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  • Confused on what degree I want. Help a college student out!

    I want to be a police officer and hopefully rank up to sergeant or detective if I am good enough (I know detective isn't necessarily a higher rank but you get what I mean)

    Anyways I am stuck on what degree I should get. I want to go to a university and get a bachelors. However many people advised me that I should not get a bachelors in criminal justice, which is what I originally intended on doing. They said not to because it's almost worthless and not needed for law enforcement and that any degree would get me a career in law enforcement. I am sort of confused on what to get. I want a bachelors but not sure in what if its not in criminal justice. I am only interested in law enforcement so I don't wanna be going for like a business degree or something. So what should I go for?

    Anyone in the same scenario as me or have any advice? Any feedback is greatly appreciated. I am such a confused college student and don't know what to do!

  • #2
    Please utilize the search function and you will be bombarded with reasons to choose a degree other than CJ

    “This life’s hard, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.”

    George V. Higgins--The Friends of Eddie Coyle

    Comment


    • #3
      You also don't need to put the same thread in two separate areas to get answers to your questions.
      Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
      “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

      Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
      “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

      George Washington, (1732-1799)
      "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

      Originally posted by Country_Jim
      ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by slamdunc View Post
        Please utilize the search function and you will be bombarded with reasons to choose a degree other than CJ

        This is the only advice I would give you. ^^^^^^

        SEARCH is your friend.
        Originally posted by SSD
        It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
        Originally posted by Iowa #1603
        And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

        Comment


        • #5
          Not to be rude, but it gets old answering the same question every two weeks. Use the search function with a key word like "degree" or "college"and you should find plenty of threads.

          Comment


          • #6
            You should major in Equine Business. University of Louisville offers this major.

            Seriously, no one here knows you, knows your interests, knows your strengths and weaknesses, etc. Do you really expect us to tell you what to major in? Try a few different classes at a community college and see what interests you, gain some life experience before going to college, or just sack up and pick something.
            Last edited by CruiserClass; 05-16-2014, 12:43 AM. Reason: typo
            I miss you, Dave.
            http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

            Comment


            • #7
              Please, once more, use the Search Function. You'll find a wealth of information there. Read it, absorb it, read it once more. Make up your own mind. Good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                I prefer a useful degree like basket weaving.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PoliceSeeker View Post
                  I prefer a useful degree like basket weaving.
                  Uhm....if you're really serious....its underwater basket weaving that really counts around here.

                  Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
                  “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

                  Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
                  “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

                  George Washington, (1732-1799)
                  "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

                  Originally posted by Country_Jim
                  ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Technical degrees based in mathematics pay much more and guarantee employment much better than others. Even if u have no intention in doing anything other than being a police officer, get a degree in engineering, computer science, finance etc. Those who make hiring decisions for LEO agencies will be impressed and in case u can't get hired as a cop u have a great degree to fall back on. Small town PD might not be able to recognize the value always but the bigger agencies with higher pay want the type of person who can handle the educational rigor of a technical bachelors degree. If u can get ur JD (Law degree) obviously that's the best but why the hell would u become a cop then? Anyway, those with these degrees are better thinkers meaning you're better at logical deduction, assessing probability etc which equates to better, more efficient decision making. Ask anyone who went to a top tier school and they'll tell u the same thing. I wouldn't even recommend a business degree. If u want business get a technical bachelors then get ur MBA (masters in business) to top it off.

                    Any of the arts degrees or crim justice is not worth the paper it's written on. Please don't waste your time on these soft degrees.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The above is misleading to the point of being wrong.
                      semper destravit

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So what is accurate then?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Contributor101623 View Post
                          So what is accurate then?
                          RGDS pointed out that you are posting assumptions, and other anecdotal misinformation without a factual basis or any studies to support your subjective opinion.

                          Other than that, it is spot-on. I have my BS in mechanical engineering and I don't make any more than any officer in my department. Look up 'Opportunity Cost' and you may have a clearer picture of real-life career choices vs math related education.

