What college would you recommend for criminal justice majors?
I am a sophomore in high school in Boston and I am interested in the criminal justice field, but I do not know the best colleges for this major. I would like to stay in the state of MA if possible. #criminal-justice #law-enforcement
Scott D. Leonard, Psy.D.
I would not major in criminal justice. I have 5 degrees. 2 of them are in criminal justice and 3 are not. I also worked a full career in law enforcement. I do not think that he criminal justice degrees were of a lot of help. I found that degrees in fields like public administration and business administration are the best choices. They will help you on promotional boards and if you end up hating working in this field, these degrees are marketable elsewhere. The criminal justice degree pretty much locks you into one specific field.
I have been in law enforcement for thirty-two years, I have been a field training officer and was a full time instructor at our police academy for ten years. I agree with the first response to major in something other than criminal justice. I would recommend any of the previously mentioned majors as well anything having to do with computer sciences, social sciences, or psychology. All of these majors will serve you well in the law enforcement field and in the public sector. Everything you need to learn know about law enforcement will be taught in the academy. It is smart to have a fall back plan in case something doesn't work out in law enforcement to include getting injured or secondary employment.
Get a degree, however do it it something other than Criminal Justice.
As other's have said, with a Criminal Justice degree, you're somewhat stuck in one field. What happens if you get in to Law Enforcement and discover it's not for you? What if you get hurt and have to medically retire? What if you're having a difficult time getting hired? With a degree in something other than Criminal Justice, you'd be able to get into a different field. This can also come into play when you retire as many folks who retire from a long career in law enforcement can spin it into a private sector job if they choose to.
If you are considering career in law enforcement, I would major in Criminal Justice.
I have 2 in college right now, and suggested they complete all their liberal arts courses first, which are needed for all degrees. This will allow you additional time to decide what you want to major in.
Depending on your situation (financially, time to commit, ect) I would consider a double major, a minor, or a certificate in another subject other than Criminal Justice, THAT INTERESTS YOU AS WELL.
This would come in handy if you have obtained a career in law enforcement, and want to apply for a specialist position within your law enforcement organization, promotion opportunities ect.
For example, if you love photography, minor or obtain a certificate in photography. If an opening arises for a crime scene photographer, you have the knowledge, training and experience to apply for that specialist position, and would have an edge over many that apply that DON'T have the same knowledge experience & training. After you retire, you could use your experience, and become a law enforcement consultant, who specializes in photography.
Another example: If psychology interests you, minor in that. In the law enforcement field, you deal with so many types of people. This cold only help you, and open up opportunities later on after you retire, to possibly become a counselor, case worker ect.
Some Police Departments have a career incentive program where you earn an extra percentage in your weekly paycheck, based on your college degree. The police dept. I work for in Massachusetts offers an extra 10% if you have an associates degree , 15% if you have a bachelors degree, and 25 % if you have a masters degree. The degrees must relevant to your employment, such as a degree in criminal justice, political science ect. Also, your college must be from a "recognized college". Not all departments have this benefit.
Hope this helps you...
Wish you the best, in your future endeavors!
I agree with both the previous posts. I retired after 23 years with the Drug Enforcement Administration. You will be trained in all that you need to know about law enforcement. Majoring in public or business administration, government or computer science are all good ideas. I would add that you should think of minoring in a foreign language, Arabic is really hot right now, so are Chinese and Spanish. On another note, the college is not the most important thing, any state school with a good program in what you are studying will be fine. Education is not like fashion, the label doesn't really mean that much.
I would talk with your school councilor and research your local schools for criminal justice
Hi Joe, I retired with 25 yrs on the force. I entered with a degree in Sociology. It served me well. However, your question is about what school to attend. I would steer clear of any private or out of state school, due to costs (they really are not any better either!) If you can get along okay at home, I'd encourage you to stay home while going to school. Preferably go to a university all 4 years, unless there is a junior college with a reputation for providing a good education. Where I'm at, I see a significant difference in quality between the two.
The most important thing is that you get an education, and not just a piece of paper. Don't take the "easy" teachers, go with those who demand something of you. After all, you, or somebody, is paying for this - get your money's worth!