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Words from the wise requested [pursuing LE, need advice]

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  • Words from the wise requested [pursuing LE, need advice]

    Good day ladies and gentlemen,

    I turn 23 y/o this November. I'm currently active duty USMC (deployed currently, as well). My end of active service is August of this next year ('10). I am enrolled in the Post 9/11 GI Bill and I plan to go back to the California Bay Area and go back to school (I only have a few credits that I got before joining the service), but ultimately, I want to be a Police Officer.

    Should I hold off from applying at various departments (a lot of them require a 2-year degree or a certain number of credit hours anyways) and just focus on school; and then, once I've graduated, pursue the career and apply? I don't even know what kind of degree I should focus on: Associates or Bachelors? Maybe I could get my associates, then try to get hired and then later down the line, if necessary, attain my bachelors...?

    I'm really not sure. I'd love some opinions/advice as well as maybe other options I haven't considered.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by concon02; 09-26-2009, 07:38 AM.

  • #2
    If you have the freedom to concentrate on college, do so.

    If you have a family to feed, or need to pay a lot of bills, you should probably get on track for whatever you want your future to be.

    M-11
    “All men dream...... But not equally..
    Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
    but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
    for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

    TE Lawrence

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    • #3
      Originally posted by M-11 View Post
      If you have the freedom to concentrate on college, do so.

      If you have a family to feed, or need to pay a lot of bills, you should probably get on track for whatever you want your future to be.

      M-11
      No family, no girlfriend even. Financial obligations I expect to have while a student: auto loan, auto insurance, gas, cellphone, food.

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      • #4
        Waiting until after school to get into the career would put me at 26-28 and that's not including however long the hiring process will take. It could put me at upwards of 30 years old before I'm in the job I want to be working...

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        • #5
          Go to school. You may be in your late 20's by the time your done, but at least if you get hurt later on and cannot perform the job anymore you won't be sorry.

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          • #6
            Don't worry about age. I didn't start in LE until I retired from the military at 38.

            I would get the degree in something universal like business management or something similar. An associates would be a good start because most bigger agencies cover your college costs either directly or through reimbursement.

            I would personally stay away from a CJ degree because it's only good if your in LE. A degree in something else will have just as much value as a CJ with a Law Enforcement Agency. A CJ degree won't become important until you start moving up into command staff (many years down the road) so you'll have time to convert what you have over.
            Due to the Juvenile bickering and annoying trolling committed by members of this forum I have started an igore list. If your name is listed below I can't see you.

            CityCopDC, Fire Moose, Carbonfiberfoot, Damiansolomon

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            • #7
              Thank you all for the advice.

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              • #8
                go to college (math or science) get a part time job in the jail or in dispatch while you are finishing your degree. After you finish with your colege go federal. But while you are trying to get thru the hiring process at the fed level you will already be in the mix locally and will ease thru the accademy since you will have study skills, work ethic and time management. After the local accademy your short stay there until the feds pick you up will be some fun times to remember and you can talk trash to your co-workers about them not ever being the real police.

                just my opinion and its worth what it cost.

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                • #9
                  I'm going to depart from my colleague's advice just a little. This doesn't mean I disagree with it, just want to add another perspective. If you have the opportunity to obtain needed college credits, why not do it on line? Look into USAFI or similar courses. These are usuay free, or at nominal charge. Look into on line educational opportunities, with the caution to check for accreditation,and cost(s). About six months prior to your seperation from the Corps, start doing some serious research into Departments which interest you. Much of this can be done on line. It many even be possible to begin applying. When you're looking at agencies, measure yourself honestly against their requirements. See where you're likely to be at good fit. While you're still active, and this is obvious, keep your nose clean. Avoid any Article 15's, or any problems which could impact your ambitions. Watch your six, come home safely-----Thanks much for your service. Semper Fi.

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                  • #10
                    I agree with PhilCal. Start online and take as many CLEP tests as you can get. When I was active duty most were free. You can be well on your way to an associates even if it is general education and can get a ton of stuff out of the way.


                    If you know what agency you are interested in see what they require and go for it.
                    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Monkeybomb View Post
                      I agree with PhilCal. Start online and take as many CLEP tests as you can get. When I was active duty most were free. You can be well on your way to an associates even if it is general education and can get a ton of stuff out of the way.


                      If you know what agency you are interested in see what they require and go for it.
                      Curious: What would I CLEP on? I don't know anything.

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                      • #12
                        Basic courses. The only one I remember was the basic english course. Simple stuff. I'm sure you can do a basic math CLEP test, etc. The military program should be able to tell you what they have. I was able to get 9 credit hours in a matter of hours ( spaced over several weeks) for nothing. The tests weren't difficult at all.

                        As soon as you go to a regular college sweep (work experience) anything you can. That saved me another 30 credit hours. That adds up fast at $200-$500 a credit hour.
                        The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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