3 answers

Is it worth it to get a Master's in Law Enforcement?

Asked Macomb, Illinois

I'm currently attending Western Illinois University. About a quarter of the entire student body are Law Enforcement majors. I feel like a lot of the professors are pushing students to get a Master's Degree in Law Enforcement. How beneficial do you think this would be?
#masters-degree #college-major #leja #law-enforcement #police

3 answers

Kevin’s Answer


A Masters Degree may be worth it to some people, others not so much. It depends on where you want to go in your career in LE. I knew a lady who started out as a dispatcher. She got her Bachelors and became an officer. She continued going to school, got her Masters and ended up Assistant Chief of Police. Also, an officer with a Masters can make more money than someone without one. The amount depends upon the agency you work for, but it can be in the range of $50 - $100 a month.

Kim’s Answer

Updated San Antonio, Texas


I am so sorry we (my generation) has made such a big mess of things! At the ripe age of 56, I recently returned to school, and cannot believe how the colleges/universities have turned into blatant businesses. (or perhaps I was naive at 19 yrs old?) The colleges want money. They tell students they have potential, even when it is clear they are pursuing the wrong degree. And now, Masters degree? for what? I cannot believe the number of students going for their master's. Guess what happens to them? They get denied the professional jobs because they have no experience, and denied the entry-level jobs because they are over-qualified.

Let me ask you this. Do you have any experience working in law enforcement? Did you know many agencies offer tuition assistance? Did you know many females leave the profession after a short time? What aspect of law enforcement appeals to you?

If you want to be a high ranking administrator someday, you might need the master's. But it is not going to do much for you starting out. Oh, and they are probably telling you that you will get paid an extra $50 or so a month if you have a master's. It will take a long time for that to add up to the cost of the master's.

Listen to your gut. That little voice in your head that is telling you to ask this question. If all those other students go for their master's, then, we are right back where we started. A whole bunch of people seeking the same jobs. Find another way to stand out from the crowd. Please!!

And later, if you decide this is where you belong, go back for the master's, using tuition assistance provided by the agency. It can wait a few years.

Welcome to law enforcement. . . it really is a special sort of job!


Ann’s Answer


Hi Kailey,

The worth of a Masters in Law Enforcement comes down to what you want to do with your career. There are not many careers that require one, but if you want to teach, as one example, then the masters will be the right fit for you. I recommend doing some research on the careers you are most interested in on onetonline.org. This site will give you information on the knowledge and skills that will be required to get that position. It will also give you statistics on the types of degrees people working in that position have. If less than 30% of workers in the role have a masters, then it is most likely not worth your time.

Hope this helps!

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