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Poll: Military Experience vs. College Degree

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Poll: Which looks better all other variables equal?

Gpd_max50

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Posted over 5 years ago

 

Hey!


I have a quick question.  When applying to agencies, which looks better, time in the military or a college degree (bachelors)? 


I do have 3 years of JROTC and 4 years of Sea Cadets (seacadets.org) but no active duty military.

Scan0004_max50

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Good question!  Personally I have both, but depending on how recent your military service was, I would vote for military. Degrees help you to advance, military gets you in the door.

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I am a degree student, who will complete my degree in Criminal Justice June of this year;however, I do think military experiences out weighs degrees to a certain point because you have first hand experience in combat, where a degree student still have to attend an academy before active duty.

Gpd_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

there just seems to be a lot of military people entering law enforcement now and I'm concerned I might be overlooked because I will only have a BS in Criminology :-\

Awww_max50

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amsgator says ...



there just seems to be a lot of military people entering law enforcement now and I'm concerned I might be overlooked because I will only have a BS in Criminology :-\



You will get overlooked if you ask that question about wearing your vest off duty!


.......If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you will be afraid to cough !!!

Gpd_max50

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TBaby says ...



amsgator says ...



there just seems to be a lot of military people entering law enforcement now and I'm concerned I might be overlooked because I will only have a BS in Criminology :-\



You will get overlooked if you ask that question about wearing your vest off duty!



haha never know, one of the officer's i know here came the closest to getting killed while he was off duty.  if i worked miami i'd be tempted to wear it off duty.

Th_detective_max50

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CJLady0153 says ...



I am a degree student, who will complete my degree in Criminal Justice June of this year;however, I do think military experiences out weighs degrees to a certain point because you have first hand experience in combat, where a degree student still have to attend an academy before active duty.


Retleo says...


Prior military experience does not preclude you from attending a Law Enforcement Academy.  The training is a completely different experience except for the regimentation and the Drill Instuctors (many of whom are former military).  Here in the Northeast most agencies require a minimum of 60 college credits (or Associates Degree) for hiring.  Militarty experience is a plus but does not trump the degree requirement.



"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
Steve Jobs

Retleo (MODERATOR #8)
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amsgator says ...



there just seems to be a lot of military people entering law enforcement now and I'm concerned I might be overlooked because I will only have a BS in Criminology :-\



I love studies of Criminology because we learn human behavior, how to deal with crime offenders as well as understand why people commits so many different types of crimes.  


Here is a few postioins you might pursue, since you have a BS degree in Criminology.  Airport security, corrections systems, probation or parole officers, drug enforcement agencies, FBI, US customs and other law enforcement agencies. Corporations or financial institutions, major department stores and law firms employ security officers, private investigators or social workers. Some work as consultants in the role of private investigators or security. Good luck!


 

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Retleo says ...



CJLady0153 says ...



I am a degree student, who will complete my degree in Criminal Justice June of this year;however, I do think military experiences out weighs degrees to a certain point because you have first hand experience in combat, where a degree student still have to attend an academy before active duty.


Retleo says...


Prior military experience does not preclude you from attending a Law Enforcement Academy.  The training is a completely different experience except for the regimentation and the Drill Instuctors (many of whom are former military).  Here in the Northeast most agencies require a minimum of 60 college credits (or Associates Degree) for hiring.  Militarty experience is a plus but does not trump the degree requirement.




I understand Retleo, you are correct; however, here in Virginia most military persons are accept into police academies without college degrees, if they just want to be a police officer, which only requires a high school diploma, twenty one years of age, no prior Law Enforcement experiences and a good background record to enter police academies. This is all needed to become a Virginia police officer.

Img_1508_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

For the Police line of work a military experience would definelty give you a head up over others in the aspect of weapons use, training, and street smarts,


"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. "

Cbpunifclassi_max50

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What ive seen is that neither college nor military will hold water on their own. Military is not weighed as heavily as it used to be, and college is great but lacks that (real-life experience). Best bet is an even dose of both. Of course I am speaking from the Communist State of California where nothing is right. you get college from your military experience, that is somewhat usefull. Use that GI Bill. use my GI Bill to put myself through the Police Academy, hence 65 credits of college. Best of everything.


Administration of Justice or Criminal Justice is worth bout as much as the paper its printed on. Business Administration is a better way to go. Hell, deep sea yugoslavian folk-dancing is worth more.


PESTIS PER BARDUS POPULUS NOS AGO PORRO
(PLAGUED BY MORONS WE PRESS ON)

1979_max50

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Both are important, especially if you intend on advancing. If I could only choose one it would be the military as they teach you discipline and duty as well as honor. Collage provides you with great information and factoids but also provides you with no leadership skills or practical experience. You do not have to actually be in combat to learn many of life's lessons but that does help you grow up quickly. Thankfully I have all of that and used all I learned to help me do what I did. Once you get on then you learn through experience and the leadership of your brother senior officers so that you can someday pass along that vital information.

