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Son wants to be a LEO.

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by Averageman, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. ICARRY2

    ICARRY2 NRA Life Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Show your son all the leo's responses to your question.

    Im not a leo, but a business degree can be useful in many different fields.
  2. 1713


    Sep 27, 2007
    Good post. You certainly have a point. Different paths for different people. I still think that the benefits of military experience prior to LE con't be discounted; however, you're clearly right about the pay/perk difference between officer and enlisted. Anyway, I should clarify about my agency requiring college because I wasn't very clear and didn't explain. Requirement is 60 credit hours (which now that I think about it it is something different than an actual degree) I obtained the documentation showing credits that we all earn in boot camp, service schools, etc. Then I completed what were basically correspondence courses that had college credits to reach that magic number of 60.

    I just don't agree with the notion that a person needs to drop tens of thousands of dollars to a college or university to be successful or happy in life. Of course, some fields need lots and lots of book learnin' but society seems to have been tricked by academia that everyone needs college.

  3. BMH

    BMH Lifetime Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    If your kid is the right age then he might be able to qualify for an Explorer Program. Where a law enforcement agency will let him experience work 'behind the scene'. He could talk to several in an agency and learn what their experience and education is like.
  4. cowboywannabe

    cowboywannabe you savvy?

    Jan 26, 2001
    im in l.e. and im taking college classes right now. an AA/AS in CJ is as far as id take a CJ degree. it really is useless even at the BS level. an AA in CJ is fine if he gets a BS/BA in something else like business mngmt, Am. History, or almost anything.
  5. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    I have a bachelors in CJ/Criminology. It was a dual degree, and is dual useless. The fact that you have a college education is a bonus, doesn't really matter what its in when it comes to getting a fair shake.
  6. CAcop


    Jul 21, 2002
    I know. It drives me nuts when the press writes and article about LE practices and they quote some CJ proffessor who never worked the streets. As much as admin pogues telling how things are based on their street time 20+ years ago it drives me even more nuts to hear somebody tell you what best practices are based off them reading books and pontificating in class.
  7. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    Those that can, do and those that can't, teach. The truth of that gets reinforced all the time.

    What drives me crazy is that most of the attorneys training police officers in Kentucky are retired cops with law degrees who have never been practicing attorneys - pretty much the same thing. It bothers me because they are (and I was) taught complete nonsense about lawsuits and liability and court. The first time I testified in court was a murder trial and I was the world's most retarded witness, thanks to what I was taught in the academy and the prosecutor's complete failure to prep me. Only the state police and probation & parole officers here, get legal training from people who actually litigate the subject they are teaching about, in court (now if only they got more).

    Guess that's off topic.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  8. cowboywannabe

    cowboywannabe you savvy?

    Jan 26, 2001
    very few are those with credible street time who can also teach as well based on real experiences.
  9. lwt210


    Nov 28, 2001
    You are wise beyond your years.

    I have a degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice. Dual majors...four year bachelor's degree.

    All that did for my LE career was delay my retirement by a few years and give me little to fall back on.

    I am early 40s and have been in LE since 1996. I have few regrets in life.

    The ONE BIG ARSE regret I have is switching majors from Engineering to Criminal Justice to afford me an easy time in college. I was young and didn't want to put forth the effort my Calculus and Chemistry classes called for. Cut in to my "me" time too much.

    Oh if I could go back and slap that kid (me) silly.

    I make decent cash and live a modest lifestyle with my family. My wife is within a stone's throw of being a RN. We are both really looking forward to that.

    Tell him that most of the cops I work with that have CJ degrees go back and get something else while working the job. Some have gone on to JD degrees, some go into finance, some engineering, some business or accounting.

    Youth doesn't last. Health, sometimes.....doesn't last. LE is a young man's game and when those young men age, they need to either stay healthy or have a solid plan B.

    And a CJ degree is not what I consider a solid plan B. Not by a long shot. Most of our recruiters roll their eyes when a prospect tells them they hold a CJ degree. I know I do.

    It's a huge waste. I wish someone had told me back in 89.

