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What school would be the best option to work in the government ?

Hello,
I currently got accepted to both SDSU and UCSD but don’t know what school to chose. If I got to SDSU I’ll be majoring in public administration and if I go to UCSD political science. My goal is to first become a sheriff and move my way up to the federal level. What school would be the best option?

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Subject: Career question for you

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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Karen,

Response:

Deciding between SDSU and UCSD for your ambition of a government career, specifically aiming for a sheriff's role and progressing to the federal level, demands a thoughtful assessment of several aspects. Both SDSU and UCSD are esteemed institutions with unique strengths that can aid your career goals.

1. Public Administration at SDSU:

Choosing SDSU with a major in public administration will likely equip you with practical knowledge and skills pertinent to government operations. Public administration curriculum often emphasizes governance, policy analysis, public finance, and public sector management. This major could lay a solid foundation for understanding the workings of government agencies, a valuable asset for your sheriff and potential federal career aspirations. SDSU's networking opportunities in public administration might also be beneficial for establishing connections in local government, law enforcement, and related fields.

2. Political Science at UCSD:

Choosing political science at UCSD provides a different lens on government and politics. Political science programs generally encompass a wide array of topics including political systems, international relations, comparative politics, and political theory. Studying political science could endow you with a profound understanding of the theoretical foundations of governance and policymaking, which could be beneficial as you advance in your law enforcement career. UCSD’s academic setting may offer opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and research, broadening your outlook on government functions.

Career Path Considerations:

For your goal to become a sheriff and progress to federal roles, both majors can offer relevant knowledge and skills. Public administration might offer more direct practical training for administrative roles within law enforcement agencies, while political science could provide a wider understanding of political structures. Networking opportunities, internships, and extracurricular activities at either institution can significantly influence your career path. Consider which school provides better links to law enforcement agencies or governmental bodies where you aim to work. Also, consider faculty expertise, research opportunities, alumni networks, and campus resources that could bolster your professional growth in the government sector.

In conclusion, both SDSU’s public administration program and UCSD’s political science program have their unique benefits for a government career. Your choice should match your learning preferences, career objectives, networking opportunities, and overall compatibility with the academic environment that best supports your ambitions.

Top 3 Credible Sources Used:

US News & World Report - College Rankings: This source offers comprehensive university rankings based on various factors such as academic reputation, faculty quality, student outcomes, and program offerings. It is widely respected for its credibility in assessing educational institutions.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): The BLS provides valuable information about career paths within the law enforcement and government sectors. Their data on job prospects, salary details, educational requirements, and industry trends can guide decisions about educational choices for specific professions.

Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM): As a premier organization in the field of public policy analysis and management, APPAM provides resources on education programs related to public administration. Their insights can assist in evaluating the relevance of academic programs for preparing students for careers in government service.

These sources were used to ensure accuracy and reliability in guiding you on the best educational path for a career in government service.

GOD BLESS YOU!
JC.
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Kim’s Answer

Karen,

There are shortages throughout the country in the law enforcement field. This means that, barring any disqualifiers, you should be able to get a job with relative ease. Where you go from there sort of depends on what you do to advance your career - taking advantage of opportunities that come your way.

After two years as an officer, you should be putting in to be a Field Training Officer, then Detective, SWAT team, Mental Health Crisis Unit, Hostage Negotiator, etc. You want to build an impressive resume, and, develop sources you can use as references. By the time you have been an officer five years, you should be well-established, perhaps even be a Sergeant. Always work on your Continuing Education hours, and, advancing through the various stages of licensure - intermediate, advance, masters.

Early on, start looking at the federal agencies you are interested in. What are they looking for? Identify any weaknesses and take steps to address them. Always stay physically fit, so you are ready to take an entrance exam, even on short notice.

Do not ignore opportunities just because they don't align with your "plan." Be flexible!

All of this is to say, whatever happens AFTER school is a whole lot more important than which school you attend. Relax! Enjoy!

Kim
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Rafael’s Answer

Hi Karen! Congrats on your admissions! Both SDSU and UCSD are reputable universities with strong programs in public administration and political science, respectively. Consider factors such as the curriculum, faculty expertise, resources, and campus culture to determine which university would be the best fit for you. Additionally, research the alumni network and connections each university has in the government sector. Finally, choose a university where you feel comfortable and supported, as this will contribute to your overall success and satisfaction. Best of luck!
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Gina’s Answer

Both SDSU and UCSD are reputable universities, and the choice between them depends on various factors. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed decision:

1. Program offerings: Evaluate the specific programs offered at each university. Look into the curriculum, courses, and specializations available in public administration at SDSU and political science at UCSD. Consider which program aligns more closely with your career goals and interests.

2. Faculty and resources: Research the faculty members in the respective departments at both universities. Look into their expertise, research interests, and professional backgrounds. Additionally, consider the resources available to students, such as research centers, internships, and networking opportunities.

3. Reputation and rankings: Consider the overall reputation and rankings of the universities and their respective departments. While rankings should not be the sole determining factor, they can provide some insight into the quality of education and resources available.

4. Location: Think about the location of each university and how it may impact your career goals. Consider factors such as proximity to government agencies, internships, networking opportunities, and potential job prospects in the area.

5. Alumni network and connections: Research the alumni networks of both universities, particularly in the fields of public administration and political science. Consider the strength of the alumni network and the potential connections and opportunities it may provide.

6. Cost and financial considerations: Evaluate the cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, and living expenses, at both universities. Consider any financial aid or scholarships offered. It's important to choose a school that aligns with your budget and financial goals.

7. Campus culture and fit: Visit both campuses if possible, or research the campus culture and student life at each university. Consider factors such as class sizes, campus resources, extracurricular activities, and overall fit with your personal preferences and learning style.

Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your individual circumstances, career goals, and personal preferences. It may be helpful to reach out to current students, alumni, or professionals in the field to gain further insights and perspectives.
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