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Military makes it easier to get your foot in the door, it builds a strong base of command presence (especially if you attained the rank of an NCO), you already come with marksmanship knowledge, youre already instilled with leadership (possibly in combat), and on and on.  Its important to realize that every law enforcement agency in the nation is "paramilitary"....if youre coming from the military, youre already adjusted to realities such as chain of command, wearing of the uniform, command presence, the tactical mindset, defensice tactics/combatives, and as mentioned above....experience in hostile situations.


Thats a natural advantage to the officer who comes with only a certain amount of college or a degree but no life experience or no prior exposure to paramilitary lifestyle. 


Now...there are many in the military who have no business in law enforcement and who will never become cops and rightly so...and my closest buddies so far in LE are actually officers and deputies who HAVE NOT been in the military...so nowhere is it written in stone that a good law enforcement officer has to come from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard.

2_4_logo_md_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Being a veteran definetly helps you get hired but thats about it, I know in my dept if you don't have any college (more like a masters degree) you are looked down upon. These jackasses believe that because they studied for an exam they are more qualified to lead than most military people i know (said most because we all know their were jackasses in their too). A paper doesn't make you a leader at all, most of our supervisors have no military and can't make a decision to save their ass without asking another jackass! I am so thankful my LT was in the Corps (we at least understand each other).

Gpd_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

well with all the rotc stuff and training i have done i am used to the chain-of-command and all that structuring.  the only thing i DONT have is a military record to show for it, grr.  Well I have been trying to contact a few recruiters in my area, but since its a holiday weekend i will have to wait until tomorrow or middle of the week to really hear back about anything. thanks for all the replies!

100_0364_max50

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What looks the best is how you present yourself. You can have a Phd and 10 years military experience and still not get the job. Learn how to interview, type up a good resume, have good references. Dress up in a suit when dropping off your applications. During the interview show them you have good character and personal morals. Ask good questions, call back and ask about how the interview process is going. 


Anyone can fluff up a resume by past experiences be it military or college. But, neither one is going to prepare you to be a better officer than the other. Some department require prerequistes and there is nothing wrong with that. But because you don't have one or the other or both does not mean you won't make a good officer.


Just my own opinion.


http://www.fowlergaragedoorservice.com

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Rated -1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Really? military doesnt make you a better officer?

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military x 5, however some pd's dont appreciate that. For hiring purposes look at the agency. But for your own I would go military.

Cot_max50

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amsgator says ...



well with all the rotc stuff and training i have done i am used to the chain-of-command and all that structuring.  the only thing i DONT have is a military record to show for it, grr.  Well I have been trying to contact a few recruiters in my area, but since its a holiday weekend i will have to wait until tomorrow or middle of the week to really hear back about anything. thanks for all the replies!



all the "rotc stuff and training" and "used to the chain-of-command"?  sorry but thats high school stuff there.  there is ALOT more that you dont have other than a military record. 


there are pro's and con's to both the military and college.  to each their own, but in my opinion the military is the better direction.


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100_0364_max50

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PSD_TEAM_LEADER says ...



 


Now...there are many in the military who have no business in law enforcement and who will never become cops and rightly so...and my closest buddies so far in LE are actually officers and deputies who HAVE NOT been in the military...so nowhere is it written in stone that a good law enforcement officer has to come from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard.


This is why I said being in the military doesn't make you a better officer. I could not agree with your statement more.


http://www.fowlergaragedoorservice.com

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Meaning it doesnt proclude nonmilitary from being good cops.  However, it does give you many more advantages than someone who walks in from mommy and daddy's house and 60 hours at community college.


 


I came with college and the military.  The military experience to me is worth more because it was real world experience, it wasnt similuated or theory.  Most cops never find themselves in a critical incident....I had them daily for a year. 

100_0364_max50

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PSD I agree.


Yes, prior military gives you an advantage in the hiring process. But if you cannot portray yourself as a competent, confident person in the interview room then it doesn't matter. Once you hit the street I don't believe just because you have military experience your going to be an outstanding officer.


Thank you for your service to our country and stay safe.


 


Rookie6


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thankyou for your current service as well


 


Regarding entrance requirements....I think each agency is looking for a certain type of officer or deputy, and to go further, is looking for a certain analytical thought process capability. I think my interview lasted about 2 hours, 30 mins of the traditional "what would you do if your partner stole", "would you arrest roger clemens 1 block from his house on a DWI", type questions and then about an hour and a half of questions regarding my military service, experiences in Iraq, knowledge of Arab culture, and them asking me my opinions on current geopolitics, the GWOT, and a long conversation about the similarities between counterinsurgency and community policing. 


Most of the military vets go to the sheriffs office and city police in my town..not that many go to the Constable precincts, so I got the sense that they wanted me because of that background specifically....and I say that simply based on how that board went and how quickly I got through the hiring process.  Most of my background investigation consisted of them calling all the units I had served in in the Army, checking with First Sergeants, Sergeants Major, and troop/company commanders about my performances and record.


Im convinced that most police departments want experience of some kind from their applicants. Young kids who come from college only get hired, but I think the benefit lies with guys whos resume simply shows more experience and maturity.  And for a paramilitary job like law enforcement, I think most will look favorably on the benefits of military service.


