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Justice Studies Major, Psych Minor worthless?

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  • Justice Studies Major, Psych Minor worthless?

    I know this question was asked and discussed to a certain degree but I didn't quite find the answers as they might apply to me.
    Like the other poster, my major is Justice Studies with an emphasis on Criminal Justice in LE, and a minor in psychology. I am planning on eventually completing a Ph.D in Forensic Psychology but I'm a junior in college so its a while away. All the responses I saw from officers said that its essentially a worthless degree, in that it doesn't pop out any more than anything else on an application, and that another focus is preferred. That said, my university's Social Science department is somewhat limited, and while I have a ton of interests, a Pre Med degree in Biochemistry isnt really what I had in mind. I know that languages are an important skill set and can get you far. I speak French, some spanish, planning on taking another course, Latin (not helpful in the 21st century I know), and am currently in Russian I and picking it up rather well, languages come fairly easy to me. I'm also planning on taking Korean or Mandarin Chinese. Like the other poster, I may choose to go into a federal agency later and am trying to give myself the best chance.
    I really don't have many appropriate academic interests that would be applicable in Law Enforcement. A B.S. in Anthropology probably would not be necessary in the job and my feeling is that if I'm going to shell out 100 grand for an education it should be in something that I'm interested in and will suit my career choice.

    I suppose my question is simply, is there anything wrong with my current field of study? What more can I do to improve it without adding years to my degree?
    Thanks all.

  • #2
    Not to be mean, BUT degrees and their "worth" have been discussed on this forum A TON. Try the search function and I'm sure you will find what you're looking for (or the sticky already posted).
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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    • #3
      In your post, I saw a bunch of statements about what degree paths you want/could take, but none about your goals. What are you attempting to accomplish by getting these degrees? I'm assuming since you are on Officer.com you are wanting to become a police officer, but the Ph.D threw me off.

      The reason people tell you not to get a degree in criminal justice is because if you want to become a police officer, and it does not work out for you, you are more limited in your choices for a career. If you want to become an officer, and it ends up working out for you, then criminal justice is a good degree to have. I would recommend taking a language that is predominantly spoken in your area other than English. Spanish is always good to have. I highly doubt you'll be running across any illegal immigrants from Russia or China.

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      • #4
        If you want to work in the Federal side Mandarin could be useful......Arabic, Farsi, Russian, Ukranian etc. Those languages are very much in demand in intelligence work. Good luck to you.
        Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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        • #5
          Originally posted by amw315 View Post
          In your post, I saw a bunch of statements about what degree paths you want/could take, but none about your goals. What are you attempting to accomplish by getting these degrees? I'm assuming since you are on Officer.com you are wanting to become a police officer, but the Ph.D threw me off.

          The reason people tell you not to get a degree in criminal justice is because if you want to become a police officer, and it does not work out for you, you are more limited in your choices for a career. If you want to become an officer, and it ends up working out for you, then criminal justice is a good degree to have. I would recommend taking a language that is predominantly spoken in your area other than English. Spanish is always good to have. I highly doubt you'll be running across any illegal immigrants from Russia or China.
          My goal is to join the NYPD after I graduate, I'm originally from New York and am going to return after graduation. I'd like to be able to eventually be an investigator within the NYPD. I've also considered applying with the FBI (which was the root of the Ph.D comment). I know that Russian isn't spoken often here in the midwest however there is still a large Russian population in New York, but would also serve me in the Federal side of things. I'm also applying for the FBI's summer internship next summer, hopefully that will beef up my resume' a bit.
          Thanks for everyone's answer.

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          • #6
            Yeah Dexter, we have discussed this topic rather exhaustively. Just about any degree has merit, and your course of study is no exception. The main reason this forum sounds a cautionary note with regard to CJ degrees, is their rather limited marketability out side law enforcement. However, if this is the course of study you wish to pursue, then by all means do it. As you make a decision to apply to agencies, keep in mind that there is a world of difference between say NYPD and the FBI. NYPD Officers are street cops. The streets are where the bad guys are. The FBI does good, often great work, but they're not street cops. Good luck in all your efforts.

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            • #7
              PhilipCal makes probably the most important distinction between local and federal law enforcement. That should probably be a sticky in all CAPS. For most places on this Country the Police work the street and handle the issues that come with working for a city, county, special district, state. The FBI is an investigative agency that does not work patrol. Both of these jobs are Law Enforcement, but they are very different and generate different, but similar experiences.

              Many of the members of this forum were locals and went federal, and vice versa. My agency has guys who did both.

              Seriously think about where you want to be in life. Graduate from college.

              Getting hired by an agency in your mid 20s does not mean you have to retire from that agency.
              semper destravit

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