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  • Criminal Justice degree = Worthless?

    I've heard this a couple times, that the Criminal Justice degree isn't really worth anything in the professional field.

    Is that true?

    I know the associates level is useful and even required for a lot of places. But is the Bach/Masters level useful?

    I've been working on a Bach. of Criminal Justice....so this concept is pretty frightening(especially since I have 91 credits in Criminal Justice haha) I would like to work for a Federal agency when I'm done with college, and if that means I have to go back and get a different degree or a masters degree, I'd like to find out.

    Thanks for any input guys!

  • #2
    Officers say this over and over again because if you aren't successful in law enforcement, that CJ degree is gone to waste. If you received a degree in business, accounting, etc. you would have something to fall back on if law enforcement doesn't work out for you.
    Rest In Peace Officer David Moore

    Gone, but not forgotten. EOW 1/26/11

    Poison - talk dirty to me - I was the baddest mo fo in my 6th grade Catholic School
    -Crass Cop

    Comment


    • #3
      No 4-year degree is ever worthless. If you don't make it into law enforcement or the criminal justice field, you can use your Bachelor's for other things. In some southern states, you can become a school teacher with any Bachelor's degree. You just have to attend some extra training. Also, if you choose, you can go on to get a master's in a different field. So, no it's not worthless.
      "I assume you all have guns and crack."

      Comment


      • #4
        I was a Psychology major switched to Criminal Justice, I am now starting the academy and my major of study is back at point A, Psychology. If unfortunately working as an officer doesn't work out I can revert to my major.
        Entered Academy: 08/2010 Graduated Academy: 12/20/2010 Career Search: 12/20/2010 - Present Never doubt. Never look back. Never question what you have done. Live with conviction and honor.

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        • #5
          i can't make the choice if i want to even go to college or just go straight to the academy and become a police officer. from what i read on here, most federal agencies require a minimum of a bachelors degree so you should be good to go.
          Been chatting to a girl online. She's funny, sexy and flirty. Now she tells me she is an undercover cop! How cool is that at her age!?

          Comment


          • #6
            Please use the "search" function. This same question has been asked dozens of times. NO DEGREE IS WORTHLESS. A CJ degree has its limitations should you pursue other career fields. I have a bachelors in Criminal Justice Administration and if I could do it over again, I would still major in it. Why? because I enjoyed the classes and my grades reflected it. If you are pursuing law enforcement, probation, corrections or something similar, then I think it's beneficial, but definitely not required. You could still seek out those careers even if you majored in something else in college. It really gets on my nerves for people to say that the CJ degree is worthless. If you put yourself on the job market with a bachelor's degree, you're still ahead of the curve against those who have an Associate's or no degree it all. I went to a large college in TN with a traditional (and tough) criminal justice program. I think that with all these technical/community colleges popping up crappy CJ programs, it's not helping the academic field any and somehow there's a stereotype that has been built (or continues to build) that the CJ degree is not worth anything. I disagree, but that's my .02.
            I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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            • #7
              ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^+1,00000000000000000000000000000 00000000

              Any degree is worthwhile. Some are more marketable than others.

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              • #8
                There are no worthless degrees, only worthless people.
                ...hunter of the shadows is rising...

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                • #9
                  Reminds me of an advertisement for some tech school that I heard on the radio.

                  It started with the sound of sirens and went on to say how their six week CJ program would launch them into the rapidly expanding law enforcement field.

                  Honestly, it made me sick...
                  The more you sweat in here, the less you'll bleed on the street. - Plaque at LASD academy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I love those commercials with the CJ programs where the guy is standing there and basically says make the call get a CJ degree and you can be like me and open doors for people as "personal security". Who knows maybe he's making $$$$$$
                    "It's like you said. All I am is what I'm going after." - Al Pacino

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                    • #11
                      I taught a CJ class at ITT last year. The assignments and projects were things middle school folks could have completed. I could have made the curriculum a bit harder, but since it was my first time there I went by the basic curriculum assigned. As easy as the curriculum was, I still had people failing or almost failing. Half the class wanted to do "CSI" type work and I'm sure it all stems from the show. I try to explain the process of getting into crime scene investigation and the fact that a science background is necessary in most situations. For those who are not full-time CSI, you still have to do your time on the street with a majority of the agencies if it's a commissioned position. The school wanted to make it a policy for Instructors to contact those students who did not show up for class. Last I checked, these folks were adults and I'm not there to hold their hand. It was an eye opener. I hold Instructor certifications in several areas and I realized that it's much better to teach courses that have students who actually want to do the work and learn. I think ITT has some very tough Info Technology courses and that's what they need to stick with. I'm not here to pick on them, but these schools need quit focusing so much on making money and moreso on academics.
                      Last edited by SgtScott31; 08-08-2010, 04:48 PM.
                      I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree with everything he said.

