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  • Advice for after College

    Hello everyone,

    I need some advice for when I graduate in May 2010 from people who are in the LE industry. I am lucky to have options for this important time in my life but because of these options I am at a loss for what should be the best course of action.

    I will be graduating in May 2010 with a B.S. in Public Accounting. I have over 2 years work experience with a large accounting firm in NYC while I have been attending school. I have also held another job on campus to help pay for college.

    Now that I am graduating I need to know what my next steps should be...

    I have an offer with this large accounting firm for May 2010 but I really want to get into law enforcement. Here are my list of options (and some reasoning behind them). Should I....

    a) Take this job with said firm.
    - Lots of money
    - Great experience
    - But worried about "golden handcuffs" and not being able to leave due to financial constraints.

    b) Go to graduate school and earn my Certified Public Accounting certification (CPA) and apply for an LEO position after grad programs (minimum of 2 years, so would not be able to become a cop until 2012)?
    - More Loans
    - More degrees is always better
    - CPA allows me to start a Tax business on the side if wanted
    - Long wait to become an officer
    - Unhappy with what I am doing now as far as work

    c) Apply with some agencies that are excepting applications for a May 2010 class.
    - Start my dream job now (if I get accepted to the academy)
    - Close to where I grew up (2 hour drive)
    - Great departments
    - Opportunity for growth within the department
    - Pay is adequate for myself and my girlfriends needs.


    If anyone has advice I would be really grateful. Thanks for all of the past input.

    - WombatJustice
    Last edited by WombatJustice; 10-13-2009, 08:39 PM.

  • #2
    Go with the accounting job. Work on your CPA part time. Take that and your several years of full time job experience and apply for a fed job.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by just joe View Post
      Go with the accounting job. Work on your CPA part time. Take that and your several years of full time job experience and apply for a fed job.
      Thank you for the advice but I do not want to go into federal at this time (or possibly at all). I like local and state police work better (from what I understand of the differences between local and federal levels).

      Comment


      • #4
        I would apply for the LEO jobs you want while at school. You can always adjust your schooling around a career. Also if you want to go federal and something like forensic accounting you'll probably need that MA.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by WombatJustice View Post
          Hello everyone,

          I need some advice for when I graduate in May 2010 from people who are in the LE industry. I am lucky to have options for this important time in my life but because of these options I am at a loss for what should be the best course of action.

          I will be graduating in May 2010 with a B.S. in Public Accounting. I have over 2 years work experience with a large accounting firm in NYC while I have been attending school. I have also held another job on campus to help pay for college.

          Now that I am graduating I need to know what my next steps should be...

          I have an offer with this large accounting firm for May 2010 but I really want to get into law enforcement. Here are my list of options (and some reasoning behind them). Should I....

          a) Take this job with said firm.
          - Lots of money
          - Great experience
          - But worried about "golden handcuffs" and not being able to leave due to financial constraints.

          b) Go to graduate school and earn my Certified Public Accounting certification (CPA) and apply for an LEO position after grad programs (minimum of 2 years, so would not be able to become a cop until 2012)?
          - More Loans
          - More degrees is always better
          - CPA allows me to start a Tax business on the side if wanted
          - Long wait to become an officer
          - Unhappy with what I am doing now as far as work

          c) Apply with some agencies that are excepting applications for a May 2010 class.
          - Start my dream job now (if I get accepted to the academy)
          - Close to where I grew up (2 hour drive)
          - Great departments
          - Opportunity for growth within the department
          - Pay is adequate for myself and my girlfriends needs.


          If anyone has advice I would be really grateful. Thanks for all of the past input.

          - WombatJustice
          Hey Wombat:

          I was in your shoes about 2 years ago and Chose (c) when I had plenty of well-paying private sector options based on my degrees/specializations (MA and experience in computer forensics).

          I'm also a federal LE applicant tied up in hiring freezes and budgetary constraints right at the moment. Not going to tell you that you should do the same thing I did... but I will pass on a piece of advice someone gave me years back when it comes to LE applicants - "set it and forget it."

          You should apply to agencies to which you have a genuine interest and then go about living your life as though you had never applied. LE can be competitive and take a long time to get into. Sometimes you'll get in your first shot... it's all about timing and the skills you bring to the table. As for (b), I wouldn't go and get any specific certification/degree just because you think it might look good to an LE agency.. pursue something that you have a passion for and that will allow you to pay the bills. Just if you choose to go with the well-paying firm, stay within your means (live very modestly - as though you were on an officers salary and use all of the excess to pay off your loans - you'll be happy you did it when you get the LE job).

          Comment


          • #6
            You can also work for the criminal investigation branch of the state's atty generals office in a variety of forensic accounting roles.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by just joe View Post
              You can also work for the criminal investigation branch of the state's atty generals office in a variety of forensic accounting roles.
              Thank you Joe, that is a good idea but I just see myself doing patrol for at least a few years...


              Does anyone else who is currently in LE have any suggestions/advice?

              Thanks.

              Comment


              • #8
                I graduated from college in May of 2008 with a BS in Criminal Justice, minor in psych. Not telling you what to do, but I applied to be a CO at a state facility and got hired on. I am currently doing the best job I can, and getting the experience as a CO. I do not plan on staying, but I do plan on making the most out of my time there. I work in a level 5 housing unit, which also looks good on paper (at least one would think). The pay is good, and it is definitely job security. In fact, we are still hiring.

                So my advice to you would be to take whatever is going to get you the income for your bills, because student loans are so great. While at the job, get experience and apply, apply, apply, apply.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nothing wrong with road patrol. You will find that a number of guys go to the positions I mentioned after serving some time as a uniformed officer. I think it makes them a more rounded candidate.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, that is what I have been told regarding federal agents. That typically the ones that command the most respect have the technical knowledge of their field (ie accounting) but also the practical knowledge/experience of typical local/state police work.

                    Thank you for the advice. I think I have made my decision (if anyone on here cares....) I am going to apply to agencies and in the mean time continue school. That way I can pause schooling if I am accepted to an academy, or if it takes longer than a year I will have my Masters in Taxation.

                    Thanks everyone for your input!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Take the accounting job, and while doing that pursue the extra credits you need to get the 150 to become a CPA. You might can even get an MBA out of it. Work until you pay that off, and then if you want in law enforcement you can go. You'll also have a set of useful skills that most officers lack.

                      Comment

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