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Dunit35
01-17-2007, 11:25 PM
I've been thinking about changing my major for the past couple weeks now. I've been in college for two years and came in wanting to be a history teacher, but I've really been thinking about changing it to Criminal Justice. I've always wanted to be a police officer. I've got some questions about all of it though. I feel like I'd enjoy being a police officer more then a teacher.

I've been wondering if it's even a smart to change your major two years into your schooling? Basically I've gotten just about all my gen eds out of the way with a couple of my history classes done too. So those history classes would be a waste of money. I go to a four year school right now and plan on transfering to another four year program in Oklahoma City. I've also wondered if it would be better for me to attend a two year program to get my Criminal Justice degree? I am wondering if I can actually switch from a four year school to a two year program? I know that a CC could be a lot cheaper for me too. Does anyone know how long it takes to get your police officer stuff done?

Thanks

Dunit35

greg63
01-17-2007, 11:27 PM
I've been thinking about changing my major for the past couple weeks now. I've been in college for two years and came in wanting to be a history teacher, but I've really been thinking about changing it to Criminal Justice. I've always wanted to be a police officer. I've got some questions about all of it though. I feel like I'd enjoy being a police officer more then a teacher.

I've been wondering if it's even a smart to change your major two years into your schooling? Basically I've gotten just about all my gen eds out of the way with a couple of my history classes done too. So those history classes would be a waste of money. I go to a four year school right now and plan on transfering to another four year program in Oklahoma City. I've also wondered if it would be better for me to attend a two year program to get my Criminal Justice degree? I am wondering if I can actually switch from a four year school to a two year program? I know that a CC could be a lot cheaper for me too. Does anyone know how long it takes to get your police officer stuff done?

Thanks

Dunit35

Good luck man; long time no see. Where ya been young man??

Dunit35
01-17-2007, 11:31 PM
Good luck man; long time no see. Where ya been young man??


School and working...should be in bed right now ( 8 a.m. class) but I have stuff to do still. I'm never home on the weekends anymore either.

DenverChief
01-17-2007, 11:35 PM
Well here ya go ..I 'm speaking as someone who got my B.S. in Criminal Justice and am currently pursuing my masters in CJ . I am also a Deputy Sheriff.....First off if you want to change you major now is the time to do it, if you have enough credits go ahead and get the History Minor. As far as the CJ thing goes...it only really benefits you if you work for larger departments that actually require college credits or a degree...My degree hasn't earned me anything extra in the field although even though my department doesn't require it I'd like to think it helped in the hiring process....anywho if you go to a full time academy it generally takes 6 months to complete M-F 8-6 or part time 9 months M-F 6-10 pm Sat 8-6 this is of course at an academy in colorado....You will find that larger departments like LAPD or Denver will require you attend their own academy so sending yourself is pointless but if you would rather work for a department that is smaller like a Lawrence, KS or Boulder, CO and smaller departments they will want you to be certified (attended an academy already) before applying....it just really depends on what you want to do and where you want to work...I'm sure you have more questions...let me know

greg63
01-17-2007, 11:36 PM
School and working...should be in bed right now ( 8 a.m. class) but I have stuff to do still. I'm never home on the weekends anymore either.

Ouch; this is gonna make for a real short night. I wish I could help ysa with your delima bud, but I simply don't have any answers for ya. :shrug:

Jenson71
01-17-2007, 11:38 PM
Change it and be a History minor if your school offers that. You're probably .5 there or closer if you've been in school 2 years now.

Dunit35
01-17-2007, 11:43 PM
Well here ya go ..I 'm speaking as someone who got my B.S. in Criminal Justice and am currently pursuing my masters in CJ . I am also a Deputy Sheriff.....First off if you want to change you major now is the time to do it, if you have enough credits go ahead and get the History Minor. As far as the CJ thing goes...it only really benefits you if you work for larger departments that actually require college credits or a degree...My degree hasn't earned me anything extra in the field although even though my department doesn't require it I'd like to think it helped in the hiring process....anywho if you go to a full time academy it generally takes 6 months to complete M-F 8-6 or part time 9 months M-F 6-10 pm Sat 8-6 this is of course at an academy in colorado....You will find that larger departments like LAPD or Denver will require you attend their own academy so sending yourself is pointless but if you would rather work for a department that is smaller like a Lawrence, KS or Boulder, CO and smaller departments they will want you to be certified (attended an academy already) before applying....it just really depends on what you want to do and where you want to work...I'm sure you have more questions...let me know


Just who I was looking for. I am wanting to work in a smaller town around OKC, pretty much as close to my girlfriends job as possible. That academy process, how could I work and pay rent and other bills? I'd like to go to a CC and get that degree, I feel like it would make me more comfortable when I actually start the process of becoming a police officer. Was the academy process pretty hard to go through?

Dunit35
01-17-2007, 11:45 PM
Change it and be a History minor if your school offers that. You're probably .5 there or closer if you've been in school 2 years now.


That sounds like a good idea. I've actually probably only finished three or four classes that would go to my history degree. Just about everything I've taken has been gen eds.

Jenson71
01-17-2007, 11:47 PM
That sounds like a good idea. I've actually probably only finished three or four classes that would go to my history degree. Just about everything I've taken has been gen eds.