                          “This life’s hard, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.”

                          George V. Higgins--The Friends of Eddie Coyle

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have spoken with recruiters from CHP, NJSP and those of higher rank in NYSP who have confirmed ther preference for applicants with more diverse backgrounds specifically with those with more rigorous degrees.

                            Of course my advice is subjective and repeats the subjective preference of those involved in the hiring process.

                            I was also giving advice on why these degrees are better as a back up in case u don't get hired. There won't be a single individual in academia who disagrees with the statement that math based degrees have better job placement, security and higher pay on average than non math degrees. This is a police forum and as such I'm not inclined to go digging up studies to support my opinion rather I offer my view that's shaped by my experiences.

                            Certainly if u can get hired with 4 yrs military and a guy with a mechanical engineering degree from MIT also gets hired, u spent a lot less to arrive at the same destination, not to mention the opportunity cost of forgoing income all those years.

                            What if u don't get hired though? What if the department u are applying for has 3k applicants with a BA in criminal justice? Do u think u stand out? What if u are one of 3 guys with a BS in mechanical engineering? I bet u stand out and in a very positive manner. Does ur department have specialties in computer crimes? White collar? Etc? Do u think equal officers/troopers who are competing for that promotion might have a leg up if they have a degree in that field? I doubt the criminal justice degree will give u that leg up. What about in retirement? When u are 45, collecting a pension and want a second career with a nice salary? See where criminal justice gets u compared to the mechanical engineering or CS degree.

                            I appreciate ur responses. They're great for a healthy debate.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Contributor101623 View Post
                              I was also giving advice on why these degrees are better as a back up in case u don't get hired. There won't be a single individual in academia who disagrees with the statement that math based degrees have better job placement, security and higher pay on average than non math degrees. This is a police forum and as such I'm not inclined to go digging up studies to support my opinion rather I offer my view that's shaped by my experiences.
                              With this, I agree wholeheartedly. I know of very few agencies that require a degree in CJ or AOJ. They just require a degree. If you speak with HR people at the federal level in l.e. you will find that they are looking for accounting and IT people (I guess accounting is still mathematics though).
                              Originally posted by Contributor101623 View Post
                              Certainly if u can get hired with 4 yrs military and a guy with a mechanical engineering degree from MIT also gets hired, u spent a lot less to arrive at the same destination, not to mention the opportunity cost of forgoing income all those years.
                              A lot less time? How long does it take to get the paper at MIT? As for the opportunity cost, absolutely. I found the education I received in the military far more useful for the job I do on a daily basis. My education was fully funded by a Peabody Scholarship and I did a paid internship which landed me a great (paying at least) job. The opportunity cost there was actually a negative.
                              Originally posted by Contributor101623 View Post
                              What if u don't get hired though? What if the department u are applying for has 3k applicants with a BA in criminal justice? Do u think u stand out?
                              Not at all. Again, most agencies don't care what the degree is in.
                              Originally posted by Contributor101623 View Post
                              What if u are one of 3 guys with a BS in mechanical engineering? I bet u stand out and in a very positive manner.
                              When I was hired, it was for my people skills, my knowledge of local geography and my ability to troubleshoot problems. My education wasn't even a consideration.
                              Originally posted by Contributor101623 View Post
                              I doubt the criminal justice degree will give u that leg up. What about in retirement? When u are 45, collecting a pension and want a second career with a nice salary? See where criminal justice gets u compared to the mechanical engineering or CS degree.
                              I am the last person to advise someone to seek out a degree in CJ. I would also be hesitant to point anyone in the ME / EE area without understanding their aptitudes and goals. An engineering degree landed me a job that made me miserable; it just wasn't for me.
                              When I retire, I will be teaching full-time and part-time at the academy.

                              “This life’s hard, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.”

                              George V. Higgins--The Friends of Eddie Coyle

                              Comment

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