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Posted: 11/20/2011 3:27:54 PM EDT
Ok, so I have decided to go back to college and get a degree. I was thinking of nursing, but with a mortgage and kids I just can't swing the clinical that is required. So my second choice is Criminal Justice. I would want to be more on the parole/probation side of things, not on the L.E.O side of things. So, good career move or not? Is the criminal justice degree pretty universal? I know to make any kind of money I would need my bachelors degree. So any advice and opinions are well appreciated.... My background so far has been 17 years in the automotive business, so I have no real world job skills to just go out and look for work. Just dealership experience and this business isn't panning out... Thanks guys....
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 3:41:14 PM EDT
I have never heard anything good about criminal justice degrees. employeeablility
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 3:46:43 PM EDT
Is a P&P officer a good job where you live? You do realize the job is likely more dangerous than a street job and you don't have the same resources. While the CRJ is fine, you can pursue other useful degrees UNLESS the CRJ is a requirement. What is the agency's requirement for education? That is the real deciding point.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 3:48:44 PM EDT
A real degree from a real college might get you somewhere. If this was one of those things you saw on tv while watching Jerry Springer it's nothing but junk!
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 3:49:54 PM EDT
Criminal Justice is what every swinging dick getting out of the military is getting. An accounting degree would be more valuable.

Kharn

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 3:53:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RDP:
Is a P&P officer a good job where you live? You do realize the job is likely more dangerous than a street job and you don't have the same resources. While the CRJ is fine, you can pursue other useful degrees UNLESS the CRJ is a requirement. What is the agency's requirement for education? That is the real deciding point.


Yeah, parole and probation is part of the state here, which is good. Good benefits, pension, and personal time off, all of which I don't get now. They want a bachelors degree for any kind of higher paying position. I can get into the department or with the state police with an associates degree, and work while I attain my bachelors. Just trying to figure out what kind of jobs out there are available with a degree in criminal justice. I would most likely get into the behaviorial sciences part of it.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 3:55:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Scorp_DX:
A real degree from a real college might get you somewhere. If this was one of those things you saw on tv while watching Jerry Springer it's nothing but junk!


Yes. This is through the local community college for the associates and the university for the bachelors... No late night infomercial here my friend..
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 3:55:58 PM EDT
If you really want to look at behavior, try a psych degree.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 3:57:44 PM EDT
Or a business degree since you already have business experience. Criminal justice would not be my first choice of degrees it's limited in what you can use it for and right now jobs prospects suck for most states. I would look at either sociology with a business minor, as most states take sociology degrees like they are criminal justice degrees. Plus sociology you can use for other things such as social work. Or business with a sociology minor if you plan on staying in business. To be a nurse you really have to love the job to do it, that's one of reasons there are so many openings you have put up with a lot of crap, from both the doctors and patients, you kind of get caught in the crossfire, and get dumped on a lot.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 3:58:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kharn:
Criminal Justice is what every swinging dick getting out of the military is getting. An accounting degree would be more valuable.

Kharn

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


Now that is an interesting thought. And with all the guys coming home from overseas the job market will be flooded with applicants eventually. Man, I should have done this whole second career thing years ago.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:01:33 PM EDT
If you're not doing LE, probation, corrections, or pursuing criminal law, I'd do something else. I have a BS in CJ, and it worked great when I worked in LE, but I have no use for it in my current career. A lot of shit is talked about that degree, mainly b/c many students get that degree and barely graduated/put any effort into it. But if you actually applied yourself to learning the legal system, you'll have a better understanding of law, rules of evidence, proceedure, courts, etc... than 99% of ARFCOM. Shit, most people here still don't understand the 4th and 5th amendment properly.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:04:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:06:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By colt0208:
Ok, so I have decided to go back to college and get a degree. I was thinking of nursing, but with a mortgage and kids I just can't swing the clinical that is required. So my second choice is Criminal Justice. I would want to be more on the parole/probation side of things, not on the L.E.O side of things. So, good career move or not? Is the criminal justice degree pretty universal? I know to make any kind of money I would need my bachelors degree. So any advice and opinions are well appreciated.... My background so far has been 17 years in the automotive business, so I have no real world job skills to just go out and look for work. Just dealership experience and this business isn't panning out... Thanks guys....


