Page 1 of 2 12 Last
  1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    South
    Posts
    27

    Will earning a degree in Criminal Justice give me an edge

    Hello, I'm Nick. And honestly, becoming a police officer has always been a dream of mine. My father himself is a police officer and because of him, I want to do this. He risks his life every day doing something worthy.
    While becoming a police officer is a dream of mine, I do want a college degree. So I plan on majoring in Criminal Justice. I heard from my mother's co-worker that she knew a man who graduated with a Criminal Justice degree and couldn't find a job in Florida. Will having this degree really not help me at all?
    Oh and on a side note, I'd like to ask why the Collier County Sheriff's Office is so popular.

  2. #2
    Helper of Joy of others
    Hisrighteousness's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    In a very beautiful place
    Posts
    316
    Earning a college degree will always give you an edge in the United States of America

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    South
    Posts
    27
    Yes, an edge I suppose. But it never necessarily guarantees you a job.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    deputyjrp55's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    44

    Degree?

    I think everyone in Law Enforcement should strive for a degree. I think in this day and age you need to use whatever advantage you have. I am not sure a degree in Criminal Justice will help you if you dont get a job in Law Enforcement. I would get a BS in a subject you can use if Law Enforcement doesnt work out. I have a Masters Degree, it never got me the job but atleast got me to the interview.... FYI, having the degree will also help for promotion in most jobs as you climb up the ladder...

    I say its the smartest thing you could do...

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    S. Florida
    Posts
    140
    Most agency around here require at least an Associates degree or equivalent.

    A bachelors degree of any kind will look good and get you more of a look than someone with out it. Having a degree is more important than what it's in. Criminal Justice can't hurt and if you want to be in Law Enforcement sounds like a good choice, but I don't think it it a major factor if it's in something other than Criminal Justice.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    South
    Posts
    27
    I do plan on getting a second degree. I might minor in education or in nursing. I haven't figured out what I really want as a safety degree. Because I do know that a CJ degree will be basically useless if I don't get a job as a police officer.

  7. #7
    FNG
    TR10's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Sunny Florida
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick14 View Post
    I heard from my mother's co-worker that she knew a man who graduated with a Criminal Justice degree and couldn't find a job in Florida.

    Will having this degree really not help me at all?
    There's probably alot more to that story than just the watered down "office gossip". Literally hundreds of things could've factored into that such as criminal record, drugs, driving record, polygraph results, medical conditions,etc. And regardless how well you know someone, unless it's a family member (and even then, I'd hold my breath), there is always information held back for whatever reason. What if he was a guy with a criminal past and a criminal justice degree from University of Phoenix Online ? see my point...

    The job market is tough in general, and will most likely only become tougher in the future...it is my personal view that even an AA degree these days is pretty much worthless. I believe in the future to be truly competitive in any job/career hunt, a BA will be pretty much a minimum requirement. Long story short, don't factor in any information, and yes; go and get yourself a degree. Whether or not to pursue an education should NEVER be a "should I, or shouldn't I" question. Remember, a degree can never be a negative thing.

  8. #8
    FNG
    TR10's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Sunny Florida
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick14 View Post
    Because I do know that a CJ degree will be basically useless if I don't get a job as a police officer.
    Not true...

    google is your friend.

    http://www.worldwidelearn.com/online...tice-major.htm

    I personally know a few people who have used a CJ degree to catapult themselves into law school, as well as different departments within the Justice System.... There's more to the field of Law Enforcement than just patrol cops.

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    South
    Posts
    27
    That is very true. Growing up with a teacher for a mother and a police officer for a father, I've always been told education is everything. I'm not going to mess this up at all.

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    South
    Posts
    27
    Other than being a police officer, I'd never want to go into law in any other form. That's why I said that a CJ degree would be useless to me.

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    3,049
    A CJ degree is not useless, but don't get one if the only intention is its use in law enforcement. CJ is mostly theory, and in of itself will not help you get a job any more than any other degree, and will not necessarily help you on the job.