                        I have a business degree and am now finishing my degree in Organizational Law Enforcement Leadership (A CJ degree) because LE is where I will finish out my career and even if something was to change an "Organizational Leadership" degree will work.

                        Remember, if you have a CJ degree your degree will still transfer to a Master's program later and that can be in whatever you want. You may have to do take care of a few specialized undergrad courses if you are doing some specialized degree, but I wouldn't let it sway you away from a CJ degree if that's what you want.

                        My .02 cents.


                        Originally posted by SgtScott31 View Post
                        Please use the "search" function. This same question has been asked dozens of times. NO DEGREE IS WORTHLESS. A CJ degree has its limitations should you pursue other career fields. I have a bachelors in Criminal Justice Administration and if I could do it over again, I would still major in it. Why? because I enjoyed the classes and my grades reflected it. If you are pursuing law enforcement, probation, corrections or something similar, then I think it's beneficial, but definitely not required. You could still seek out those careers even if you majored in something else in college. It really gets on my nerves for people to say that the CJ degree is worthless. If you put yourself on the job market with a bachelor's degree, you're still ahead of the curve against those who have an Associate's or no degree it all. I went to a large college in TN with a traditional (and tough) criminal justice program. I think that with all these technical/community colleges popping up crappy CJ programs, it's not helping the academic field any and somehow there's a stereotype that has been built (or continues to build) that the CJ degree is not worth anything. I disagree, but that's my .02.
                        David Bailey Photography | Bailey Tactical

                        sigpic

                        "Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor satan shudders and says oh hell he's awake!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          ITT brings up another good point. Make sure you school is regionally accredited. There are only 6 regional accrediting agencies and DETC is not one of them (I learned the hard way). Regional accreditation is different from national accreditation. In many states, including Texas, the state certifying agency (TCLEOSE, POST, etc) won't recognize a degree that was granted by a college that isn't regionally accredited, which includes ITT and other similiar schools offering CJ degrees. Now, do I thin you can get a good education from these schools? - Yes, but what good is it if it isn't accepted in your state or by your employer.

                          Food for thought.



                          Originally posted by SgtScott31 View Post
                          I taught a CJ class at ITT last year. The assignments and projects were things middle school folks could have completed. I could have made the curriculum a bit harder, but since it was my first time there I went by the basic curriculum assigned. As easy as the curriculum was, I still had people failing or almost failing. Half the class wanted to do "CSI" type work and I'm sure it all stems from the show. I try to explain the process of getting into crime scene investigation and the fact that a science background is necessary in most situations. For those who are not full-time CSI, you still have to do your time on the street with a majority of the agencies if it's a commissioned position. The school wanted to make it a policy for Instructors to contact those students who did not show up for class. Last I checked, these folks were adults and I'm not there to hold their hand. It was an eye opener. I hold Instructor certifications in several areas and I realized that it's much better to teach courses that have students who actually want to do the work and learn. I think ITT has some very tough Info Technology courses and that's what they need to stick with. I'm not here to pick on them, but these schools need quit focusing so much on making money and moreso on academics.
                          David Bailey Photography | Bailey Tactical

                          sigpic

                          "Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor satan shudders and says oh hell he's awake!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry for not using the search function, my fault guys.

                            Yeah those ITT tech schools seem like a scandal more then anything. Education that isn't accredited...but all the students assume it's accredited.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I went to high school with a girl who is now going to Westwood College for a BA in CJ.

                              We talked a few months ago and I asked what she wanted to do with it, she said juvenile probation.

                              That's all well and good except she smokes marijuana just about everyday, shoplifts from the local Target, and takes ecstasy at parties.

                              I guess one of her instructors is a retired LEO and said to her "As long as you don't test positive, you'll be fine."

                              What the hell?

                              Generally speaking, the students in my CJ classes so far have been "interesting" to say the least.

                              I'm working on a CJ degree and plan to minor in public administration.

                              Sure, I could get it in something else but there is nothing I enjoy like CJ and, like another poster said, my grades reflect that.
                              The more you sweat in here, the less you'll bleed on the street. - Plaque at LASD academy

                              Comment

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