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Does a bachelor's degree give you any significant boost in the hiring process?

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  • Does a bachelor's degree give you any significant boost in the hiring process?

    I've got about three semesters to go for my bachelor's in political science. I'm considering starting to apply to agencies now; I figure if I get hired, great, if not I can always finish my degree and reapply.

    I'm wondering if my degree would be a significant factor in the hiring process. If it makes any difference I'm in the Bay Area.

  • #2
    I have a friend here who got hired on while he was still finishing his degree. Really my only concern with applying while still taking classes would be the burden of going to the academy and trying to do regular college classes at the same time if that is your plan.

    I'm currently applying to multiple agencies here but my understanding of the academy atmosphere is that it is very demanding both mentally and physically and I wouldn't want to have to worry about anything else while I'm doing that so I could focus 100%. Of course, I'm an old fart (34) I finished college years ago. If you can pull it off great, or even take a semester off to finish the academy then go back later.

    As far as the bachelor's degree helping you, I'll let the experts speak but yes I have to think it helps quite a bit, especially if you don't have the military feather in your cap.
    Last edited by Big Bad Brad; 07-22-2014, 06:00 AM.

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    • #3
      Finish it brother!!!!

      I started in law enforcement immediately after high school at 18 and was sworn at 19. I wouldn't trade the experience for the world, but sometimes I do wish I had finished my degree first.

      It can do a lot more than boost the hiring process. Most agencies put a lot of weight in degrees for promotion and specialty assignments.

      It counts in court for professional education and when you apply for search warrants detailing your credentials, training and experience... It helps you when you write your investigative narratives, and if you decide to go into the Federal LEO realm, most agencies want that degree.

      It's worth it in the long haul.

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      • #4
        Finish your degree.

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        • #5
          Get your degree.

          Education will NEVER hurt you in either getting hired or in furthering your career.
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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          • #6
            Been there and done that. I left a top-notch public university to pursue a career in law enforcement and to get married. I left with nine classes (less than a full year) of school left to finish my bachelor's degree. At the time, being in college was my parents' dream and not mine as I was going to be one of the first in my family to go to college. Becoming a cop and marrying my wife were my priorities in life.

            I got the LE job I wanted and left college. I married my wife a couple of years later. We had kids. The shift work of police and raising a family were tough. While I didn't regret my family or my job, I did quickly regret not finishing college. I quickly saw the writing on the wall. Those getting promoted had college degrees. My dream police job required a college degree. All of the new guys getting hired mostly had college degrees. Like an idiot, I had dropped out of college SO CLOSE to finishing.

            Six years after dropping out of college, I was able to partially fix my mistake. I went to a local community college and obtained an associate's degree. With all of the coursework I had already completed, I was fortunate that they only made me take one class. TWELVE years after I dropped out, my kids were finally old enough that I could somewhat manage to go back to school. I was able to get readmitted to my original university to finish my bachelor's degree.

            My wife commonly jokes I was just on a "sixteen year school plan."

            The moral of the story: If you are that close to graduation, there is no doubt that you should finish your degree before you do anything else.
            Sign here. Press hard. You are making five copies.

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            • #7
              Thanks everyone. I'll put off applying until I finish.

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              • #8
                I would start applying about 6 months before you finish............................
                Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                • #9
                  Here in Minnesota most agencies are looking for a bachelors degree. At my agency we get a 5% (equals an extra $1.60 an hour for me) education incentive for having one.
                  "We Train to Fight, We Fight to Win, We Win to Survive, We Survive to LIVE!"

                  The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SCSU10 View Post
                    Here in Minnesota most agencies are looking for a bachelors degree. At my agency we get a 5% (equals an extra $1.60 an hour for me) education incentive for having one.
                    In the dept that I work for, those w/ a Bachelors degree make several thousand more a year than those w/ an Associates, etc.

                    I'd say finish and as Iowa wrote, start applying a few months prior to graduating.

                    Be open to moving, some parts of the U.S. are hiring like crazy, others have ungodly numbers of applicants for a very few positions. Good luck to you.
                    Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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