Cj ??

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by MadClown, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. MadClown

    MadClown New Member

    I was told by another poster here that some of you have a CJ degree.

    Can any of you let me know if it is a useful degree, I have heard that it is not much of a benefit, if I heard wrong I would love to hear it since much of my background is in LE.
  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    That's one of the greatest urban legends, especially in police departments. Those rumors are usually started/perpetuated by those who have no college degree at all, so consider the source.

    If you're applying for a job that simply requires a legitimately accredited degree, than a degree in Criminal Justice is just as valuable, or just as useless, as a degree in Liberal Arts, Geography, or Ancient Babylonian Astrology.
  3. sirrain

    sirrain New Member

    That is a very good point. If you just need a degree, then any degree will do.
    But I wonder how many people with CJ degrees would say that it is a worthless degree. Especially if they were working adults when they obtained the degree. From what I understand, in civil service, having a degree bumps you up in pay automatically.
  4. recruiting

    recruiting Member

    Hummmmm, I don't believe I ever heard anyone with a Criminal Justice degree refer to it as worthless.

    Given the context, is there such a thing? Probably not-

    MadClown; Since BRUCE has several degrees in CJ, why not ask him directly as to its utility?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2006
  5. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Where do you find one of them these days?
  6. recruiting

    recruiting Member

  7. jagmct1

    jagmct1 New Member

    By far and large, criminal justice degree(s) can be very useful and provide much utility, so long as you are in the criminal justice field in one form or another. It's like someone getting a degree in engineering and wanting to work in the culinary field. Criminal justice degree(s) are for individuals who work in such a career, although there are people out there that pursue a CJ degree on interest or hopes in working in the field.

    As for me, I work in law enforcement and thoughtfully considered a degree in criminal justice. I ultimately decided to get my bachelor's in business administration, my graduate degree (MBA) and currently pursuing a Ph.D in business administration with a concentration in organizational leadership.

    The reason why I decided on this path was that I wanted to diversify my background. I got plenty of college credits in criminal justice at my local junior college and at the police academy. Although, you learn so much more when simply working in the field itself. If I ever wanted to leave the law enforcement career or got injured, at least my educational background is diversified in such a way as to be considered for other opportunities.
  8. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Any bachelors degree will help you get a job and keep a job. You can search on monster.com or other job boards to see if a CJ degree will help you land a job. However, it is very difficult to know how much the CJ degree helps those who are already employed attain promotions and become more valuable to their organizations. Personally, I've thought about getting a CJ Masters degree to work with governmental entities on some projects.

    In general, be wary of those who are trying to sell the idea that getting more education won't help you. That is simply not true.

  9. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I am about to complete a BSCJ and I feel that a CJ undergraduate degree is great for govt. work such as social services, law enforcement, etc. You can also use it for private security which has wages from $7.00 an hour to $600,000 a year that I have seen.

    Any degree will have limited utility, I love CJ as an academic venture and you learn a lot of stuff besides "cop work", such as psychology for instance.

    As for a graduate degree, I'm looking strongly at an MBA or a MA in Homeland Security. The Homeland Security thing will either be a strike out or a home run in the industry, so I'm wavering a bit....I'd like to see how the tide turns for Homeland Security in 2008.
  10. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    To paraphrase Steve Levicoff, you could probably do a Ph.D. in Ancient Babylonian Astrology at the Union Institute and University, provided you can demonstrate doctoral-level work in Ancient Babylonian Astrology. :D
  11. JH50

    JH50 New Member

    IMO a cj degree is not worthless.
    Being in law enforcement, it can help give you a broader perspective on the subject that you can't learn in a six month academy. It can also help you teach down the line if thats what you want to pursue. I also believe that the more law enforcement officers with cj or other degree helps to create a more professional organization.
  12. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    I got a Bachelors degree in business management, but if I had it to do all over again, I'd go for CJ because it is more relevant to what I do and it's definately more interesting.
  13. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Gosh! I wonder if that's still true after the changes OBR insisted upon in Summer 2006. If not, I suppose anyone who's actually interested could find a good PhD by research in Archaeoastronomy and create a concentration in Ancient Babylonian Astrology.
  14. jdaug

