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Well, what is the best degree to pursue?


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  • Well, what is the best degree to pursue?

    I didn’t want to hijack Kcadet’s thread so I figured I start a new post.

    I’m currently taking classes through an accelerated program that when I finish, I’ll graduate with an Associate’s in Business Administration. I want to then transfer those credits into a degree completion program to get my Bachelor’s in Criminology.

    From some of the comments that I’ve seen on this board since I’ve been coming on here – I get the impression that folks that have BTDT don’t think that Criminal Justice degrees are the way to go. They are limiting in a way. I know this subject has been hashed, re-hashed and hashed some more. But for someone who is pursuing a four year degree and have a career focus in LE but no particular field of specialty (at least not yet) what do you guys think is the better route to go?

    I know there is no easy answer, but just some ideals would be helpful.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    A college degree (2 yr. or 4 yr.) can go a long with SOME departments. It says something about your maturity level, about the ability to stick to and accomplish a task. Not to say that Military Service is any less likely to get you a job but the degree definitely helps. For many of the larger departments there are also different pay scales for high school, 2 yr., 4 yr. and graduate school educated applicants and officers. My PD. has preferred applicants to have a college degree and now requires those wishing to be promoted to the rank of Captain and above, have a graduate degree as well. My PD will even pay for your additional schooling, should you choose to do that.

    I have a BA in Sociology and CJ. The Sociology opens up many possibilities outside of police work. Many would also say the same thing about Psychology, Business Management, Accounting (can you say Fraud or Computer Crimes Detective?) even fluency in foreign languages.

    Education is a wonderful thing. How you apply it is up to you. If you already know you want to be a police officer the areas of specific education can be a specialized (forensic sciences, criminology, etc.) or as broad as you want. Am I just rambling now???



    • #3
      Get a degree in something unrelated. As far as hiring and stuff goes it makes no difference what your degree is but by having a different one it gives you something to fall back on if police work doesn't work out.


      • #4
        Something to remember here. The way times are (and have been over recent years) changing, do not figure that whatever degree you get now will be your last one.

        I can remember when the hot thing was accounting. Now, graduate accountants are starting out in some areas at minimum wage or just a little above it.

        I can remember when the hot thing was teaching. Now, teachers are not getting paid enough to put bread on the table.

        Then it was CAD drafting. Well guess what? And on and on.

        Whatever you do, be prepaired to go back to school if you decide (or are forced) to change careers. Remember that very few folks have just ONE career path anymore. I know that there will always be a call for LE. I also know that there WILL come a time when you are no longer wanting to do it. Now that time (if you are very lucky) may not be until it is time to retire.

        However, the majority of folks who get into LE, leave before their fifth year on the job. Just a little something to keep in mind.
        6P1 (retired)


        • #5
          I'd get the masters in physclogy. I started off going for an accounting ended up with a degree in economics. Years later I got my masters. I was a policeman all my life but also a Real Estate Broker. The masters opened many door for advancement in the dept, and they wasn"t worried about what it was in as long as you could hang it on the wall. It did help me also in real estate later in life. The physc or social degree would give you something to fall back on however if everything else you wanted didn't work out. Good luck in what ever you decide.
          Stay safe and watch your back. Survived Katrina. Now a Official member of the Chocolate City Police.


          • #6
            Public Administration, Business, Computers, anything except CJ.


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