    If CJ theory is what interests you, please get a degree in it. If history or music interest you, get that. If you really want to be a cop, but could also see yourself at some point going into education or nursing, I would get one of those. If you have an education degree, and become a cop, you'll have a bigger edge if you want to teach on the side (be it at the academy or just normal college classes) than you would with just a CJ degree.

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    deputyjrp55's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    44
    As a 20 year vet I beg to differ..... Unfortunatley a Criminal Justice Degree will not be of use in anything that you do i life... including Law Enforcement!!!!
    Do yourself a favor and determine what you would like to do besides Law Enforcement and talk to a professional counselor at a university.. Dont listen to me or any other idiot on this site...

    FYI, StudChris, I will disagree with your theory on how other degrees dont prepare you for other occupations.... I dont know your educational background but you are 100% wrong when it comes to that!!!!!

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    56
    An education is always great and it's smart of you to pursue it. Unfortunately it doesn't give much of an edge. I'd say get a degree in what interests you whether it be cj or not

    good luck!!

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    South
    Posts
    27
    So it's fine if I get a degree in nursing or education? And I'd still be able to join law enforcement fairly easily? well, not easily. But having a degree would be good. It wouldn't stop me right? The fact that I have a degree in something completely different.

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    56
    Hell Nursing (if you're interested) would be great you can work on your days off. As a bachelors none is better than another from what I've seen. As you start furthering your career and want to rise through the ranks you may want to get a masters in public administration or business management.

    Remember don't get a degree in something that doesn't interest you. It's the worst!!! Take my advice on that one

  16. #16
    Aspiring LE Officer
    IAmTheLaw83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    125
    As someone who used to work at a major university helping students, I can atest that the importance of an undergraduate degree is not necessarily the subject matter, but the discipline required to complete the degree itself. You can always "specialize" with a graduate degree.

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fort Myers
    Posts
    85
    I have a Criminology degree and I'm currently still looking for jobs. Although I don't have a job yet I still have an advantage over a lot of people. I feel like advertising my degree in oral boards is what really sells me.

  18. #18
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    new england
    Posts
    156
    Where I am from, if you have a degree in CJ or Criminology you get an increase in pay. Up to 25 percent extra for a MS, 20 for BS and 15 for AS. Its called the Quinn Bill. However, recently due to economic times many towns have lost state funding for it.

    I wouldnt call a CJ degree useless or that you will never use it. A degree in CJ gives you a basic overview of policing, corrections, probation/parole, theory why crimes occur with some sociology tossed in etc. Not everything you will ever need to know is taught in an academy. An academy is basic information about how the do the job. A degree gives you a little bit of insight as to why crimes occure and theories of policing etc. Which you can apply to your job. For some this may help them in their selection of what career path they wish to go down. Such as corrections or probation etc. To call a CJ degree usless is ignorant. I have an AS in CJ, a BS in Criminology and a MS in Police Administration. My degrees have served me well and were definately a selling point.

    Many police officers and troopers in my state also have law degrees.
    Last edited by campuscop2000; 01-13-2010 at 02:53 AM.

  19. #19
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    3,049
    Quote Originally Posted by deputyjrp55 View Post
    FYI, StudChris, I will disagree with your theory on how other degrees dont prepare you for other occupations.... I dont know your educational background but you are 100% wrong when it comes to that!!!!!
    Hey boss man I think you got me wrong. What I was saying is that any degree will help him get on the job just as much as a CJ degree was. In the same sentence I was saying that he will use very little info he gets from a CJ degree on the job. My bad, should have been two separate thoughts.

  20. #20
    Aspiring LE Officer
    IAmTheLaw83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    125
    Correct: no degree, or education for that matter, is "useless." Even a degree that is not high in demand job-wise can be used as a stepping stone to earn a "useful" degree.

  21. #21
    Forum Member
    off_kimball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    342
    Quote Originally Posted by deputyjrp55 View Post
    As a 20 year vet I beg to differ..... Unfortunatley a Criminal Justice Degree will not be of use in anything that you do i life... including Law Enforcement!!!!
    Do yourself a favor and determine what you would like to do besides Law Enforcement and talk to a professional counselor at a university.. Dont listen to me or any other idiot on this site...
    I agree 100%. I have got an Associate's In Law Enforcement then transferred to a large University and earned a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice and Criminology.

