Skip to main content
4 answers
3
Asked 594 views

Hello so I want to major in education and minor in criminal justice. Can I be a police officer or a bounty hunter even when I minor in criminal justice

Hi im Juli and I’m stuck between if I want to be a teacher or a police officer/bounty hunter. And my counselor is having us choose our high school pathways and I don’t know what to pick. #teacher #policeofficer #bountyhunter

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

3

4 answers


3
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Kim’s Answer

Hi Juliana,

I have to admit, I don't know about high school pathways! Looking at the Delaware Pathways website, I see several options. Education lists the courses you will take. Law Enforcement does not have any courses listed. Does your school offer Human Services? It seems to be the mid-point between Education and Law Enforcement: "Human Services pathways are focused on preparing individuals for employment in careers that relate to families and human needs such as counseling and mental health services, family and community services, personal care and consumer services."

Do you have to pay for any of the classes you take on the Pathways program? Just curious! It's great that these pathways are offered, but, it does NOT determine your future! So, relax! I will say that if you suddenly get an interest in STEM, it will be difficult in college if you did not take the HS classes! Same for playing a musical instrument. But, really, you will be fine. If you don't plan on going to college, Pathways gives you a way to get a decent job right out of HS.

Looking at the Delaware State requirements for law enforcement, college is not required. However, each agency is allowed to set higher standards, so, look at the website of any agencies you are interested in to see their requirements. They may not require a specific degree. If they do, you might want to minor in Education and major in Criminal Justice. Again, you are free to change to other majors while in college.

I like the combination of the two you have chosen. Do you have a particular grade you want to teach? Does the college offer "Adult Education?" There is a lot of use for an Education background in the law enforcement field! This field has requirements for officers to receive continuing education throughout the course of their careers, and it is often other police officers that provide this education! So, you could, after a few years on patrol, work into a position as a classroom instructor, firearms instructor, CPR instructor, Driving Instructor, etc. Prior to that, you could become an FTO - Field Training Officer. These are the officers who oversee new academy graduates when they are assigned their first patrol position. It's a lot of responsibility, but, it's a great feeling seeing officers that you trained become good officers!

It's great seeing the opportunities being provided to our young people today! But please, don't allow this decision to create undue stress! Even after finishing college, people often change career paths! I've seen people with science degrees become successful in the banking industry! There are ways to successfully transition from one career field to another!

Let me know if you have any questions! Best of luck to you!
Kim



3
2
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Kim’s Answer

Juliana,

Let's add some balanced perspective to the pro's and con's of law enforcement.
PROs:
1. If you think it needs fixing, you are inside trying to effect change, rather than outside throwing darts. There's a need for good officers.
2. There ARE people who still respect the police, and who will look up to you. You CAN make a difference in peoples' lives, and it's really fun talking to the little kids
3. Opportunity: There are so many different types of law enforcement - it's not all riding around in a squad car. I was on foot patrol about 75% of the time at the airport. Campus police, Game wardens, etc. And, within any department, there's advancement opportunities, and the opportunity to specialize. You can go into Detective Work, the Training Department, Recruitment, Community Outreach, etc.
4. I thought it was really great to have messed up days off, because I'd be going camping on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and the campgrounds
were empty. We also went shopping by ourselves, midweek.
5. Depending on your shift/days off, you may not have to take leave to go to doctor appts, parent-teacher conferences, etc.
6. Again, depending on your shift, you might miss rush hour traffic.
7. Teamwork: There's nothing that compares to the feeling of knowing your backup is only 45 seconds away even though he's five miles away. Okay, so I exaggerate, but officers take care of each other, in a good way. If someone's not feeling well the other officers will take his calls, etc.
8. Pay, overtime, training, off-duty jobs - lots of opportunity to make money

CONs:
1. By wearing the uniform, you are often prejudged. People who dislike officers will dislike you, before you say or do anything. There is a wall between community and police, and it's sometimes difficult to overcome.
2. You have to assume everything you are doing is being recorded. Everything. So, if you let a minor in possession of alcohol simply dump out their beer, when you should have taken official action, it can come back to haunt you. (This part scares me. I've been out of the field for 12 years - a lot has changed).
3. It will change you. You will start seeing the world in a different way, start thinking about things differently. Where everything used to be black and white, now there will be shades of gray. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it will make you a different person.
4. if you have kids, you may miss school events -games, band performances, etc. We were able to trade days off with other officers, so that usually wasn't a problem. But, it could be.

Oh, and no, you can't go to law enforcement straight from high school, as most agencies/states have an age requirement of 21 (or prior military experience)

As to teaching, I wasn't a teacher. The pros all sound good (as enumerated by another person, above), however, I asked a close friend of mine to explain more about her job. She said that the days are unbelievably long, to include late afternoons and into the evenings, easily 12 hours a day many times. And the summers disappear with workshops and other training that somehow didn't happen during the school year.

Bottom line, all jobs have pros and cons. Sometimes they aren't too obvious. My last job was in a building that had a faulty heating system, and we went a whole winter with no heat! (and this was a state job!). And the bathrooms were always having plumbing issues. That's nothing to do with the career field, but it sure didn't contribute to the morale!

The good thing is, both teaching and law enforcement are portable careers. Start out someplace, stay there two years, and then you evaluate your options. Again, your HS pathways aren't going to lock you into anything for the rest of your life - don't stress out over this!



2
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Atul’s Answer

You should be guided by the counselor based on the grades you have achieved in various subjects and your SAT scores.
If your counselor is not competent then you should consider asking your favorite teacher who can guide/help you make an informed decision.
Whether to be an educator or become a police officer, it is two different fields and they are completely different.
I will give three bullet points for each for you to make an informed decision:
For Police Officer:
1) Grass is greener on the side. You feel empowered but you will have to work odd hours, live in a car (literally), and have to face all misdeeds committed by society and help them. You do not have to go to college to become a police officer. You can do this after high school. You need to be physically fit and you will be on your toes all the time depending upon where you find employment.
2) There is a stigma towards the police officer after the George Floyd incident. You need to be aware of it and have to make a wise decision and do not follow many police officers do "dead man/woman do not testify".
3) It will take a toll on you as well as on your family and you have to be prepared to face and overcome it.
BTW - to become a bounty hunter, you do not need a degree.

For Educator:
1) You will feel that you are contributing to making the younger generation powerful by educating.
2) You will have summer off when schools close.
3) If you start your family, you can spend time with your children when they are home during summer vacation. Pay may be less but the pensions are very good.
Thank you comment icon Juliana, if you want to know the pro's and con's of both careers, post that as a question please. Don't be dissuaded by the above comment, made by someone with no experience in either field. There's definitely a down-side to education, and a good side to law enforcement - get it from someone who has been there and done it. Good luck in your studies! Kim Igleheart
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Kevin’s Answer

The requirements for a job in Law Enforcement vary depending on which organization you are interested in joining. For example in Newark DE the basic requirements are that: Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, possess an Associate's degree or it's equivalent (minimum 60 credits), have a valid driver's license with no recent suspension, have no felony convictions, meet pre-employment assessment requirements and be a U.S. citizen.

Kevin recommends the following next steps:

Information on Law Enforcement Careers can be found among other sites here - https://www.policeapp.com/
0