12 answers
Asked Viewed 558 times Translate

Would it be good to major in criminal justice and minor in psychology if I want to be a state trooper?

I would like to be a state trooper in the future and I would like to know if those too fields would help me succeed #criminal-justice #psycology


Yes, but Business Administration is in my opinion even better. Terrence Winston

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you
13
100% of 12 Pros

12 answers


Updated Translate

Graeme’s Answer

Hi Dylan,


As someone who used to be a criminal justice major and interested in becoming a state trooper, I can tell you that you don't need a criminal justice degree. It might help you to network with officers however everything that you would learn in criminal justice classes you would learn in the police academy.


I would recommend studying something that might diversify you as a candidate. A degree in biology or chemistry might open up doors to go into forensics, or a degree in psychology or sociology might help improve your soft skills when interacting with the public. Choose something that you enjoy!


2
100% of 1 Pros
Updated Translate

Steve’s Answer

Your degree choice should be something that really interests you. There is always the chance of a disabling injury or other event triggering a career change. Additionally, there is the fact that most police professionals can retire earlier than many other careers and may desire or need to start a second career. Choose your major based on something that diversifies your skill set. Criminal Justice is not very marketable outside of pursuing your JD later or continuing on in a Criminology related field.

Your career goals (I know it's hard to think about at the beginning and that opinions and desires change as life goes by) can make a huge difference, too. If you intend to promote, data science is becoming a huge factor for police forces. Going that route makes you very marketable for a command position as you progress through your career. I know of at least one big city chief that made it there because of that Chief's knowledge of data research and science. Other fields that will serve you well, if you promote, would be Human Resources. Being knowledgeable about labor law and dynamics will serve you well.

If you have no desire to command, look at specialization. For example, there is a shortage of computer investigators with the background and skill for the field. You will get noticed for being highly skilled in a specialized field like this and become a go-to expert in no time. Many in this field move on to high-paying private sector jobs at companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and the like because of their criminal investigator experience coupled with their InfoTech degree and skills. Emergency management would be another field that is underrepresented in law enforcement and would make you a desirable officer that will stand out and receive specialized assignments. Accounting for ever increasing financial crimes...the list goes on. There are numerous specializations in law enforcement if you want to study toward success in the field.

As far as a CJ degree...your police agency will teach you what you need to know regarding criminal justice. Don't study this because you want to be a cop...study this because you have interest in the law or progressing to post graduate work in crime and law.

Good luck! This profession is in critical need of honest, caring, hard-working people committed to justice and, ever increasingly, that can think outside of the box and find creative solutions to problems instead of following the existing path.

0
Updated Translate

Juan’s Answer

I have been a Trooper for over 26 years. I would suggest that you major in something that you could see yourself doing later in life. Most of the Troopers that I have worked with, that have majored in Criminal Justice, say that they wish they majored in something else that would have made them more employable after retirement. Majoring in Criminal Justice also gives you no advantage when applying, over someone else who majors in another field.

0
Updated Translate

Divita’s Answer

You have to research the department you looking to work for. Maryland State Police you only need a high school diploma and while your in the academy you will receive your Associate Degree. So each department is different.

0
Updated Translate

Zecharius’s Answer

Yes it would be


0
Updated Translate

Gabe’s Answer

I've been a Municipal, State and Federal Police Officer. Your major is largely irrelevant in most municipal and state agencies. Some federal agencies have preferred majors that they desire candidates to have.


0
Updated Translate

Wilson G. C’s Answer

Hi Dylan,

Its not a bad idea to have a criminology degree, but I will best recommend a sociology or psychology decent for you.

You don't need same decree for a state trooper, or u need is a wide range of versatile course that tips you above the troops level.

I can only advice for the psychology or sociology for a great interaction and communication with the mass.

