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  • Question for those with degrees

    I start school for my AA in Criminal Justice in September. I just wondered if having a degree actually helped you in getting a job in LE, and if the material they teach you has benefitted you once on the job?

    Success is getting what you want.... Happiness is wanting what you get

  • #2
    I can't say it helped me get hired. I got my degree after getting the job. Many agencies now require at least an AA to get hired. It does help with promotions. Most of what was on my first promotional exam was taken straight out of the text books.
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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    • #3
      I have probably applied maybe 5% (being generous) of my BS in Criminal Justice, and 95% of that 5% was taught again in the academy. Everything you need to know (technical and practical skills necessary to be a police officer) will be taught in the academy or on the street. If I were you I would major in something else and minor in CJ. What getting a college degree really does is enhance your critical thinking, communication and writing abilities. All of which are of critical importance in law enforcement. ANY degree can help you get hired. Even if it is not required, if two otherwise identical applicants are competing for a spot who do you think gets the job? The one with the degree or the one without?

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      • #4
        I had my AAS degree before I was hired, then obtained my BS after I was on the job. I think my AAS was on par with my time in the military, so I could have deleted one or the other off my resume and been just as competitive. I haven't used the information I learned form my BS in any manner. I do recall thinking that the information was a bunch of hogwash while learning it. I must say, though, that my degrees have given me jobs and opportunities that were a bit more interesting than if I hadn't spent the time in the classroom.

        If your interested in LE and want the four year degree, I would suggest doing the AA first, possibly in CJ then switching to another major when you go for your four year degree. This would get you very close, if not qualify, you for the CJ minor. Talk to counselors at both schools though so you don't take a boatload of unnecessary classes.
        But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

        For the intelectually challenged: If the government screws the people enough, it is the right and responsibility of the people to revolt and form a new government.

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        • #5
          As a recruiter my preferred hiring groups are currently sworn LE, college and junior college graduates, and separating service members.

          A college degree is becoming more of a requirement upper leadership positions within most agencies.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by FPDRecruiter View Post
            A college degree is becoming more of a requirement upper leadership positions within most agencies.
            +1.....
            "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" -George Orwell

            "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing diapers." - Blues Brothers

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            • #7
              I have an AAS in business administration and I am fairly certain that without it I would not have been hired. The combination of having good grades plus a solid and diversified work history was enough to give me an edge over applicants who had either four year degrees or previous police experience.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BrittBSC View Post
                I start school for my AA in Criminal Justice in September. I just wondered if having a degree actually helped you in getting a job in LE, and if the material they teach you has benefitted you once on the job?
                Well I won't say a AA in CJ helps. I have an AA in CJ and I'm working on my Bachelors in CJ as well. It really helps you out in the academy as far as bill of rights and Constitution and some court cases you will go over.

                It helps since most department want at least 60 hours. You will get extra $$ on your paycheck. i n my department I get an extra 50 a month.
                My life is in GOD’s hands, and he hasn’t finished with me yet.

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