    I am sure it helped me get the interview over the other guy or maybe even the position over someone without it. It did make the academy classroom part a breeze. But beyond that it has been very useless. Two years in I got a little discouraged and started looking for other jobs at companies my friends had went to and none could get over the CJ degree. I looked into the Officer Program with the Navy and Air Force who both said they like to see something more useful than a CJ degree. This past summer with over 5 years LE experience (k9, Traffic, and Traffic Homicide Investigator) I applied to the FBI. I received an email saying I did not qualify with a CJ degree unless I had Detective experience or 15 credit hours in computer Science, Foreign Language, or Accounting.

    I think the BEST thing you can do is go to college, but the WORSE is a CJ degree get something that may be useful in case you get in and don't like it for whatever reason: money, shifts, hours ect.

  22. #22
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    South
    Posts
    27
    Thank you. That's exactly what I fear. So I'll definitely consider getting a degree in nursing or teaching. Either way, I WILL have a backup plan.

  23. #23
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    56
    If I didn't mention it before most agencies in south Florida happen to be hiring recruits with 4- year degrees reardless if it is a requirement or not

  24. #24
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    new england
    Posts
    156
    Quote Originally Posted by off_kimball View Post
    I agree 100%. I have got an Associate's In Law Enforcement then transferred to a large University and earned a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice and Criminology.

    I am sure it helped me get the interview over the other guy or maybe even the position over someone without it. It did make the academy classroom part a breeze. But beyond that it has been very useless. Two years in I got a little discouraged and started looking for other jobs at companies my friends had went to and none could get over the CJ degree. I looked into the Officer Program with the Navy and Air Force who both said they like to see something more useful than a CJ degree. This past summer with over 5 years LE experience (k9, Traffic, and Traffic Homicide Investigator) I applied to the FBI. I received an email saying I did not qualify with a CJ degree unless I had Detective experience or 15 credit hours in computer Science, Foreign Language, or Accounting.

    I think the BEST thing you can do is go to college, but the WORSE is a CJ degree get something that may be useful in case you get in and don't like it for whatever reason: money, shifts, hours ect.

    For FBI S/A they will accept a 4 year degree in accounting or computer science I believe. However, they are not a tradition LE agency in the fact they dont do patrol work, work crashes, domestics etc. They are a specialized agency. A CJ degree for their mission is not as valuable as the ones I listed due to their mission. I find it hard to believe that the Navy turned you down for OCS. You must have a pitiful PFT. As far as the military goes, in general a degree is a degree and you are qualified for OCS based on your application package. Not what your degree is in. You get selected for your MOS after, you graduate OCS based on class standing and the needs of the military.

    There are more useless degrees then CJ. Those that say its useless either dont have one or dont understand it. A CJ degree just gives you theory as to why crimes occur, backgrounds on policing etc. All those are relevant to your job. You dont get a degree in biology to be a mechanic. You dont get a degree in education if you want to be a lawyer. You get a degree for the job and or career field you want to enter. I agree that if you want to be a criminologist then that is what the degree is geared towards. However, certain aspects can still be applied to your job. A degree is not meant to give you specific instruction on how to do your job just an overview of what its about.

  25. #25
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    S. Florida
    Posts
    140
    Quote Originally Posted by PalmBeach50 View Post
    If I didn't mention it before most agencies in south Florida happen to be hiring recruits with 4- year degrees reardless if it is a requirement or not
    I think a big part of that is because in this current economy they can. I know that for the most part they much prefer a degree, but today's pool is full of so many people with degrees that it make it really hard for those that don't have on.

    I wonder how many of those people will leave once the economy get better and they can get a better paying job in the field they went to school for.

    In the end a degree will always help, even if the person possessing it is a total bone head, and I know a few of these.

Page 1 of 2 12 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Click here to log in or register