0
Updated Translate

David’s Answer

Dylan, I have worked with a lot of state troopers in the past. You work by yourself a lot, with back up, not always so close. They can run long distances and are in great physical condition. The highway is your main patrol area and the criminal element rises on the highway. The military would probably be the best prep. for the State Police. They can tell you what college prep. you may need. There is a Massachusetts State Police Barracks in North Dartmouth. Ask them what the pre rquirments are. You can call the academy for inquiries. (508) 867-9064


State Police Barracks

265 Faunce Corner Rd.

North Dartmouth, MA 02747

(508) 993-8373


0
Updated Translate

Jeff’s Answer

No. Although I have a degree in criminal justice I advise against this. It is a degree with very limited opportunities and to get into law enforcement, the degree you have rarely matters. It matters on a Federal level, FBI, Secret Service etc. Most federal law enforcement agencies want you to have a finance and/or language degree. Psychology is ok but again it will not increase your chances of getting a law enforcement job and if that career choice doesn’t work out, you need to ask yourself what else can you do with that degree?

0
Updated Translate

Bryan’s Answer

Great question. I would recommend a major in Psychology and minor in Criminal Justice as this would allow you broader future opportunities in both the public or private safety and security sectors.
The private corporate security industry continues to growing exponentially providing exciting opportunities and excellent career paths within the top companies around world.
I agree with Graeme, do something you love and follow your passion.

0
Updated Translate

Michael’s Answer

Excellent question. I've worked in law enforcement for several decades, on the road and as an investigator, and share the opinions of others here about "criminal justice" majors. You'll be paying thousands of dollars and

A criminal justice major gives students an understanding of the three main elements of the justice system: the court system, police theory and corrections/prison operations. The study of criminal justice and corrections involves research methods for criminology, criminological theory and the psychology behind criminal behavior- none of which actually matter to a state trooper working a traffic investigation, or inspecting tractor-trailers at a weigh station, or making arrests for DUI and other traffic violations.

For most young people planning on a career in law enforcement- Highway Patrol, Sheriff's Office, or city police- you should strongly consider enlisting in the Army or Marine Corps, where you can become a Military Police (MP) as young as age 18. Military police officers must be at least 18 years old and they must be enlisted or commissioned in one of the five branches of the United States military. To be accepted into military police training, prospective MP's must have a relatively clean past, with no criminal record or prior history of drug use.

During a 2-4 year term of enlistment, you gain Veteran status, which means a lifetime of Veteran's Benefits (college grants, VA Housing loans and hiring preference, among others) on top of several years of actual law enforcement experience, and the opportunity to get into and maintain top physical conditioning, close combat skills, advanced marksmanship and firearms skills, and other valuable skills that will be useful as a State Trooper, Sheriff or police officer. Colleges and universities will give you credit for your military experience and training so you may be able to complete a degree in as few as two years after your enlistment, or before you finish your contract (online courses).

Bottom line? Get a degree in English, or Computer Forensics, or Psychology, or Finance and Accounting, with a minor in Spanish, or some other widely used language. Having a second language on the job is very helpful for the next 20-30 years.

Michael recommends the following next steps:

Enlist in the Military Police (US Army or Marines) or US Air Force Security Forces, or Master-at-arms (United States Navy) or Maritime Enforcement Specialists (US Coast Guard ).
Saved!
While in the military, work on your AA degree online (and use your military training towards free credit).
Saved!
After completing your term of service, finish your BA/BS at a school with ROTC- you'll graduate with a degree and a commission as an Officer in your choice of Services.
Saved!
Apply for several State Patrol agencies, in states where you plan to live/work. Your Veteran's Preference will place you ahead of all non-Vets.
Saved!
Stay active in the National Guard or Reserve, and after 20 years you'll have another retirement package and pension.
Saved!

0
Updated Translate

Abby’s Answer

[This is a CareerVillage staff account posting on behalf of Johnny Starling]

Dylan,

The study of Criminal Justice and Psychology would be helpful when applying to become a California Highway Patrol Officer.
I would also strongly recommend studying writing, grammar, and public speaking.

Another excellent method to help you learn about the job, and better your chances of acceptance to the CHP Academy, would be to join a nearby CHP Explorer Post at your closest CHP Office.

Johnny Starling, CHP Captain (Retired)

0