In today’s time, the law enforcement experts of the criminal justice scene are confronting difficulties like it had never been done previously. Criminal undertakings are getting more perplexing and their strategies require new abilities to mature appropriately. In light of these rising difficulties, a law enforcement degree has never been more important to long term achievement. But what degree is best for law enforcement?
Numerous years back, police and other law enforcement laborers did not require a higher education, however various different associations are beginning to support applicants who have some type of higher education under their belts. As somebody in law enforcement starts to spend some time working in the field, they might be contemplating their choices to climb in their vocations.
As far as professional success is concerned, earning a Bachelor’s or Master’s qualification is one of the most clear approaches to pursue new levels as an expert. It requires extensive exertion and assets to do this, yet there are several top degrees that people from the police force and policemen can seek in order to propel their professions. Some of the best jobs for majors in communications, criminal justice, and the social and political sciences reside in local and federal law enforcement.
Why does a law enforcement degree matter?
When it comes to jobs concerning the law enforcement department, not all of them require a certain type of degree. For example, you do not exactly need a higher education if you want to become a police officer. The educational qualifications needed to be a police officer differ from one state to another and from one agency to another. There are some cases where the only obligation regarding education is to graduate from high school or receive a G.E.D.
In other cases, the law enforcement department needs almost 60 college credits or at least an associates degree before it hires someone. Often, a 4 year long degree also becomes an essential requirement. Moreover, particular fields within the law enforcement department, require candidates to have an advanced degree.
Regardless of whether or not a bachelor’s degree is an essential requirement, it will always work in your favour if you have such a degree in a law enforcement-related field. Having a higher education will automatically put you in a better position as compared to your competitors. You will not only have a greater probability to be hired, but will also have an easier journey when it comes to your career growth. On top of that, most of the time, people in law enforcement with a higher level of education, are more likely to get a better salary depending upon their level of qualification. Usually, a person who can speak another language also makes the cut for a higher rate of pay.
If you aspire to become a successful law enforcement officer in either a state or a federal agency, then you need to be well aware of the fact a degree is a compulsory in order to score a good job. A degree in a field other than what is suitable for a law enforcement officer can also prove to be advantageous for you. This is because federal agencies also need experts in areas like accounting, computer science, finances, etc.
The following three points summarize why a law enforcement degree or any other relevant degree is important for a striving law enforcement officer to have:
- Better chances of getting hired on the desired position
- Higher pay
- Career growth
A law enforcement degree is literally an investment whose benefits you can reap with time. You can go about acquiring a degree any way you deem comfortable. You can either graduate first with a degree before you start searching for a job or you can start your career and then have yourself enrolled in an online program.
Best Degrees For Police Officers
Given below is a list of some of the best degrees or courses you can take to become a police officers that will help you in the law enforcement department:
- Social Science (Psychology, Sociology, Criminology)
- Foreign Language Degree
- Criminal Justice
- Law Enforcement in Public Safety Leadership
- Finance or Accounting
- Computer Science
- Cyber Security
- Homeland Security
- Political Science
- Paralegal Studies
- Juvenile Justice
What is the best law enforcement degree for a federal job?
The law enforcement department presents candidates with a variety of different options for available federal positions. This is for people who are currently employed in the law enforcement field, as well as for the ones who would like to enter the field. However, the requirements to start employment at a federal agency are more strict as compared to joining a local law enforcement department. A clean background (no criminal record) and physical fitness are also key when it comes to law enforcement related fields, but it is education which makes a world of a difference. To become a federal agent, an applicant needs to have at least a bachelor’s degree.
An agency can highlight the choice programs that can make a candidate more competitive. It is important to note that along with a law enforcement degree, many agencies also search for other qualifications in their applicants. Therefore, if you are applying for a job in law enforcement, it is important for you to have solid leadership qualities, excellent written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, flexibility, ability to work individually and in a team, along with integrity and honesty.
The kind of program that you choose for yourself will depend upon what field in the federal agency you would like to work for. Regardless, there are specific programs that will be extremely beneficial for you.
Best Degrees For FBI Agents
As far as federal law enforcement is concerned, a job in the Federal Bureau of Investigation is one of the most sought after. Here is a list of a few degrees that can help you with it:
- Criminal Justice
- Cyber Security
- Forensic Science
- Accounting Finance
- Bio Terrorism
- International Terrorism
- Counter Terrorism
- Law Enforcement and Public Safety
- International Studies
Best Degrees For Police Chief
A police chief is responsible for various things such as managing officers, preparing daily, weekly and monthly reports, and informing authorities and those involved, of investigations and regulations. There are other important tasks that fall under the umbrella of being a police chief and that includes training and examining officers and other personnel, combining forces with other law enforcement agencies or court representatives, and testifying in court hearings. Getting employed in the law enforcement department, can be both, mentally and physically taxing. Moreover, there are high chances that police chiefs can face harmful or life-threatening situations. Therefore, what better way can there be to add on to your knowledge and skill set than education? The following list covers some interesting degrees that can be really beneficial for a police chief:
- Criminal Justice
- Law Enforcement
- Public Administration
- International Relations
Best Degrees For Police Detectives
A detective is often referred to as an investigator and is typically under the employment of a law enforcement agency. There are various scenarios where a detective can be called on duty, this includes criminal cases where gathering evidence and analyzing the facts is crucial. The responsibilities assigned to a detective are usually conducting interviews of witnesses and possible suspects, studying documents and records involved in a case, observing possible suspects, as well as taking part in carrying out arrests.
Detectives have to work full-time, which sometimes also involves working overtime, however, they are paid for any extra time they might give to their work or spend in the work facility. It is common for them to take shifts during the weekends and at night if they do not have seniority on a police force. Moreover, the risk of coming face to face with criminals, personal injury, and even death is higher-than-average in this field. However, serving the public and their right to justice and safety, does come with a great personal reward and satisfaction.
Therefore, it is important to have some sort of education that can help you and make you prepared for such challenges. The following list includes some of the degrees that you can opt for if you want to be a police detective:
- Forensic Science
- Criminal Justice
- Public Relations
It is always a good idea not to rush into things especially when they are pertaining to important matters like your education and career. Therefore, before impulsively opting for a degree which stands out to you, it is a better option to try to analyze yourself and understand what kind of skill sets you have and where you can apply them in your career. Certain degrees make perfect sense when it comes to the police department and law enforcement jobs. However, that does not mean they are the correct option for you.
The best way to go about it is to imagine where you want your career to go and what law enforcement degrees are best for you. Then gauge all of your options and choose a degree that best correlates with the field you want to go for.