General Forums >> Law Enforcement Careers >> Having LE experience w/o a degree

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Having LE experience w/o a degree

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Posted over 1 year ago

 

Most departments require you to have at least an associates degree but what if you started off as a correctional officer and then applied 2 years after having that experience? would you not be eligible just because you dont have a degree?

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 Every department is different. Check each department for their requirements. Some departments may exchange prior experience for educational requirements, but no two departments are the same.


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thanks

Th_detective_max50

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If you do get hired without a degree I would recommend that you continue your education after hiring and earn some kind of degree.  This will be a big plus when it comes to promotion time.


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Why not call them and axe?

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I agree with the above posts...if you manage to get hired without a degree you had best pursue one afterwards.  My agency will hire without, but you can not promote without one.


Also, some agencies will pay higher for those with a degree.  For example, at my agency you get pay increases as you gain experience (annual pay increases). After 7 years, you are paid at the highest "step" and pay increases there after are negotiated by union for everyone by rank/paygrade for a contract period.


If you have a degree, or some college credits, you get credit for years of experience (say 1,2, or 3 years) so you'll reach the "max step" after say 4 years instead of 7...but thereafter be paid the same as everyone else based on the negotiated contract.

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Bump to the above responses. Some agencies do not require you to have a college degree. With that being said, many do require you to have a minimum amount of college credits before you can be considered. Given today's tough economy, there are plenty of applicants that have at least 4-year degrees and higher trying to land the position(s). Some may also have military experience under their belts which will leave you out of the loop. 


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 In michigan the State Troopers department does not require any collage. But the acadamy is alot harder.

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thats interesting

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Many good and correct responces.Romans advises of the credit you will get for your experiences.This is right.With my larger department we were given what they called Life Experiences college credit hours.Also ,do consider completing more college,as most major departments not only will pay for your education but give you extra points for promotional exams,as Rerloi advised.You will also be given estra points on your entrance exam for your college credit hours,

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jwilkerson25 says ...



thats interesting



Why would that be interesting?  There are plenty of highly motivated, yet uneducated (for those that believe a college education is the where with all) people out there.  There are also plenty of highly educated derelicts out there.  Talent usually does not come out of a book. . . .but from a desire to improve on something that was given to you by the all mighty.  Remember, at one time, police work was strictly an "On The Job Training" position.  If the chief liked you, he threw you a badge, gun and ticket book and told you to ride with Joe for a week.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

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White_shirt_max50

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Beowulf_7 is so correct. When I was hired in the early 70's seldom did an applicant have a college degree. Most with degrees though law enforcement was beneath them. Some of the best officers I served with had nothing beyond high school and many was promoted. Times are different now days. I received my degrees after my appointment. In my area only high school is required for employment. To advance a degree is required.

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To UncleDennis1's point:  Having a degree is important in ANY job in today's world.  There are Organizations out there that will hire some people without a Degree based on experience and God given talents, but that person may hit a ceiling before another equally qualified person that HAS a Degree; the person with the Degree with go farther in the Organization, given the same experience. 


On the other hand, there are also Organizations who will not even look at you without a Degree. And they can do this because so many applicants have at least a Bachelor's Degree these days... the market has changed over many years. 


So as far as Law Enforcement goes, the same applies.  Let's say you get into an agency which doesn't require you to have the education.  1) You may have trouble in the future when it comes to that "higher up" promotion; and 2) If you wanted to transfer into another agency that requires you to have that Degree, you may not be able to.  In both scenarios, your career could be limited.


 


 


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Catwoman911 says ...



To UncleDennis1's point:  Having a degree is important in ANY job in today's world.  There are Organizations out there that will hire some people without a Degree based on experience and God given talents, but that person may hit a ceiling before another equally qualified person that HAS a Degree; the person with the Degree with go farther in the Organization, given the same experience. 


On the other hand, there are also Organizations who will not even look at you without a Degree. And they can do this because so many applicants have at least a Bachelor's Degree these days... the market has changed over many years. 


So as far as Law Enforcement goes, the same applies.  Let's say you get into an agency which doesn't require you to have the education.  1) You may have trouble in the future when it comes to that "higher up" promotion; and 2) If you wanted to transfer into another agency that requires you to have that Degree, you may not be able to.  In both scenarios, your career could be limited.


 


 



You made my point exactly!  There are a lot of short sighted companies out there that believe that degree is the only thing to look at and not the individual.  We can play the "If/Then" game all day long but if you have a 10 year veteran police officer that is competing for the same position as someone just coming out of school. . . . .which would you rather have?  Assuming all things equal that is. . . .  Yet, there are employers out there that won't even look at the veteran officer because he doesn't have "the education".  Seems to me that business owner (i.e. chief of police or sheriff) is being a bit short sighted.  Yes, later on that same officer may not make it up the ladder because they don't have any business training, but what if that veteran only wants to be a police officer and not a paper pusher?  Besides, to counter the degree holder argument. . . .you only have to look as far as Washington D.C..  Look at all of the degrees there and look at all of the problems that THEY have created.  All because they believe they are smarter than the average person.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

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^^ very good point