I know we have talked a lot about what type of bachelor degree to get. Many say something other than CJ. While I agree and disagree, I have another question. What about the type of master degree? Here is my dilemma. I have finished my BS in CJ this spring. Since I am retired military I am now working on my second career. I have a really nice chunk of change sitting around in an account called a GI Bill. I plan on using as much of it as I can to advance my education. My two choices right now are:
2. MS in Criminal Justice with an emphasis Critical Incident Management.
My goals are not to go to another department. I love my community and plan on staying here since this is my retirement home. I want to eventually teach either online CJ courses or maybe at local colleges.
Both degrees run about the same in costs. Since they consider the MS to be harder they only let you take one class every 8 weeks. I could take two on the MBA (but still don’t plan on it).
What do you think?
I started on a MA in CJ, then after four classes, I switched to European History.
- I'm a history buff
- I already have a cop job, with, like yourself, no desire to go anywhere else or get another cop job
- I don't want to teach CJ after I retire in 8-10, if I teach anything it'll be history
Basically, the whole "do what you love" philosophy. I pondered a MBA, but I hated the corporate world during my brief pre-LE stint there and have no desire to return. I suppose my current approach is less mission-focused and goal oriented than I normally am, but it's working.
Let me put it this way. Of my classmates in MSCJ, one became a major metro police chief, one is a metro police chief, one is the #2 or 3 in his department, one was a Fed type that got called out of the semester to work in the Beltway Sniper.................and there are probably others.
It would seem that if one gets the right department, gets the right profs, that they have a lot going for them. Now, it probably helps if one has an established career when they are doing so.......but even so, I don't think people threw aside my MSCJ when I was applying for jobs, including one in a Secretary's office.
IMHO, what does the degree need to deliver? One has to be able to identify a problem in their department, figure out an acceptable way to research it, do the research, and produce an answer that can sway budgets....the cheaper it is done, the better. Secondly, one has to be able to research and understand the laws, statute and case, so they can plan the policy of their departments while reducing hurdles and doing it without the use of a lawyer.
Now, mind you, that's just my opinion, looking at the classes I took, the classes I took with them................but we all come from different walks of life and odds are, we are headed in different directions. Ie, one of my profs said that with the type of research I did, I was the kind of person to work for a Foundation producing a project to solve some country's problem. Not quite like ex-SAS on counter poaching in Africa, but heading in that direction.
Something else to consider. What are you, a specialist or a generalist? I'm a generalist, I know a lot about a lot. With what I know, with the degrees that I have, I can usually find the answer to a problem somehow. I may sit on this or that committee as the law enforcement/security representative, but what I bring to the table is a wide range of knowledge....if LE oriented. But often in this world, one finds specialists, not generalists (or if they do, it is knowing a little about a lot).
Basically, it might be like forensic psychology; one markets it as they need to. That is, with forensic psychology, there are at least 4 or 5 different uses: can he stand trial, what kind of person did this crime, what made this person a victim, was this person's death a suicide or an accident, or what move will the general of the opposing army do next? One finds the program that enables them to do what they want to do.
("I'm basically a teacher, Captain Solo, but I have degrees that I could run this base if I wanted to."––Contact Agent, (w,stte), Book: "Han Solo at Star's End")
Originally Posted By NorCal_LEO:
Originally Posted By Snowleopard:
Don't take this the wrong way, but your posts are like my mother's chili. It's good stuff (especially the meat) but you have to spend an hour picking out the beans before you eat it. I'm not saying your "meat" isn't tasty... I just can't wade through your "beans."
And no offense it taken.
But....to sum it up. I looked at an MSCJ and calculated that with my military police experience and that degree, I could find a job in anyone's administration somewhere. It may not have necessarily been the case, but I have been granted interviews and I have had a few job offers.
(After being called "just a grunt." "No offense taken."––Hicks, (w,stte), "Aliens")
Sorry could resist.
If your goal is to teach CJ online, I would pursue the MS in CJ.
I would think the MBA would be helpful if you ever wanted to be chief.
MPA's (Masters of Public Administration) are really popular here. If you want to advance up the chain, they are basically required.
I have a B.S. in CJ, and of course I'm going into law enforcement. For the most part a degree is a degree, that's number one. Number two, a degree in CJ is great for a career in Criminal Justice (that's what it's designed for). You get educated in the career you're in, and it just looks better for your advancement. It's really that simple. A good Master's degree for a CJ career is either MS in CJ or Public Administration, both great choices.