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  • A CJ degree.

    I don't know why everyone says a degree in Criminal Justice is a waste? I am 3 weeks into classes and I am already learning things regarding PL, CPL, and VTL. I'm sure these things are vital for police work. Everyone I have talked to is against a degree in CJ. Why? If this is what you want to do, you should learn about it. My professor taught in the Academy and said that his course is much more in-depth than what they were teaching recruits who were actually training to be police officers. If you want to become a cop and are 110% sure on it, I strongly reccomend taking some classes in CJ. Such as Intro to CJ, and Criminal Law. The material I learned so far, will only help me out academically throughout the academy. Most CJ courses are set-up based on the academy curriculum, but college courses get more in-depth. Why are most officers against getting a degree in CJ. Just wondering.

  • #2
    Take something that can actually give you a skill to get a good paying job. You can still go into LE without majoring in criminal justice.
    I don't know what the statistics are about what percentage of people in LE actually make it to retirement, but just looking around me, many of my Academy classmates are no longer on the job due to many reasons. You can be Officer of the Decade, but one small mishap or screwup, you'll be thrown under the bus, that career is over and what are you going to do with a CJ degree.
    Don't waste those years between 19 and 21.
    The liberal politician has the only job where they go to the office to work for everyone but those who pay their salary.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tony.o View Post
      Take something that can actually give you a skill to get a good paying job. You can still go into LE without majoring in criminal justice.
      I don't know what the statistics are about what percentage of people in LE actually make it to retirement, but just looking around me, many of my Academy classmates are no longer on the job due to many reasons. You can be Officer of the Decade, but one small mishap or screwup, you'll be thrown under the bus, that career is over and what are you going to do with a CJ degree.
      Don't waste those years between 19 and 21.

      Not to mention how many we lose to injuries every year.

      Take something like business. CJ classes are more in depth than the academy, however.......CJ classes are all taking place in a classroom. Academy classes are just introductory. You will then learn more in the field and this includes the practical application side of it that you won't get in your classroom. By the time somebody completes the academy, FTO, and a couple of years on the street they will have learned much more about CJ then they could have gotten in a classroom (unless they are a slug, in which case there is no help).

      A business degree will not only help you should you no longer be able to work as a cop, it will help you promote within the agency. City/County admin always like a cop executive that can keep his books balanced too.
      Today's Quote:

      "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
      Albert Einstein

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Nick331 View Post
        I don't know why everyone says a degree in Criminal Justice is a waste? I am 3 weeks into classes and I am already learning things regarding PL, CPL, and VTL. I'm sure these things are vital for police work. Everyone I have talked to is against a degree in CJ. Why? If this is what you want to do, you should learn about it. My professor taught in the Academy and said that his course is much more in-depth than what they were teaching recruits who were actually training to be police officers. If you want to become a cop and are 110% sure on it, I strongly reccomend taking some classes in CJ. Such as Intro to CJ, and Criminal Law. The material I learned so far, will only help me out academically throughout the academy. Most CJ courses are set-up based on the academy curriculum, but college courses get more in-depth. Why are most officers against getting a degree in CJ. Just wondering.
        Maybe its cuz im slow, but What's PL, CPL and VTL? Our CJ classes are pretty easy, and I have classes with at least 2 people in every class, every semester that I started classes with When i was a freshman. I choose a divison of CJ at our school it's Police studies, which really locks me into this career field. It would probably hurt me in the long run if I get hurt or something as a cop, but im sure I could figure something out. I choose this degree field because I am very interested in L.E. and honestly, its the only subject that keeps my attention.
        "Its not what you know, its what you can prove."-Training Day

        "Game on, bitches. Whoop whoop, flash the lights, pull it over."

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        • #5
          Criminal justice courses are filled with a variety of theories that will quickly fade from your memory, and they will have little to no impact on what you do on a daily basis.