I would suggest, as someone who has a CJ degree, that you do no more that minor in Criminal Justice, and perhaps major in Psych instead. Hell, a Major in Creative Dance with a minor in CJ may do more than a CJ major.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:06:53 PM EDT
Everyone I know with a CJ claims it is the most useless degree possible, maybe above underwater pottery anyway.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:08:46 PM EDT
I have a Criminal Justice degree. I don't make any more money than the others I work with.

I believe it helped me get my job and when it comes time to promote it will help a little.

I would suggest getting a degree in what interests you. The most important thing is studying something that will keep your interest.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:09:02 PM EDT
I finished my BS in CJ in May. I'm currently unemployed. But that's mostly because I haven't really looked for a job these days. Taking a slightly longer than expected break from classes or a job. The LEO job market where I am is terrible at the moment. I'm sure its the same everywhere these days.

If I had to do it again, I would probably only get a minor in CJ. There were a few bullshit CJ classes that I had no interest in, but had to take anyway to fulfill credit requirements. I suggest looking into whether your school has a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the CJ honor society. Good way to network with current and future LEOs and lawyers.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:23:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2011 4:24:37 PM EDT by olivers_AR]
Son who graduated in May from a major university (GMU) is in the same boat. Working on getting him something in inside sales or IT helpdesk.

Originally Posted By the_outrider27:
I finished my BS in CJ in May. I'm currently unemployed. But that's mostly because I haven't really looked for a job these days. Taking a slightly longer than expected break from classes or a job. The LEO job market where I am is terrible at the moment. I'm sure its the same everywhere these days.

If I had to do it again, I would probably only get a minor in CJ. There were a few bullshit CJ classes that I had no interest in, but had to take anyway to fulfill credit requirements. I suggest looking into whether your school has a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the CJ honor society. Good way to network with current and future LEOs and lawyers.


Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:24:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Aimless:
Criminal justice degrees are a waste of time and money. LEO jobs are just going to want to see that you have a degree in something, they don't normally care what (FBI wants accountants but just talking about local/state). CJ degrees won't do you much good getting a cop job, won't do you much good once you have a cop job and won't help you do anything else if you don't get a cop job.


I concur. Get your degree in something else. Think of something that can give you skills that you can take to any profession (P&P or something else). Don't limit yourself. I also agree with the recommendations to stick with respected universities.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:28:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By olivers_AR:
Son who graduated in May from a major university (GMU) is in the same boat. Working on getting him something in inside sales or IT helpdesk.





A degree is a checkbox on the oral. That is it. You need more than a degree to get hired. All because you made it through college does not mean you will even get hired. There are still plenty of places hiring and the applicant pool is quite large. Don't discourage him by making him look somewhere else, but show him the places that are good to work and are hiring.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:30:25 PM EDT
Criminal Justice is close to worthless.

Get a real degree.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:31:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By colt0208:
Ok, so I have decided to go back to college and get a degree. I was thinking of nursing, but with a mortgage and kids I just can't swing the clinical that is required. So my second choice is Criminal Justice. I would want to be more on the parole/probation side of things, not on the L.E.O side of things. So, good career move or not? Is the criminal justice degree pretty universal? I know to make any kind of money I would need my bachelors degree. So any advice and opinions are well appreciated.... My background so far has been 17 years in the automotive business, so I have no real world job skills to just go out and look for work. Just dealership experience and this business isn't panning out... Thanks guys....


It's worthless, don't waste your time/money/effort on it. Go with Business, Finance or Accounting.



-CJ bachelors and currently back in school for Education/PE/Coaching.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:35:16 PM EDT
Get a CJ degree,

wipe ass with parchment

Fine job bagging groceries.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:39:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RDP:
Is a P&P officer a good job where you live? You do realize the job is likely more dangerous than a street job and you don't have the same resources. While the CRJ is fine, you can pursue other useful degrees UNLESS the CRJ is a requirement. What is the agency's requirement for education? That is the real deciding point.


