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What does it take to become a detective in college?

I am a senior at Lighthouse Community Charter Public School in Oakland California. I like to spend time with my family during my free time and be with my friends. For my career, I want to focus in criminology. I want to become a detective and solve cases. One of my skills is solving problems, for example math. Math is my favorite subject and I'm confident when it comes to solving a hard problem. Another skill I have is organization. I love to keep my paperwork organized to know when I keep my materials at all times. Leading up to this, I have an interesting question. What are some advice you would give me as my next step is considering a career in criminology?

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Baljit’s Answer

Hi Zahirah,
I have worked for the FBI when I graduated university. I love the position. It takes a hard headed person to take on the responsibilities of an FBI agent. The cases that I worked on were mainly solving disputes between community members and social interactions with others to get things moving. It definitely was different than the shows on TV but I still liked it. Solving problems and cases are the main reasons why I went into this career but as I said you have to organized (like you mentioned). you have to be tough as nails and willing to work with all involved to resolve the issues at hand.
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Pilar’s Answer

Hello Zahirah,
I agree with Mike; you do not need a criminal justice degree for a career in law enforcement, depending on what interests you. Typically, a career in law enforcement will require you to attend a basic academy. You will be taught everything you need to know to start in that field for that agency. This is why I suggest individuals interested in law enforcement obtain a degree other than criminal justice. You will be a more well-rounded individual with a broader base of knowledge.

If you enjoy math, you should seek a degree in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). A STEM degree would provide you with more opportunities than a criminal justice degree. Federal law enforcement agencies seek out individuals in STEM and law fields, especially individuals with advanced degrees.

Some local law enforcement agencies employ college-age students as cadets (programs vary). This gives students a sense of what it is like working for that particular agency and law enforcement.

Any employer would be lucky to have someone as bright and organized as you. Good luck!
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Mike’s Answer

Have you considered a career working for a federal agency as a Special Agent? Special Agents are criminal investigators that specialize in complex criminal investigations.

The agency I work for investigates crimes involving national security threats, terrorism, drug smuggling, child exploitation, human trafficking, illegal arms export, financial crimes, identity fraud, benefit fraud, commercial fraud, wildlife trafficking, environmental crimes, and more.

There are many agencies that are looking for people in the Bay Area, so you wouldn’t have to move! Make sure you get a degree in something that interests you. It does not have to be in criminal justice.
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William’s Answer

Hi Zahirah,
You may go for Criminal Justice or Criminology or Forensic Science in a college or career school. You my go for special course for Homeland Security.
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