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  • Question reguarding college & LE

    I am currently in college and will hopefully be getting my AA degree in a year and a half. My plan originally was to get my AA degree with half of the credits from the colleges police academy. By the time that I would be done with my AA degree I would be old enough to apply as a reserve officer with a local dept. From there I would continue going to school for my BA/BS degree.

    My question being, is a BA/BS degree really going to help me in the future or will an AA degree be sufficient to promote?

    Thanks,
    Jameson

  • #2
    Depends on the exact department you what to work for, and how far up the food chain you plan on going.......

    Some agencies will want a masters degree for the command level spots....

    The AA degree is a good START, but dont limit yourself to just that level.

    Some agencies (and LASD for certain) offer college classes through the department.....up through masters degree programs......
    The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

    "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

    "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

    Comment


    • #3
      That's encouraging to hear that some departments help you out with college. I just don't know if I have it in me to do another 2 years for my BA degree after my AA at this point in time. I am really anxious to get into LE and have waited a long time to do so.

      I know that this does not sound like the most mature decision and it probably is not. I keep telling myself that it will be worth it in end and I may just end up going through with my original plan. I guess a positive way that I can look at it is that I will have another 2 extra years to mature into a better person and show myself that I can push through something that I really do not want to do. It will also give me extra time to work on my physical fitness further.

      On a side note, do you guys & gals think that it would be wise to take the college police academy(http://www.palomar.edu/policeacademy/)? Its a little be nerve racking since the POST certification only is valid for 2,3? years (right?) and I would need to find a dept. to work with quickly..

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LA DEP View Post
        Depends on the exact department you what to work for, and how far up the food chain you plan on going.......

        Some agencies will want a masters degree for the command level spots....

        The AA degree is a good START, but dont limit yourself to just that level.

        Some agencies (and LASD for certain) offer college classes through the department.....up through masters degree programs......
        How does that work, exactly? The classes are taught by the department, or do you mean they reimburse you for the tuition? What types of degrees?

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        • #5
          jper, i would say go as far educationally as you can. it wont hurt. i have my AA and working on my BA and believe me i am sick of school but you gotta suck it up and do it. like ladep said depends on what department you want to get into but there is a PD i was looking into and they want you to have a BA just to apply!!
          This is my Glock, there are many like it, but this one is mine

          "Anything is possible to he who dares" A.G. Spalding

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lionheartednyhc View Post
            How does that work, exactly? The classes are taught by the department, or do you mean they reimburse you for the tuition? What types of degrees?
            the classes are offered through the Department at accredited schools.....most of the locations are NOT at the campuses.....usually at a department facility......

            They also reimburse you for tuition and (I believe) books......there is a $$$$ limit per year......

            All of the degrees are LE based......Domestic security management, ect
            The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

            "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

            "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jper View Post
              That's encouraging to hear that some departments help you out with college. I just don't know if I have it in me to do another 2 years for my BA degree after my AA at this point in time. I am really anxious to get into LE and have waited a long time to do so.

              I know that this does not sound like the most mature decision and it probably is not. I keep telling myself that it will be worth it in end and I may just end up going through with my original plan. I guess a positive way that I can look at it is that I will have another 2 extra years to mature into a better person and show myself that I can push through something that I really do not want to do. It will also give me extra time to work on my physical fitness further.

              On a side note, do you guys & gals think that it would be wise to take the college police academy(http://www.palomar.edu/policeacademy/)? Its a little be nerve racking since the POST certification only is valid for 2,3? years (right?) and I would need to find a dept. to work with quickly
              ..

              I wouldnt......let the department that hires you pay to send you to the academy......also, some agencies REQUIRE that you go through their academy, whether you have already been through one or not.....
              The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

              "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

              "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

              Comment


              • #8
                I would recommend finishing college, once you get into your career (working shift work, call outs, overtime) it will be a serious inconvenience to be attending school on top of it. Unless your department will give you the time off or work with your school schedule, I would really check on that before you make a decision. Anyway, the degree can only help you and if you have the opprotunity I would get it done without the added distraction of a career.
                A comprehensive guide to becoming a state trooper (can be used for any police application process)

                State Police Guide

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                • #9
                  I went in to police work with no college after spending my time in the Marines. I have been on the job now for 18 years, and I only have 3 years of college. I am a Patrol Sergeant who would just love to make LT for the pay raise, not the paper work But my chances are slim. I have a wealth of experience, and have served in just about every division from patrol to vice. I have more of the boxes checked so to speak than the other Sergeants at the PD except for one, college. All but two of the other Sergeants either have a BS, BA and are working on a Masters, or already have their Masters Degree. This is the one block that trumps my all the things I have done when it comes to entering the Administration level of the PD.
                  Finish your college or as much of it as you can before you become of age to be a police officer. College won't make a hill of beans of difference on the street while you are a patrolman, or even working something like vice. But once you enter the Supervisor ranks it will be very important. Don't put it off. I have had 30 hours to finish my BS for about the past 14 years. Now I am paying for it. If I want to take offf my Sergeant stripes and pin on a bar, I am going to have to finish college to be competitive. Just my point of view, others may disagree.

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                  • #10
                    Definately get a bachelors in something first. Preferrably not in law enforcement so that you have something to fall back on if you find out this line of work isn't for you.
                    "Valor would cease to be a virtue, if there were no injustice." -Agesilaus the Great

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've posted this a few times on here......

                      From past experience, finish college and get you degree. A 2 year will help you get in but as others have stated, if you want to get into management or jump ship to the Feds, a 4 year degree is a must....if not a Masters. That's just a fact of life.

                      I got out of the military and worked for a po-dunk Sheriff's Dept trying to go to school and it was a PITA to do so. Having to leave or miss classes due to stuff going on.....not being able to do study groups because you were at work......not studying because you worked a fatality accident on your shift and walking into a final with a nasty looking uniform on because you didn't have time to change, etc......

                      Law enforcement work will always be there.......there will be no shortage of it.....

                      Get your schooling out of the way then get into your LE career.....

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JSODEP5338 View Post
                        Definately get a bachelors in something first. Preferrably not in law enforcement so that you have something to fall back on if you find out this line of work isn't for you.
                        I've had a hard time deciding what to major in. Like you said on your post, major in something that you can fall back on if L.E doesn't work out, which makes absolute sense... I might major in radiology technologist/x-rays that only requieres a 2 year degree(A.S)...Radiologist technologist make good money, and for the most part it's a stable job...I've decided to finish my AA in criminal justice b/c I'm almost done (5 more classes)...As far as a bachelors degree...

                        http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos105.htm
                        Last edited by Southflaguy; 08-27-2008, 06:43 PM.
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Not an English Major are you?
                          “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

                          "You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the replies! I have decided that I am definitely going to finish my 4 year degree since it will be very beneficial in the end. You're right, law enforcement will always be here. I'm also going to hold off on the academy till I get hired. Any other advice that you guys have?

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                            • #15
                              ^Major in something you like...Or else it's going to suck big time...
                              sigpic

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