad

                            Collapse
                            Working...
                            X