          The only courses likely to be of any real assistance to you are criminal law and procedure. Some academies teach the ins and outs of this very well while others don't.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nick331 View Post
            I don't know why everyone says a degree in Criminal Justice is a waste? I am 3 weeks into classes and I am already learning things regarding PL, CPL, and VTL. I'm sure these things are vital for police work. Everyone I have talked to is against a degree in CJ. Why? If this is what you want to do, you should learn about it. My professor taught in the Academy and said that his course is much more in-depth than what they were teaching recruits who were actually training to be police officers. If you want to become a cop and are 110% sure on it, I strongly reccomend taking some classes in CJ. Such as Intro to CJ, and Criminal Law. The material I learned so far, will only help me out academically throughout the academy. Most CJ courses are set-up based on the academy curriculum, but college courses get more in-depth. Why are most officers against getting a degree in CJ. Just wondering.
            I don't feel that most of us are totally opposed to a CJ Degree. It's simply one of many degrees an applicant can bring to the table at hiring time. The CJ Degree doesn't have the overall "marketability" that say, a degree in Business or Public Administrationmight have. You don't learn Law Enforcement in a Criminal Justice class. You could possess an advanced degree in CJ, and still have to meet all the hiring criteria for any agency you applied to. You'd also have to successfully complete the prescribed Academy, as well as the FTO Program many Departments now mandate. OTH, if a degree in CJ is what you want, then by all means, pursue it. Do your best to get the degree you desire. Simply be aware that it's NOT the "door opener" many would have you believe. Good luck in all your plans.

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            • #7
              No degree is a "waste." I have said it before and I'll say it again, although a CJ degree limits you outside of the law enforcement arena should you not make it into that career, a degree is a degree. If you enjoy CJ classes and your GPA reflects it, then stick with it. Some people hate business or finance, and their grades might not be as good. I've seen several agencies (including Fed) be more concerned with GPA than with the major itself.

              It is true that a CJ major is definitely not something that LE agencies require out of a candidate, but don't seek out something else in college that you hate and can't make the grade in.
              I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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              • #8
                I have an AAS and BS both in CJ and neither are worth the paper they were printed on outside of CJ. You will learn what you need to know to be a police officer at the academy and during your FTO. Much of it will be a repeat of what you paid to learn at college. So yes, it will help you get through those phases. The more in depth things you will learn at college will be of no use to you for many years. By the time you will need them the law most likely will have changed and the theories you learned will either have been refuted or developed so much more that you will have to relearn them. If you ever decide to leave LE your degree will get you little, in fact it excluded me from several jobs. Think of it as being a nuclear physicist trying to become a high school science teacher. You will be very over qualified. I was only able to find a job outside of LE when I dropped the BS off my resume.

                If I had it to do over, I would still have majored in CJ, but I would have declared either a second major or a minor, in a completely different subject (too many people declare Sociology or Psychology). I would have most likely declared the second in a business major like accounting, finance, or IT. They are very different from CJ, but all apply to very specialized investigations or can be entry ways to well paying corporate security positions. The goal of college is to make you stand out. By following the crowd you simply blend in with everyone else.
                But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

                For the intelectually challenged: If the government screws the people enough, it is the right and responsibility of the people to revolt and form a new government.

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                • #9
                  I am about 25 credits away from finishing my BA in Criminal Justice. From there, I will probably end up working towards a Master's in Public Administration or something along those lines.

                  I definitely do not expect red carpets to roll out for me when I graduate... but I figure that obtaining a good education certainly cannot hurt. It's always good to have something to fall back on!

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                  • #10
                    A CJ degree is just as good as any other when it comes to initially getting hired, however the only thing it is good for outside of law enforcement is teaching (but only if you get your Masters or PhD). If you want any chance of getting a job outside of LE if you get injured, or a good chance of moving up into the department, you need a degree in something else. Being anything LT. or above is more like being a manager for a major business than being a cop. A degree in something business related (good ol' BSBA, Finance, accounting, Public Admin is a great one too) is what is going to help you.

                    Oh, and the fact that us cops don't know what the crud you're talking about when you say PL, CPL, and VTL should show you about how important those abbreviations are.

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                    • #11
                      Here is my opinion for you, I have a criminal Justice degree and i work in LE, I am getting married next summer and after the wedding I am re-enrolling in school to get another degree in something completely different, if i left LE today, i would have no idea in what to do with a CJ degree. Good Luck, get whatever you like but you dont need a CJ degree for LE.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lpstopper View Post
                        Maybe its cuz im slow, but What's PL, CPL and VTL?
                        Penal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, Vehicle and Traffic Law

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by EldoEsq View Post
                          Penal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, Vehicle and Traffic Law
                          Around here, we just call that "law". Not only does everyone know what you're talking about... but it's a whole lot shorter too.

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                          • #14
                            Any education is great to have. But a CJ degree might help you get more brass in the future. I always encourage education! Good luck!
                            "Abandon your animosities and make your sons Americans." - Robert E. Lee, 1865

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                            • #15
                              Just following along here, I'm a CJ major and would like to have a back up plan GOD FORBID something may happen that keeps me from working law enforcement, what types of things come with a Public Admin. minor? What do you learn? What types of jobs can you find with something like that on your record?

                              Thank You

                              Comment

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