Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

A masters degree... Would it help?

Collapse

300x250 Mobile

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • A masters degree... Would it help?

    Hello everyone. I am currently in college and am about a year away from completing my bachelors in criminal justice. While I am getting ready to start applying with a few agencies, I am not getting my hopes up with the way the economy is right now. I wanted to know some of your opinions on possibly going for a masters degree in criminal justice after I finish my bachelors. My GPA is high enough and my professors have suggested it as an option. My question is, will having a masters degree make departments take a second look at me more so than a bachelors degree would? Would it be worth the extra debt, or would just waiting with a bachelors degree while continuing to build a solid work history help just as much? I would appreciate any and all opinions on the value of a masters degree in the hiring process. Thank you in advance for your time and response.

  • #2
    Originally posted by slsteiner88 View Post
    Hello everyone. I am currently in college and am about a year away from completing my bachelors in criminal justice. While I am getting ready to start applying with a few agencies, I am not getting my hopes up with the way the economy is right now. I wanted to know some of your opinions on possibly going for a masters degree in criminal justice after I finish my bachelors. My GPA is high enough and my professors have suggested it as an option. My question is, will having a masters degree make departments take a second look at me more so than a bachelors degree would? Would it be worth the extra debt, or would just waiting with a bachelors degree while continuing to build a solid work history help just as much? I would appreciate any and all opinions on the value of a masters degree in the hiring process. Thank you in advance for your time and response.
    Just a little bit of added information. I am not very interested in going federal. My dream is to eventually work in a larger city or county department.

    Comment


    • #3
      Probably not. It may help with pay at some agencies. I don't place much stock in master's degrees without accompanying work experience. I would suggest a job and a stable work history. You can always work on your master's part time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by just joe View Post
        Probably not. It may help with pay at some agencies. I don't place much stock in master's degrees without accompanying work experience. I would suggest a job and a stable work history. You can always work on your master's part time.
        I was considering possibly getting back into Loss Prevention which I have some experience in at a managerial level if I can't find a job in LE right after graduating. Do you think that would help more than a master's degree?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by slsteiner88 View Post
          Hello everyone. I am currently in college and am about a year away from completing my bachelors in criminal justice. While I am getting ready to start applying with a few agencies, I am not getting my hopes up with the way the economy is right now. I wanted to know some of your opinions on possibly going for a masters degree in criminal justice after I finish my bachelors. My GPA is high enough and my professors have suggested it as an option. My question is, will having a masters degree make departments take a second look at me more so than a bachelors degree would? Would it be worth the extra debt, or would just waiting with a bachelors degree while continuing to build a solid work history help just as much? I would appreciate any and all opinions on the value of a masters degree in the hiring process. Thank you in advance for your time and response.
          Your bachelors degree will probably help a little, especially if the agency you're applying for requires a degree. I wouldn't go for the masters unless that is just something you want as a personal goal. I don't think a department is going to look at that any differently than a bachelors.

          My agency does not require any college to be hired. However, work experience or college will definitely be in your favor. I got the job because I had several years experience from a prior agency. That being said, I work with several officers who got hired with their criminal justice degree, and two of them are complete idiots. Makes me wonder just exactly what in the world people learn in those criminal justice classes, because it sure isn't police work! LOL

          Comment


          • #6
            I've always thought this job was a waste of a degree. This used to be a job for an honest high school graduate that just wanted to do good by his community. Now we're full of "educated" people that would rather climb the promotion ladder than be a good beat cop. Then they're usually the ones that start the micromanaging. I remember when we were told to write reports on a 5th grade level so Bubba the gas station attendant that was too dumb to get out of jury duty could read it. Now we have to write reports on a doctorate level. Give me a good old fashioned ex military street warrior anyday over an educated pencil neck.

            Ok done with my rant. If you wanna promote fast, get the masters. It wont get you hired though.
            God made perfect cops.......The rest he put in cars.

            Comment


            • #7
              Lord knows we don't need any "educated" people in police work. That's a real travesty, that is.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by kf4vix82 View Post
                Your bachelors degree will probably help a little, especially if the agency you're applying for requires a degree. I wouldn't go for the masters unless that is just something you want as a personal goal. I don't think a department is going to look at that any differently than a bachelors.

                My agency does not require any college to be hired. However, work experience or college will definitely be in your favor. I got the job because I had several years experience from a prior agency. That being said, I work with several officers who got hired with their criminal justice degree, and two of them are complete idiots. Makes me wonder just exactly what in the world people learn in those criminal justice classes, because it sure isn't police work! LOL
                Lol to be honest I've heard the same thing from many officers I've talked to, and I agree that a degree doesn't automatically make someone a better police officer than someone who is former military or even a solid person with a HS diploma. That being said, I have met many people in my degree program that would make great police officers, others who I wonder why they are even in the program, and still others who I hope to god never are given a badge and gun. At my university however they do teach a class on policing as well as police ethics courses, and my favorite professor was a police officer for 30 years. However I do believe actually spending the 4 (or more) years finishing the degree takes a lot of dedication and motivation, which are good qualities for people to have.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ChiefRuss
                  Many larger agencies, and some smaller municipalities carry tuition reimbursement. At entry level, a Masters won’t do much more than a Bachelors, however down the road as your career matures the Masters will be invaluable if you intent to climb the ladder.

