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  1. #1
    Conner is offline Registered User
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    Advice on not missing any opportunities

    Greetings all.

    I've lurked for a while before creating an account, and I'm hoping to take advantage of the generosity I've seen this community extend to other users. I appreciate any and all advice and even harsh criticism or critique. I'd like to provide you all with a little background on me, my work history and my educational history . What I'd like is for you to evaluate what I've done, what I'm doing, and offer any insight you may have regarding any additional steps you'd take (or omit, for that matter). For instance, imagine a jar full of pebbles. I'd like for you to be able to add some smaller pebbles or sand to fill in the voids (however large or small) to take best advantage of the space.

    Background:
    I'm a 35 year old male, married and we have a 7 year old daughter. My wife is a physician and is in an established career. I attended my state's flagship university for about 2 years after high school and then resigned in good standing. I entered the workforce and became a police officer for about a decade. In 2010 I left law enforcement and entered the private sector. I presently work for a petroleum services group where I wear many hats - field support, sales, project lead, etc. I resumed my collegiate career at a smaller 4 year state school where I earned an AS in Safety Technology (it offered the best combination of rate of completion and application to my present career). I immediately re-enrolled at a satellite campus of the flagship university and am working toward a BS in Business Administration . All college coursework is 100% online.

    In the meantime I'm considering attending a prep seminar in the summer to achieve an Associate Safety Professional certification. After graduation, I'd like to explore a postgrad degree. The flagship has an online MBA program that is respected and an online master's program in Construction Management that is reportedly among the best around. Additionally, there is a prestigious private university nearby that is offering an online master's in Homeland Security as well as a master's in Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law.

    Money isn't too big of an issue, but large enough that I cannot put my career on hold to go full time as a traditional student or take an unpaid internship. ROI is also a consideration as I'd rather not spend 50K+ to enjoy a 5K/year raise.

    I feel like I'm missing out some networking opportunities, but I'm not sure how detrimental that may be. I have also considered some other professional certifications (CEBS, CAPM, etc.) but I am undecided on that front.

    Sorry for the wall of text, but I'm hoping one or more of you can extend the olive branch and give me some pointers. When I was young I thought I'd be a career LEO but here I am. I just want to make sure I have crossed all of my I's and dotted all of my T's (:p).

    So that's it. I'd be pleased to offer any additional information to help clarify some things. Is there something extra I could be doing now to ease the route later on, or are my future goals a little too undefined to make any changes presently?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Hi Conner, welcome to degreeinfo. I'm glad you stopped lurking and came in to say hello. You've told an interesting story and your question is clear enough. The piece that sticks in my mind the most is your thoughts about your prospective degree programs. It strikes me that they're very different and would lead you into remarkably different directions. This leads me to wonder, "What do you actually want to do in your career?" I'd suggest that rather than enrolling in a program that's somehow nearby or familiar and then following that track, you think about where you want to go, your career destination, and then choose a program that will get you there. I'm sure others will add their thoughts but that's just a few grains of sand from me to slip between those marbles.

  3. #3
    Conner is offline Registered User
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    I suppose I did a poor job of explaining that.

    My ideal career goal would be the large-scale development and implementation of safety policy and best practices. The disparity between the postgrad programs have really more to do with the amalgamation of rate of completion and possible application.

    When I was an officer, I was able to recognize that I enjoyed specialized duty - K9, SWAT, training, etc. As a peer mentor for new recruits, I did my best to make them aware of other avenues they had to pursue to realize their goals as a police officer . If a recruit had aspirations of joining SWAT, for instance, I would let them know that we didn't have a single SWAT operator who was not either a certified firearm instructor or a field training officer. In our department, you couldn't become either without first taking an FBI-led instructor development course and/or a the certified Kaminsky field training course. In short, FBI-IDC led to being an instructor or FTO which led to SWAT.

    As it pertains to me, I'm wondering if there are not some avenues I need to be looking at - things that I'm not fully informed about - in order to be as effectively competitive as possible. Again, having been disconnected from the private sector for so long I feel like there are nuances that I'm unaware of. I mentioned CAPM and CEBS specifically, but are there any certifications that can truly make an impact in the job market? We would have applicants that had years of experience as an armed security guard or they'd be a licensed private investigator , but that did nothing to set them apart from others.

    I'm not sure if that made things more clear or more murky. I think that entering the private sector at 35 years of age has provided more challenges than I expected. Having worked one place for so long, I'm only just beginning to gather experience during employment interviews - something that my peers have a substantial head start on compared to me.

    Presently, school is going phenomenally well as is my performance at work. I'd rather not feel too comfortable and in a few months or years realize that I could have been doing much more to stack the deck in my favor. I'd hate to realize too late that I failed to take advantage of an opportunity.

  4. #4
    Taxing is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conner View Post
    My ideal career goal would be the large-scale development and implementation of safety policy and best practices.
    Not familiar with this career area, however, it sounds like something in I/O Psychology or Industrial Engineering would fit with this career goal. Here is an online Industrial Engineering program: https://www.usm.edu/undergraduate/in...-technology-bs.

    University of North Dakota offers a distance Petroleum Engineering degree: Online Degrees | Degrees | Online Distance | Extended Learning | Academics | UND: University of North Dakota. This is a very valuable area in petroleum services although I don't know how much it applies to safety.

  5. #5
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conner View Post
    My ideal career goal would be the large-scale development and implementation of safety policy and best practices.
    Something like this?

    Tulane University - Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine - Distance Learning - Occupational Health and Safety Management Masters Program

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