This is what I was wanting to get into when I was in CJ. I graduated with AA/BS in CJ, had 8 years in the KSARNG including a year in Iraq, substitute teaching experience, etc......but since the economy tanked 2008-2009, everyone and their mom was applying for P&P officer jobs around the state. I applied for/interviewed for 5 different positions and each one was filled by a former LEO/corrections officer who had the practical experience from their job.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:40:47 PM EDT
I started working towards a CJ degree, then saw the light. Have you considered a Legal Studies degree? Many times you have the added benefit of the degree being through the Business school. It offers you MUCH greater flexibility career-wise. Whatever your choice, I wish you luck.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:41:19 PM EDT
I have an Associates Degree in CJ plus a few more hours at a university. I got it in 93 Then had a change of heart about going into law enforcement. I'm a little old now to start over but it is enough to satisfy the requirements for the TX Dept. of Public Safety if I wanted to go that way.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:42:25 PM EDT
20 years in the business, Parole and probation are the first things cut in budget crisis...

Jim
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 4:43:50 PM EDT
Most P&P agencies don't care what your degree is in as long as you have one. In KY they don't give a crap what you majored in. A CJ degree isn't going to help you be better in the job at all and one you get into the position you'll wonder why do you even need a degree to do this job?

Most people I've met who have CJ degrees and work in some form of CJ, either in law enforcement or the courts, all agree that the degree is useless.

If it was me I would major in something more universal and could provide a life in a different field in case you become a P&P officer and realize you don't like it (pretty common with most P&P officers around here).
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 5:01:38 PM EDT
For LEO, CJ degree isn't too great.

Prob/Parole, it isn't too bad actually. As mentioned, the Psych degree might interest you some more, but a BA/BS in CJ would be easier. My advice, as always, is to make A's in everything. That is how you set yourself above most CJ Degree holders. For help getting in, do an internship with your agency your senior year.

If you're going into LE before hand, that will help also.

Best of luck!
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 5:04:52 PM EDT
Thanks guys, I really appreciate all the advice so far. I really need to sit down and figure out what I want to do when I grow up..
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 5:17:58 PM EDT
I have a PhD in Theology with a minor in Christian Education, a BA in CJ, and an Associate in Corrections. As previously stated, a major in Psychology is going to be the superior choice for a Probation Officer. You might want to check out the job openings in your area, and see what they require, before you go all out on something that might not pay as good as you like. Where I live, the county Adult Probation Office, pays around $35K for starting POs. To me, that is not worth spending 4 years on a degree that means little. Many JR colleges offer a police academy type certification, do not fall into this trap without first checking your state and local PD requirements. Most require that you attend their academy, even if you have attended another one. Dallas PD, does this practice, as do other major cities. You say you do not want to be a LEO, so this may not be of concern, but just an FYI I thought I would share with you.

You might consider being a Parole officer for a pre-parole transfer facility, or other corrections environment as well. Usually the offenders are on better behavior, because they are trying to get out soon. On the other hand, if you tell someone something they do not want to hear, they may go ape-shit on you as well. So there are pros & cons, but it may pay a little better than a probation officer would, and you could still probably get by with a psychology degree w/ a cj minor. Just a thought.

Good Luck OP

-PC-
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 7:54:09 PM EDT
most police department don't require a degree, however something in probation or parole they would prefer you to have a degree but I wouldn't waste my degree on a criminal justice degree. if your tryna get into probation or parole more than likely you're gonna have to put in some time with an agency probably on the correction side. I know around my area chances of getting on probation or parole are pretty slim and I believe they only hire from state correctional officers. whatever you decide good luck!
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 8:05:13 PM EDT
You have close to 20 years in another career field. Will the departments that are hiring give you a serious look if you're in your late 30s (I assume)? It is certainly hearsay, but in my experience with fire and EMS, that is getting a little long in the tooth to be a good candidate. I have heard from people doing the hiring that they look for people who have life experience, but are not "too old". Although the process may lock you out at 35 or 40, the realistic chances of you getting hired as that day comes up drastically decline.

If you were looking at nursing, why not take a look at being a respiratory therapist? Starting pay is the same, and RT programs can be less competitive. You'll still be able to assist people in times of crisis and from my experience as a paramedic, could be a good "get out of the weather and work indoors in my old age" type of job.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 8:14:09 PM EDT
Get a BA in Business or an MBA-
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 8:17:53 PM EDT
I'm currently majoring in CJ. Total waste of time unless you plan on going into the field. I do plan on going into the field and CJ was pretty much the only thing that interested me, so I chose it for my major. The classes are fun as hell where am Im at too, University of Cincinnati.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 8:29:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2011 8:29:53 PM EDT by fettesbrotde]
CJ Degree guy here...

Don't get one. It's worthless. If you're just looking to have a degree to have a degree then it's fine.. but it won't get you anywhere.