                  Start applying as soon as you are able and with a bit of good fortune, your new employer may assist with tuition. At the very least you’ll be on the job gaining the knowledge you’ll need to move into supervision. In my opinion, no rush on the Masters.
                  Yours,
                  Chief Russ
                  Chief Russ,
                  Thank you for your reply. Of course, the ideal thing would be to get hired by a department which has a tuition reimbursement program. I believe four departments I am definitely plan on applying with offer this benefit. Of course as everyone knows competition is stiff so hopefully i'm lucky enough to get picked up by one of those agencies. But it seems the general consensus is to wait on the masters degree, which is honestly what I have heard from recruiters. I believe this is also a good idea so that I don't end up an additional $30000 in debt on top of my existing student loans. Thanks again for your reply and time!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bully View Post
                    I've always thought this job was a waste of a degree. This used to be a job for an honest high school graduate that just wanted to do good by his community. Now we're full of "educated" people that would rather climb the promotion ladder than be a good beat cop. Then they're usually the ones that start the micromanaging. I remember when we were told to write reports on a 5th grade level so Bubba the gas station attendant that was too dumb to get out of jury duty could read it. Now we have to write reports on a doctorate level. Give me a good old fashioned ex military street warrior anyday over an educated pencil neck.

                    Ok done with my rant. If you wanna promote fast, get the masters. It wont get you hired though.
                    Thanks for your response! Interestingly enough I have heard your exact sentiment echoed by many police officers I've met in departments around my university, which is in the El Paso, TX metro area. Many of them don't understand why I would want to put in time to get a bachelors degree just to do police work when the majority of their officers had very little college experience. However, where I was born and raised around Seattle, WA, most all officers I met had at least an associates degree. Both areas had great police officers, and the college educated were not any better than the one's without it. I believe it has to do with politics, and with the level of competition with federal agencies for college educated applicants, which is much higher down here in the SW (Border Patrol is everywhere). Honestly I figured a degree was great to do with my time while I matured and don't regret it as it is something my family always put a lot of value in. I do understand what your side though. Thanks again!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm going to reply to your question from a somewhat different perspective. Should you enter a Civil Service hiring process, what is going to count the most, is your score on the written exam. A score of 70% is usually considered "passing". However, to be reachable, as in competitive, a score in the mid to high nineties will be required for you to advance in the process. Up to now, no mention of a degree has been made. That is not to minimize or degrade the effort you've put into obtaining the degree, simply in the initial process your degree hasn't been a factor. Now, in the event you're successful in being employed, many agencies will pay you a little more money for having the degree. Some agencies may even pay a little more for your having a Master's Degree, so your answer there will be agency specific. The decision to pursue post graduate work is yours to make. To this end, you'd do well to research departments which provide some tuition assistance for you. Good luck in your efforts.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
                        I'm going to reply to your question from a somewhat different perspective. Should you enter a Civil Service hiring process, what is going to count the most, is your score on the written exam. A score of 70% is usually considered "passing". However, to be reachable, as in competitive, a score in the mid to high nineties will be required for you to advance in the process. Up to now, no mention of a degree has been made. That is not to minimize or degrade the effort you've put into obtaining the degree, simply in the initial process your degree hasn't been a factor. Now, in the event you're successful in being employed, many agencies will pay you a little more money for having the degree. Some agencies may even pay a little more for your having a Master's Degree, so your answer there will be agency specific. The decision to pursue post graduate work is yours to make. To this end, you'd do well to research departments which provide some tuition assistance for you. Good luck in your efforts.
                        Thanks a lot for your response! I am well aware that with most departments, a bachelor's degree is not required. And even if it is, I am still on an even playing field to start out with. I have heard of some larger department's begining to put weight towards a degree once you get deeper into the process, but from my research that isn't always the case. Personally, I feel I will do much better now on a written exam than I would of had I never gone to college, solely for the reason that I have received plenty of practice taking tests. I also developed personally effective study habits and writing skills which I think could possibly always help. That is just from a personal standpoint as I'm sure there will be non-college educated people who will do just as well and better than me on the written exam. Pay isn't a major concern as police work is has been my goal for a number of years, but the extra pay is definitely a nice perk. I'm sure once I have children that will attitude will change though lol. Thanks again for your response and your time! I will continue my research.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm not a police officer yet, but in your post you debate between estbalishing more work experience or starting a Master's program. I'd say try to do both if you can. I just graduated in May with my BA in Administration of Justice. Currently, I'm working part-time and I just started a Masters program in August, and I'm doing it via distance education (i.e. online program), which are becoming more popular and respected. I'm doing mine in Public Administration, though, as I don't want two degrees in the same thing.

                          Just my thoughts.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When you are old and sitting on the porch, watching one of your last hundred sunsets, do you think you will ever say to yourself

                            "Gee, I wish I learned a lot less stuff about my world."

                            M-11

                            (Enlisted Field Agent, AS-Information systems, AS-Criminal Justice, BS-Public Administration, MA-Asymetric Warefare... Political Science PHD candidate...)

                            If there is only one life, there is a lot to see and do. Don't do it for your resume, do it for you.
                            “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

                            Comment

                            MR300x250 Tablet

                            Collapse

                            What's Going On

                            Collapse

                            There are currently 3263 users online. 197 members and 3066 guests.

                            Most users ever online was 158,966 at 04:57 AM on 01-16-2021.

                            Welcome Ad

                            Collapse
                            Working...
                            X