Now once again, for instance, the best partner (to include her style and how well we get along) has no military background....she has a long work history with 3 different police agencies and I would trust her in a critical incident as much as anyone I served/serve with in the Army.  Military experience is not the be all end all of law enforcement, but it does give the officer/deputy a substantial supply of tools for the tool box. 

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Departments need to hire officers who come from a variety of backgrounds.  What seems to work best is to have an agency with a mix of officers from 1) a military background, 2) a college background, or 3) the school of life (work experience) background.  Everybody learns from each other and builds on each other's strengths.  A lot of it will depend on the culture of the agency and the enviornment in which they have to work.


An Ivy League school has the ability to fill an entire incoming freshman class with students who have a 4.0 GPA and 1600 SAT, but they choose not to do that because it would stifle the learning environment.  Much better to have diversity of experience, and a range of academic backgrounds, to make that class successful.  It's the same in law enforcement.  We could fill our ranks with 100% ex-military, or 100% college graduates, but does anyone honestly think that either of those would be a good idea?  It takes the skillsets of officers from all backgrounds to truly make a high-functioning police department.  Just my two cents.

Dont_tread_on_me_max50

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Military experience is true live experience, where as college is all book learning. Thats the best way I can put it.  With school you can learn alot of the technical aspects of being a police officer i.e. rules of arrest, investigation, history of policing, etc...  But with the military, first off you will get into the best shape of your life, you will learn how to handle very stressfull situations and keep your cool, how to deal with all kinds of people, how to drive in different situations, how to effectivly clean and employ different types of weapons, you learn how to be an effective leader, plus you'll learn a sense of duty and honor that can't be found at college. You'll find those attributes more in the Marines or the Army, but some jobs in the Navy and Air Force will give you the same experience.  


Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Cbpunifclassi_max50

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rlh11bravo says ...



Military experience is true live experience, where as college is all book learning. Thats the best way I can put it.  With school you can learn alot of the technical aspects of being a police officer i.e. rules of arrest, investigation, history of policing, etc...  But with the military, first off you will get into the best shape of your life, you will learn how to handle very stressfull situations and keep your cool, how to deal with all kinds of people, how to drive in different situations, how to effectivly clean and employ different types of weapons, you learn how to be an effective leader, plus you'll learn a sense of duty and honor that can't be found at college. You'll find those attributes more in the Marines or the Army, but some jobs in the Navy and Air Force will give you the same experience.  



OOOOUCH! Your fetchin for a tongue lashin from our Squids and Flyboys (flypersons for political correctness)


The military is invaluable for the experience, skills, and ideals you can develope there. On the other hand, college is necessary to ensure ones brain is funtioning correctly and with the appropriate amount of knowlege to function. So....we agree. Tushe'!


PESTIS PER BARDUS POPULUS NOS AGO PORRO
(PLAGUED BY MORONS WE PRESS ON)

Jpd_new_max50

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Regardless of any military training or having a certain type of college degree, maturity and common sense rule when becoming any type of LEO.  Seen my share of former military or "Master" degree holders not make it as good Officers.  Though either will make you look good on paper, remember, you still have to do the job.


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu

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Rookie6 says ...


What looks the best is how you present yourself. You can have a Phd and 10 years military experience and still not get the job. Learn how to interview, type up a good resume, have good references. Dress up in a suit when dropping off your applications. During the interview show them you have good character and personal morals. Ask good questions, call back and ask about how the interview process is going. 


Anyone can fluff up a resume by past experiences be it military or college. But, neither one is going to prepare you to be a better officer than the other. Some department require prerequistes and there is nothing wrong with that. But because you don't have one or the other or both does not mean you won't make a good officer.


Just my own opinion.


Very good advice!!! Thanks:)

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Rate This | Posted about 2 years ago

 

I disagree that the military is invaluable because we are trained to always have each others back and to never leave a marine behind. The marine corps is a second family and you have to trust that brother or sister to your left and right.. Same thing in police work, you have to trust your partner that he is watching your 6 and that is why law enforcement likes prior active duty. Because when you're in the marine corps its not just a job its a way of life.

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Rate This | Posted about 2 years ago

 

 I was planning on going into the military, but decided that I don't really agree with the war we're in right now, so I figured I'd try to get a criminal justice degree and join the police where I can help fix problems at home that I have seen firsthand. (Was planning on joining the police anyway, after a short time in the military.) I respect all of the soldiers who are fighting, and admire their bravery, I just don't respect the decisions of the president and his cronies. Hopefully I don't offend anyone with that statement.


I'm not a cop, i'm just a college student, but my opinion is that military experience is probably best, but a degree is better than nothing. I can see why police training would be a whole different thing from military training, because police officers generally want to try to avoid "enemy" casualties until it's no longer an option, while soldiers generally dont have an option from the get go, because the enemy is obviously not giving them a choice. There's a different set of tactics for each situation, although, again, some training is better than no training. I've been told that being an MP is the absolute best way to go, and I can definitely see why that would be the case.

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