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How many years of college did you need to go through to become a detective?

Hello! My name is Ernesto and I am a current high school student. I'm conducting an interview with any professional in the Forensic Science field for a Foundations in Health Science Class project about careers! I have created a total of 13 questions. Comment on
this post, answering all 13 questions to be a part of my assignment.

1. How many years of college did you need to go through?

2. What jobs did you work before you landed your present professional job?

3. How can I decide if I should earn a PH.D. in this field?

4.Were you in a college program?

5. Did you have to pivot and go back to school at a later date?

6. Did you shadow another professional in the field?

7. Did you join any school clubs related to your current profession?

8. Was there a particular subject you struggled with during your school years?

9. What skill sets did you learn or gain while pursuing your career?

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Subject: Career question for you


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Michelle’s Answer

To be a Detective you must be a police officer or law enforcement officer. There is no college that will prepare you for the duties of a Detective. You must go through the law enforcement academy for a peace officer. Where I work, the Sheriff's Office in my must be a Detention Officer (go through that academy, and be a Detention Officer for several years and then apply to the Patrol Officer academy). After several years of this work, and if you are accepted into the Patrol Academy and pass that, then you will be a law enforcement officer or Deputy. After several years of being a Deputy, then you must apply and pass the exam for Detective. Years of experience in various areas of being a Deputy (on patrol, working in narcotics or Special Traffic Investigators, etc.) will give you the experience and years in for that promotion.

1. For most law enforcement positions, no college degree is required. It does help, but some college courses are the basic requirements. For my job as a Latent Print Examiner (I was previously a Crime Scene Investigator) a college degree in Forensics, Criminal Justice or a hard science like Biology, Chemistry, etc., is required for obtaining a job in my field. So however long it takes you to get your degree is ok.

2. Prior to being an LPE (Latent Print Examiner) I was a CSI (Crime Scene Investigator) with the same department. But before I was with the Sheriff's Office, I was a Paralegal (I do have an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies). Before that I was in the medical field, but took photography, anatomy and physiology and biology courses at our local community college. These helped me become a CSI. I also already had my Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

3. Getting a Ph.D. in Forensic Science would only be ideal if you are a scientist working in a lab (state crime lab or a lab corporation that does forensic work) or if you were to teach. A Ph.D. is not required for basic work, but a Bachelor of Science would be required.

4. College programs in high school came out in the 1990's and early 2000's. I graduated from high school in 1987 and from college in I did not have a college program to start in.

5. No, I did not have to pivot and go back to school to obtain my career goals. I did however, go back to school for my Masters of Science in Criminal Justice to try to promote up to a supervisor position (which didn't happen) or to teach at the college level (which I am still trying to get a position with).

6. Shadowing is always a benefit for a new employee and an integral part of forensics/ crime scene investigation training.

7. When I was in high school I had no idea what I was going to do as a career. In college I was a member and leader in a student organization for the criminal justice students. It no longer exists.

8. In high school I struggled with math and chemistry. In college I struggled with Statistics and a Business Organization course. When I was working on my Master's degree, I did a lot better. I was motivated and had more experience to apply to my course work. I got my Master's in 2016.

9. I have learned a lot about human nature, communications and various other skills over the years. All are necessary for my career as a CSI and LPE. We deal with many different types of people and so learning these skills has helped me to be a better person and servant to my community.

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Thank you comment icon HI I wanted to say thank you for responding to my messages in such short time, I wanted to ask you 3 more questions. Do you still get time for yourself? Has this career mentally impacted you? Whats your favorite thing about this job? Ernesto