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So, realistically how useful is a Criminal Justice degree?

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  • So, realistically how useful is a Criminal Justice degree?

    I'm 23 and I'm in my junior year of university getting my BS in Criminal Justice. My goal is a job with a federal law enforcement agency, I'm not really that concerned about which one though. If that wasn't possible, I would probably just shoot for making detective with a local Police Department. I understand that would require pounding the pavement as a patrol officer for several years, which I'm totally cool with.

    People keep telling me that CJ degrees are a dime a dozen and that I should get a Business degree simply because I would make more money as an administrator. However, I have no interest in being an administrator, I would much rather be in the field.

    So my question is, how valuable would a BS in Criminal Justice really be? I know that that Computer Science or Finance are much more in demand for the Feds, but I really have no interest in those subjects except how they pertain to crime. I'm also working as TA for the department chair of the Criminal Justice department, who I guess is a prominent figure in the criminal justice field. Hoping to get a good letter of recommendation from him.

    I'm already pretty tech savy, I'm A+ certified and a Cisco Certified Network Associate. I'm not a specialist in anything in particular but am sort of a jack of all trades when it comes to computers. If I don't know how to do something I need to do, then I teach myself how to do it. But I really don't have any interest in pursuing a Computer Science degree.

    The only foreign language I speak any of is Japanese, but its mainly just conversational Japanese. I can read and write it and speak some, but that's about it. I doubt this would really help much with a career in the US, but I figured I'd list it. I have no military experience.

    So with all this, how desirable of a applicant do you think I would be to the Feds or local PDs? Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.
    Last edited by S.T.A.R.S.; 03-25-2009, 06:21 PM.
    “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” - George Orwell

  • #2
    A Criminal Justice degree is a degree. Any degree is indicative of a certain amount of self discipline and dedication. Stated another way, a CJ degree is OK. Most of us, myself included, suggest degrees in Business, Public Administration,Accounting, the list goes on. If it's your desire to pursue a CJ degree, go for it. The reason we suggest degrees in areas other than CJ, is that they can be of more value than a CJ degree, should you decide not to pursue a LE career.

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    • #3
      What he said. Also, some communities have very large Japanese/Japanese speaking populations, so your language skill would be highly desired and help you stand out from the rest of the field.

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      • #4
        I hold an AS in Liberal Arts and BS in CJ Administration. It has only helped me im my career in law enforcement. How it will help me outside of the careeer field...not sure but with all my experience in management etc...I should be able to obtain employment in another field....Maybe think about a minor in business or something else.....

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        • #5
          Any degree is as useful as you allow it to be.

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          • #6
            For Federal Law Enforcement, the only ones I've heard that like CJ degrees is Border Patrol and CBP.

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            • #7
              If you like being a LEO, then it is useful...if you don't then it is pretty useless. Not many civilain jobs requiring a CJ degree.
              A Veteran is someone who at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount up to, and including their life. That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact!

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              • #8
                A degree is better than no degree. As others have state da CJ degree allows you entry into this field but limited as to other jobs. For the most part CJ 4 yr degree will meet the requirement to get a job that requires you to at least have a 4yr degree.
                My life is in GOD’s hands, and he hasn’t finished with me yet.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rookie2006 View Post
                  A degree is better than no degree. .
                  agreed..I always recommend some type of business or administrative degree with a CJ minor.
                  A Veteran is someone who at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount up to, and including their life. That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact!

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