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Is it worth getting a criminal justice degree? College student sumped here. Help!

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  • Is it worth getting a criminal justice degree? College student sumped here. Help!

    I have heard from several people that a CJ degree is nearly useless and that I should go for a different degree that can open more doors for more if law enforcement doesn't work out. Since apparently police academies don't care what kind of degree you have. Problem is, I am not interested in anything else. All I ever wanted to do was become a cop and detective eventually. So criminal justice was the only thing on my mind. To get a bachelors degree in cj.

    So my questions are:

    1.) Is it truly useless getting a degree in criminal justice? Would you recommend getting one?

    2.) What other degree can I go for that are similar but can open more doors for me? Maybe business?

    Thanks for any help. I am really stumped on what to do with my life...

  • #2
    Type "degree" and "CJ degree" into the search engine; you will find a thousands posts to read.

    I don't consider any degree to be useless, however some are more likely than others to lead to employment outside of the law enforcement arena.

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    • #3
      Get a BA in Business. You'll take management courses that help you on the street, you'll take accounting classes that will help you budget a household on a slim budget, and you'll have a degree that can translate to ANY job market. a CJ degree is not a magic whistle.

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      • #4
        If you want to be a Police Officer a BA in English is a pretty good one to get, lots of reports.

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        • #5
          If you are so stumped that as a college student you can't even do basic internet research, you will most likely struggle in college. If you can't make a simple decision without asking total strangers you will struggle in Field Training.

          That's harsh but it's true.

          I know lots of people who have CJ degrees outside of Law Enforcement. BA/BS in Criminal Justice can be a primer for law school, because you will read countless legal briefs. It could lead you into other social sciences like psychology or sociology.
          semper destravit

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          • #6
            Like others have said, no degree is worthless.

            However, I would advise you to get a degree in something else. Any CJ you will need to know will be taught in the academy. And while it's fun and all to know theories of WHY people commit crimes, it's pretty pointless in real life. I'd major in something else (business, accounting, biology, etc.) and minor in CJ - that way to you can take all the interesting classes - like juvenile justice and whatnot - and skip some of the other ones.
            Originally posted by RSGSRT
            We've reached a point where natural selection doesn't have a chance in hell of keeping up with the procreation of imbeciles.
            Why is it acceptable for you to be an idiot, but not acceptable for me to point it out?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Aerohead View Post
              Like others have said, no degree is worthless.

              However, I would advise you to get a degree in something else. Any CJ you will need to know will be taught in the academy.
              It's just that some degrees are better than others.

              Here's the other deal, and one you'll have to research for yourself. Figure out which state, or agency, you want to work in. Find out if their academy program grants college credit for attending/graduating. I was soooo sure I was doing the right thing getting my CJ AA degree first. Then I was accepted into the LAPD academy and was told, I would receive college credit from Cal Sate L.A. for the classes I would take while there...UNLESS, I already HAD those classes prior. NO COLLEGE CREDIT for me. So, looking back, I could have had my AA in something/anything else and then received MORE college credit for going through the academy.
              "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

              Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

              Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kieth M. View Post
                It's just that some degrees are better than others.

                Here's the other deal, and one you'll have to research for yourself. Figure out which state, or agency, you want to work in. Find out if their academy program grants college credit for attending/graduating. I was soooo sure I was doing the right thing getting my CJ AA degree first. Then I was accepted into the LAPD academy and was told, I would receive college credit from Cal Sate L.A. for the classes I would take while there...UNLESS, I already HAD those classes prior. NO COLLEGE CREDIT for me. So, looking back, I could have had my AA in something/anything else and then received MORE college credit for going through the academy.
                I'm sorry I don't get exactly what you are saying

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                • #9
                  If you cannot process what Kieth CLEARLY stated, you might want to rethink your career choices. As a police officer you are going to spend considerable time deciphering things much more cryptic than what my colleague stated.
                  In God We Trust
                  Everyone else we run local and NCIC

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by craftspace234 View Post
                    I'm sorry I don't get exactly what you are saying






                    At the risk of sounding a bit harsh, what's not to understand in my colleague's offering? (Post#8). Sounds pretty straight forward to me, and best part of it is, it's based on personal experience. In reviewing all the replies you've received thus far, I don't see one which isn't straight to the point and accurate.

                    We don't wildly embrace CJ Degrees as a forum, because of their often limited marketability. That said, if CJ is the degree you desire, then by all means, go for it.

                    Now, I suggest you go back and re-read each and every post my colleagues have offered you. There's not a bad one in the bunch. Best of luck in whatever you decide.

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                    • #11
                      What I said was, that having a CJ degree will require you taking certain classes.

                      These same classes, or their equivalent, will be taught at the police academy.

                      Some academies offer college credit upon successful completion/graduation.

                      The exception being is that if you ALREADY HAVE CREDIT from college, the you will NOT get college credits from the police academy.

                      If you had a degree in ANY other discipline, then you WOULD get college credit (if offered) for the academy classes, which might put you further toward ANOTHER or advanced degree.
                      "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                      Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                      Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kieth M. View Post
                        What I said was, that having a CJ degree will require you taking certain classes.

                        These same classes, or their equivalent, will be taught at the police academy.

                        Some academies offer college credit upon successful completion/graduation.

                        The exception being is that if you ALREADY HAVE CREDIT from college, the you will NOT get college credits from the police academy.

                        If you had a degree in ANY other discipline, then you WOULD get college credit (if offered) for the academy classes, which might put you further toward ANOTHER or advanced degree.
                        Ahhh I see. Thank you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by craftspace234 View Post
                          I have heard from several people that a CJ degree is nearly useless and that I should go for a different degree that can open more doors for more if law enforcement doesn't work out. Since apparently police academies don't care what kind of degree you have. Problem is, I am not interested in anything else. All I ever wanted to do was become a cop and detective eventually. So criminal justice was the only thing on my mind. To get a bachelors degree in cj.

                          So my questions are:

                          1.) Is it truly useless getting a degree in criminal justice? Would you recommend getting one?

                          2.) What other degree can I go for that are similar but can open more doors for me? Maybe business?

                          Thanks for any help. I am really stumped on what to do with my life...
                          Lol I have a degree in Psychology since they didn't offer Criminal Justice at my college....basically ALL liberal Arts Degrees are on the same level.

                          In the private sector, they seriously couldn't care less about what your major is as long as you had work experience. So I would disagree with most people saying that a degree is useless. A degree IS USELESS only without experience. Work experience and a $200,000 degree go hand-in-hand.

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                          • #14
                            No it's not useless....I remember I used to read these posts and think "Man I go this degree for nothing" but then I discovered the field of insurance fraud, adjusting, claims investigations, etc. I've been working work comp investigations for almost 3 months and let me tell you the field is really diverse and has translatable skills to levels of LE beyond that of a city or county cop, especially if you're bilingual. Don't let these dudes tell you what value your degree has, you have to remember most of these people don't have a degree. They claim the academy is "equal" to a criminal justice degree but they're one injury, one fatal wound, one "Mike Brown"/"Oscar Grant", etc away from losing their jobs...then what?? These people fear you....they fear you'll figure out what I know, then dwarf them in a few years. Keep your head up and keep pushing!

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                            • #15
                              ANY degree is useful. But not everyone chooses to get one. I never graduated from college, and it doesn't bother me one iota.
                              The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

                              I Am the Sheepdog.


                              "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
                              that we are all that stands between
                              the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


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