  10. Averageman


    Oct 22, 2011
    I'm hoping he will get a Law Degree and go from there.
    I may let him read the posts here and take him down to talk to a couple of local LEO's so he can get an opinion on what worked for them.
  11. RussP

    RussP Moderator

    Jan 23, 2003
    Central Virginia
    Great thread!!
  12. merlynusn


    Nov 16, 2007
    I have a degree in a non-CJ field. But it doesn't really help me if I need to fall back on something else. I agree CJ is a useless degree. It doesn't get you ahead with a department. My backup plan is emergency management, so I have to go back and get a degree in that field (one of those fields where you "need" a degree in it for the most part).

    I agree with Cowboy, have him get an AA/AS in CJ and then transfer to a 4 year college and get a BA/BS in something different like business or whatever else he's interested in.
  13. 11A


    Nov 28, 2011
    My advice is to let your son chose his path, but talk to him about options and back-up plans. I went to college and earned a degree in engineering. I spent 4 years in the military as an Infantry Officer, and now I am a Police Recruit for a large agency in the Midwest.

    I went to school for engineering because I wanted a degree that I could fall back on if I were to ever get hurt and not be able to work in my chosen career path anymore. Hopefully I will never have to use it, but if I can't be a LEO for whatever reason, I still have a way to support my family.

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  14. Sharky7

    Sharky7 Boomshakalaka

    Feb 21, 2009
    Computer science, accounting, and foreign language are good degrees for federal LE. If he is really interested, have him meet with a recruiter. It's never too early.

    I would also steer him away from criminal justice unless that is really all he will succeed at in college. Most police agencies provide a tuition reimbursement, so it is better in my opinion to be more diversified and get a broader undergrad degree. If he still wants a CJ degree, his agency will probably cover the costs for him to get his masters while he is on the job. Not enough coppers take advantage of their tuition reimbursement - its free education, might as well do it.
  15. trdvet


    Oct 2, 2004
    Nothing wrong with a CJ degree but just be advised that it is very narrow. In all honesty tell your son to become a firefighter and then a fire marshal which around here are both a firefighter and a cop.
  16. Silver_Bullet_00


    Mar 8, 2011
    Assuming he is 18 and going to college, he is going to do what he is going to do. I would give him advice, or have some LEO's tell him that a good ole Business degree will help you further you career in LE more. A Chief I know got the job over those with criminal justice degrees because he held a Masters in Business. Running a Police Dept is not all that different from running a business. A business degree will qualify you just as much for any job, and it makes you look more versatile in LE. I think for LE a Major in Business with a minor in Criminal Justice or Psychology is the way to go. The business degree will also give him something to fall back on. This advice was given to me in training (a NC BLET instructor) with a masters in criminal justice, going back to get his degree in business. I had a friend with a Bachelors degree in business get a job with a Federal agency a few months after he finished BLET in NC.

    The Business degree is best, especially if you want to lead and be in charge as an LEO. A business degree teaches you to manage.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  17. Mayhem like Me

    Mayhem like Me Semper Paratus

    Mar 13, 2001
    Not a chance
    May I suggest a degree in Public or business administration....

    He can stil take CJ classes to fill out his electives.
  18. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

    If he really wants a degree, provided it is to help him with a career that it is actually needed for, then get anything but a CJ degree. They are a dime a dozen those who have earned the degree. If he goes for CJ regardless then see what his options are at his school for minoring in something else. For example, in my agency if you want to pursue a specific career track you need to have a degree for some things. Sometimes it is simply a combination of experience and school course credit. Other times you do not need a degree, period. Social sciences that will allow him to set up a shingle somewhere outside of law enforcement is good, otherwise business; engineering; languages; law and pre law; marketing; even theology if you go into a masters at an appropriate school and get experience for being a chaplain. Anything that can be used as a degree to work in something outside of law enforcement can be used to specialized with in law enforcement.
  19. jwhite75

    jwhite75 Gubmint Worker

    Jan 6, 2009
    Dub V
    Tell him to major in business or accounting. He will have a worthwhile major, learn organization and if he decide he wants to be more than a police officer like a federal agent, etc, it will make him highly marketable.
  20. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    Of course, like all college advice, what really counts is getting the degree and a college degree in basket weaving is worth more than being 3 hours short of a degree in engineering.