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  • College is in the future

    So to the police of this forum, I have to ask you, what did you major in. What do you recommend for college.

    Ideally I'd like to get a degree in anti-terrorism, or something of that nature, and be someone who is in charge of Incident Command, or something like working with US Marshals on the Fugitive Task Force.

    I'm 100% aware I'll have to serve at least 3 years as a patrol officer/deputy to be even considered for a promotion or different unit.

    Any advice pertaining to education after high school is appreciated.
    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by Taylor13 View Post
    Ideally I'd like to get a degree in anti-terrorism, or something of that nature, and be someone who is in charge of Incident Command, or something like working with US Marshals on the Fugitive Task Force.

    First of all, good for you for actually planning on attending college after H.S. - that's more than most of today's teens would ever dream of.

    As for your degree, I would highly recommend you don't focus yourself in on such a specific field. Things change pretty quickly in this job, you never know if "Incident Command in anti-terrorism" is something that you'll want to do long term or if it's just something that sounds cool right now.
    Open up a bit and don't be afraid to explore your options. If you get a degree in something NOT related to L.E, you can always go back for another degree, masters, Ph.D. etc. in whatever specific field you decide you want to stick with.

    It's been said here more times than I can count... but I'll say it again anyway. Don't screw yourself by getting a degree in something as specific as criminal justice or law enforcement. A degree in science or psychology will get you just as far, if not further along in the hiring process, and if L.E. doesn't work out for you or you decide it's not your thing after 3 yrs on the force, you at least have a useful degree to fall back on.

    Just a few thoughts, take 'em or leave 'em.

    Comment


    • #3
      Taylor--You've been around here a long time. Have you not read the countless threads on college degrees? Are there any incident commanders who have "anti-terrorism" degrees? Incident command has nothing to do with that. Do a search, and as others have said, you will be better served by getting a more general degree that has use in the civilian market because you don't know if you will get hired as an LEO, or if hired, what your job will be or how long you will actually be an LEO (accidents happen). That said, if you have your heart set on a CJ degree, that's okay because a degree is better than no degree, just be aware that it is a very specific and limiting degree.

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      • #4
        No, that's why I started this thread. I don't want to get a degree in CJ. I want a degree in something else, I'm looking for suggestions.

        Comment


        • #5
          Find something besides LE that interests you enough to be a potential career, then get a degree in it. I, for example, have a BS in natural resource management. If I ever feel compelled to go back to school, I'd aim for a master's degree in something like fisheries management or wildlife management.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            I'm interested in Engineering, but I suck at algebra, and a lot of it is office work, which unattracts me.

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            • #7
              Study anything you find interesting. I have a history degree; I know other cops who have degrees in accounting, aerospace engineering (yes, really), sociology, psychology, physics, mathematics, english, etc. Choose your flavor. The key is to have a four-year degree; they don't really care what it's in.

              However, I *STRONGLY* recommend you take some writing classes above-and-beyond your required freshman composition. Your writing ability will make or break your career, especially given the direction you've expressed interest in. You might make the best street cop since Buck Savage, but if you can't articulate things in writing it's all moot. You have to understand that in any case, attorneys on both sides will only know about what happened based on what you write down. They weren't there, don't have the same perceptions, training, or experience as you (you in the future), but make every determination about what is happening with the case. All those determinations are based on what you write.
              MAC

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Taylor13 View Post
                I'm interested in Engineering, but I suck at algebra, and a lot of it is office work, which unattracts me.
                My brother is a mechanical engineer. The math he does is so complex it rarely involves actual numbers. Forget algebra, little dude, if you want to study engineering you'll be using differential equations and high level calculus. Btw, that's why I have a history degree
                MAC

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                • #9
                  I have always been told don't get a degree in law enforcement as well. Our economy is a perfect example, with a law enforcement degree, you can do one thing: law enforcement; and right now hardly anyone is getting entry level positions into law enforcement. Another reason is, what if you find out you have something that is disqualifying, could be medical, could be in your background. I have a good friend that has worked as a civilian with a Sheriffs Department, and was taking classes in Criminal Justice and working toward being a cop for years, and when he went to test for Deputy Sheriff Trainee, he found out he had color deficiency and was DQ'd. It's also good to have a degree in something else that interests you because what if you get hurt in the line of duty or just hurt in general, and can no longer be an LEO? Now your degree does you no good, where as if you had your degree in something else, you could turn around and get a job in that field.

                  I myself don't have my degree yet, however I am getting a degree in Marine Biology. I know it has absolutely nothing to do with law enforcement, where as a degree in psychology or sociology could serve dual purposes; it'd work in law enforcement and it would work in other fields. Marine Biology is just something of my interests and if something were to happen where I couldn't continue my LE career, I would turn to something in the marine sciences. I will be getting my BS in Marine Biology, but I will also be getting an AA in Administration of Justice since I got credits from the academy and hard started toward that degree right out of high school before I changed my major. Most agencies don't mind what you have your degree in, as long as you have 60 or 120 college units and a degree of some sort.
                  CHICKS DIG IT!!!

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                  • #10
                    Get a degree that doesn't decrease your odd of getting a job outside of LE. Getting a degree in "Counter Terrorism Studies" is not going to be very marketable outside of a very limited market. Get a degree in business or accounting and then look at how terrorist organizations work from a business model. Publish a lot of journal articles that are well thought out and referenced will get you in to that area of study.
                    Ut humiliter opinor

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                    • #11
                      I was in college when I decided I wanted to move towards a career in LE. I was working and studying Information Technology. I completed my degree in it and it was a leg to stand on for the 4+ years I applied to various departments until I got hired.

                      The best advice I heard was to finish my degree and keep on trucking. There isn't much else that can be said. Find something you're interested in, apply yourself 110% and you'll always have something to fall back on. As many have said on here before, you can't get a feel for what LE will be like until you do it. No TV show, book, or person can tell you what it's like and how you'll react to it. Also, with the current state of the economy, having a backup plan is great.

                      Good luck and study hard.
                      Brad

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                      • #12
                        Agree with the above. I received an AA in CJ went into the service - Discharged and back to school for the BA. Getting a Soc BA never mattered to my employer, I still recieved the hiring points and 5% monthly boost for the degree. Look at Business, Accounting, Marketing, Econ type of degrees. If someday you might want to teach go for English or a plain old Liberal Arts Studies BA. Stay away from ethinic or very narrow subjects. The world has enough Art History degrees.

                        Good Luck, glad to see your thinking out to the future.
                        Last edited by Border Sgt; 08-02-2010, 09:32 PM. Reason: not an english major

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ddurkof View Post
                          Get a degree in business or accounting and then look at how terrorist organizations work from a business model.
                          This is a very good idea. The FBI hires TONS of people with accounting degrees (but not so much business) for that very reason, and to investigate the financial piece of organized crime.
                          MAC

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the advice of everyone in this thread.. I'll probably be looking at sociology with a minor in something completely unrelated.

                            If nothing works out, I'll shoot chickens at airplanes for the FAA.

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                            • #15
                              I studied telecommunication and computer information systems in college. I worked in the telecom industry for 3 years. Now I am a hack

                              I guess in the end going to college taught me a lot, but what I learned has little use in my current job.
                              What is Perseverance?
                              -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                              -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                              -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                              BOP - BPA - ICE

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