ETA: Only did mine because I had about a year of credits towards CJ from being in the Navy.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 8:53:08 PM EDT
Have a criminal justice degree. Wish I'd done just about anything else... I mean, if you're gonna get a worthless degree do something fun like recreation and tourism, or exercise science.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 8:58:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2011 9:05:07 PM EDT by LessThanZero]
I have one, but received it 20 years ago when they still had some viability behind them. They are a total waste of time and money today, find something else like business or accounting. I'm actually embarrassed to tell people I have a CJS degree, mainly due to the fact that they are a dime a dozen and really will not do anything for you. Back in the day if you had one, you would almost be guaranteed a LE job or your choice, now employers look at you and ask what else you have to offer.

ETA: After reading your post fully Parole and Probation pretty much sucks from what I hear. Intensive Probation is fun from what I hear, but your going to work straight nights for your whole career.

My advise, and I'm not an expert (10 years .mil LE/SS and 13 years civilian LE) is seriously find a degree that you can fall back on if the probation/parole thing doesn't work out. If I was to do it all over again, I would probably get a degree in welding, business, finance, or accounting. I know, your scratching your head on a degree in welding. I like to build things with my hands, plus some of the barge companies a few towns over pay 100,000+ a year for welders but you have to be scuba certified (I am ). I now work in a career field that is way outside the box that I did for years, I'm happy and I don't have the constant grind of doing the same thing over and over day in and day out.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 9:05:49 PM EDT
For what its worth, i'm getting one

But I also have a CDL, and a handful of ASE certs. Plus I've worked construction sites and fire alarm / sprinkler jobs

Was it my ideal degree? no. I started out as a computer science major, but due to the fact that i'm horrendous at math, I couldn't stay in the program. Even though I flew through the base compute programming classes.

So i'll get out and get a job and go back to school to get computer certifications. Computer security has always interested me, and i'm trying to figure out how to tie that in.

To finish that off, I have a backup plan and a backup backup plan for when (i'm not even going to bother saying if) I can't find a job in the LE field. Which is more than i can say for a lot of people in my major
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 9:08:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Recon_by_Fire:
Everyone I know with a CJ claims it is the most useless degree possible, maybe above underwater pottery anyway.


You don't even know me, and I can tell you how useless a CJ degree is. It is not the "most" useless, but not far away.

It is a "Catch All" degree for anything having to do with laws, but not being a lawyer, which is where the money is at.

It's like going to school to be a LPN, and not a doctor.

It's like going to Chiropractic school, and not being a real doctor.

Link Posted: 11/20/2011 9:14:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BatchelorGroda:
Originally Posted By Recon_by_Fire:
Everyone I know with a CJ claims it is the most useless degree possible, maybe above underwater pottery anyway.


You don't even know me, and I can tell you how useless a CJ degree is. It is not the "most" useless, but not far away.

It is a "Catch All" degree for anything having to do with laws, but not being a lawyer, which is where the money is at.

It's like going to school to be a LPN, and not a doctor.

It's like going to Chiropractic school, and not being a real doctor.


Have you seen what a chiropractor makes? I'd gladly go to school to crack a few necks and walk away a happy man.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 9:17:47 PM EDT
I have a CJ degree, from a State University. If I could do it over and if anyone ask I tell people get a business degree of some sort. You can become a cop with any degree. IF you decide to go into the business world you can.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 9:18:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Aimless:
Criminal justice degrees are a waste of time and money. LEO jobs are just going to want to see that you have a degree in something, they don't normally care what (FBI wants accountants but just talking about local/state). CJ degrees won't do you much good getting a cop job, won't do you much good once you have a cop job and won't help you do anything else if you don't get a cop job.


This. In NC probation / parole wants you to have LE experience, with a degree in psych, counseling or sociology.
Link Posted: 11/20/2011 11:17:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2011 11:20:30 PM EDT by darkdan]
Originally Posted By RDP:
If you really want to look at behavior have the lowest paid bachelors degree, try a psych degree.


I'll never forget the first job offer I got after getting my degree was for minimum wage (graduated in May).

Of all the stupid stuff I have done, why didn't someone throw an intervention for me when I picked my major?


Edit: sorry, second lowest http://www.universitylanguage.com/blog/07/college-graduate-salaries-by-field-and-major/
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