    jdaug New Member

    I have a BS in Criminology and it definately helped me get my job working at my counties Children & Youth department. Also in my state (Pennsylvania) a lot of the civil service jobs in mental health also require at least 18 hours in social sciences which CJ would be. So for this type of work it's better than having a degree in math or something like that.
  15. parvo

    parvo New Member

    At the risk of being unpopular, I disagree with most of the responses on this thread. I work in law enforcement and don't have a cj degree. The problem with cops is that we never have a plan of how to make a living if we get hurt or lose our job. If you can't work in law enforcement anymore (for whatever reason) and all you have is cj, your'e screwed. I think it's better to be well rounded. Also, I don't know of any high ranking officers that get cj masters anymore. All their degrees are in management, political science or public administration, so that they can move into city government or the private sector if the need arises.

    My advice is to get a degree in whatever interests you.
  16. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    You've fallen for the old Urban Legend that a CJ degree is useless, unless you're a police officer. That's simply not true....as I mentioned, many, many jobs simply require a legitimately-accredited degree, go look on Monster.com for yourself. None of the want ads state "an accredited degree in anything except Criminal Justice".

    Exactly how would a degree in, say, Sociology be of any more value than a CJ degree for someone who's not a police officer?
  17. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    I have a M.S in Criminal Justice and worked in corrections for years now. CJ degree has been very valuable for my career. Furthermore, it opened up many opportunities for me within the civil service structure.
  18. MadClown

    MadClown New Member

    I'm not really worried about being getting a job if I get hurt or other circumstances.

    I worked for a medium sized department for 14 years when I was injured and medically retired, the job market without a degree was very good for me based on my experience alone.

    I fully recovered from my injuries after some time and although I wanted to return to my dept. I could not due to liability issues.

    I had to move to another state to get back into LE (yes, at times I kick myself), now if I want to promote or move around, they feel that I need to get educated (like what we do just isn't educational enough).

    Now that I have decided to go about this using distance education and testing out, I keep coming up with more questions, type of degree, what will my GPA look like if I want to go to graduate school, acceptance of DL, etc., etc.....

    I have always learned things easily and for some reason I take tests very well, but the more I look into this, I sink deeper into a paralysis of analysis.
  19. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Keep those questions coming. They're inspirational and remind us why we hang out here.

  20. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I got hurt on the job and was a departmental mascot desk jocky for about 2 months, it sucked. It also got me to questioning a CJ degree and experience. But I found this to be the case.........if a cop retires or is injured he/she can:

    1.) Be a PI, some of these guys make a LOT of money especially when they have a retainer with a law firm.

    2.) Be a security consultant or security executive. Believe it or not, the average director of security for a hotel makes about 2 to 3 times what a beat cop will make in a large city. Something to consider.

    3.) Be a social worker. You like dysfunctional people? You like eating crackers for lunch because you are so poor? Then social worker may be the gig for you.

    4.) Around here child support investigators are in big demand and those with a CJ degree and any investigations experience are golden.

    5.) Become an instructor. Several cops around here got together and are instructors for everything from basic firearms to security licensing for comissions or concealed handguns.

    You may notice a trend, most of these jobs are licensed professions governed by the state, most also either require you work for a small business or open your own. There are a lot of opportunities for old cops out there, but most are self created.

    So I decided to get a graduate degree MBA because of the limitations and it won't hurt me in LE work or if I go private sector like hotel security. It's diversity.

    As for an undergrad BS? It doesn't matter nearly as much unless you are going to be a CPA or something. Most jobs I have seen that require an undergrad degree have "preferences" but not mandated. I would venture a guess to say that half to the majority of those with a BS work in a field unrelated to that degree. Just a guess mind you.

    So if going for an undergrad, get a degree in an area that interests you, then go for the "money" degree at the graduate level.

    Remember, an injured cop who is 40 yrs old with a BS in Business will probably land an entry level job in business at best due to lack of experience in the field. And this is if the business does not have a problem with a 40 yr. old in an entry position.

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