How To Become A Cop

Get a Job With Criminal Justice Degree

A vast majority of criminal justice jobs require a two or four year degree. In fact, federal agents will often require a post-graduate degree as well.  If you want to be a cop, it is much easier to get a job with a criminal justice degree. A criminal justice degree can be earned in a college classroom or you can get a criminal justice degree online.

The sophistication of the crimes cops are up against, the forensic evidence that needs to be collected, and the degree of human relations needed, is all the more reason for a new recruit to receive as much college education as possible.  The exception to this is individuals with a military background.  Retired and reserve military officers can often substitute some of their highly related military experience for some years of formal education.

A check of many current openings reveals that even most local police departments now require a four year criminal justice degree for beginning in a cop job.  Smaller, or more rural, communities still advertise openings with a minimum educational level of a high school diploma or GED.

An applicant can also get a job with this kind of degree at the state level.  State level criminal justice positions include state marshals, crime scene investigators, crime lab technicians, highway patrol officers, corrections officers, probation officers, agricultural produce inspectors, conservation officers and park wardens.  In addition to coursework in criminal justice, many of these positions will require specialized degrees in chemistry, computer, quantitative analysis, forensics, psychology, biology, or environmental studies.

Federal law enforcement agencies will not only require a background in criminal justice, but also some of the more specialized majors as listed above.  Because they may be dealing with individuals from different cultures and with limited English skills, a strong knowledge of one or more foreign language will also be desirable for many federal officers, and increasingly, at other levels of government as well.

To get a job with criminal justice degree one needs to attend an accredited college or university with a four year criminal justice program.  Increasingly, this is becoming the preferred level for beginning law enforcement officers at all levels.


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