Yeah, that's still about 9-12 hours. The minor is probably anywhere between 15-21, so seems it's just a matter of 2 - 4 more classes. I'm not sure how marketable that would make someone in the criminalogy field, but it can never hurt, and if you do decide to try something for a job history related, you've always got that minor.

DenverChief
01-17-2007, 11:48 PM
Just who I was looking for. I am wanting to work in a smaller town around OKC, pretty much as close to my girlfriends job as possible. That academy process, how could I work and pay rent and other bills? I'd like to go to a CC and get that degree, I feel like it would make me more comfortable when I actually start the process of becoming a police officer. Was the academy process pretty hard to go through?


The part time academy is geared towards people who still have to work but want to attend the academy ...I would suggest if you can to move back in with your parents and go to the full time academy ...just get it over with quickly...the degree will help you with the "books" part of the class but there will be a whole new world of other things to learn too....Don't limit yourself to one jurisdiction...I just started filling out applications ...getting a job in law enforcement is difficult and one jurisdiction will not hire you for the same reason another will...

EDIT:

Go to the website of the department (almost all have them now) ad find out if they require a degree or credit hours or none at all and also if they want you to be certified before you apply, some departments will send you to an academy and pay you a reduced salary to complete

chagrin
01-18-2007, 06:27 AM
Hey man, good to see you back, can't help with your decision though

Chiefs_Fan
01-18-2007, 06:43 AM
Good Luck!

Extra Point
01-18-2007, 06:59 AM
I suggest volunteering a few months in a police "ride around" program. Leawood, KS has one. There may be a municipality with one where you are. I know that's time consuming, but if you feel you want a career in a given field, then it may make sense to do something like that.

Skip Towne
01-18-2007, 07:28 AM
Just who I was looking for. I am wanting to work in a smaller town around OKC, pretty much as close to my girlfriends job as possible. That academy process, how could I work and pay rent and other bills? I'd like to go to a CC and get that degree, I feel like it would make me more comfortable when I actually start the process of becoming a police officer. Was the academy process pretty hard to go through?
We already have too many cops in Oklahoma. Go away.

DaFace
01-18-2007, 07:38 AM
I changed my major midway through my junior year, for what it's worth. In my particular case, though, that didn't affect my graduation date. (I went from a music program with eleventy billion required hours to a business major with much fewer.)

boogblaster
01-18-2007, 08:18 AM
Its your life do as you want..just don't turn on your friends..keep the human-factor envolved...

RockChalk
01-18-2007, 08:18 AM
You will find that larger departments like LAPD or Denver will require you attend their own academy so sending yourself is pointless but if you would rather work for a department that is smaller like a Lawrence, KS or Boulder, CO and smaller departments they will want you to be certified (attended an academy already) before applying....it just really depends on what you want to do and where you want to work...I'm sure you have more questions...let me know

Just FYI, Lawrence doesn't want you to have attended an academy before. It won't hurt you, but they prefer, almost require, that you have a degree in CJ. They have their own 6 month class and it is required that you take it before becoming an officer in Lawrence, even if you were an officer in another city before.

crazycoffey
01-18-2007, 09:45 AM
Just who I was looking for. I am wanting to work in a smaller town around OKC, pretty much as close to my girlfriends job as possible. That academy process, how could I work and pay rent and other bills? I'd like to go to a CC and get that degree, I feel like it would make me more comfortable when I actually start the process of becoming a police officer. Was the academy process pretty hard to go through?


He's pretty dead on, but I want to add, I was a police officer in a dallas suburb and now got my license in MO, looking for work (just moved up here a couple months ago for wife's job)

anyway, most departments, IMO that want a degree it doesn't matter what the degree is in. CJ degree doesn't give any edge in police work and you will learn more applicable information in the acadamy and in-service training from your department.

This is true for federal jobs as well, FBI, ATF, etc that require degees care less about the degree major than the fact you have a degree.

If you want to change now is better than later, but consider this. If you get injured as a police officer you can fall back on teaching. Also if you retire from Police work you can start working as a teacher, trust me it will still seem like a retirement (I am substituting some now too)

My advice is continue getting your degree because of the more options it presents than a CJ degree.

By the way, I have yet to hear of a Police officer that really needed the CJ major. It is better for stepping stones for a masters or doctrine in CJ to teach or work in a lab. Not as a street or agent doing the actual hands on police duties.

patteeu
01-18-2007, 11:20 AM
Change it and be a History minor if your school offers that. You're probably .5 there or closer if you've been in school 2 years now.

I'm not a police officer so take my advice with a grain of salt. I like Jenson's idea here except that I wouldn't change majors to CJ. If you don't like history, change it to psycology or business or something else that will either be generally useful in your field or provide you with something to fall back on and go ahead and get a history minor if you can.

Definitely finish your degree. It won't hurt you in the police business (on the contrary, as others have indicated, it will probably help you land some jobs or some promotions) and it will give you something to fall back on if police work ends up not working out for you.

One thing that I didn't see mentioned is that you could join the military after finishing college and use that as a stepping stone into the law enforcement field. I know a lot of police officers who are former military so I'd imagine that that experience would help you find work too.

Redrum_69
01-18-2007, 11:23 AM
I've been thinking about changing my major for the past couple weeks now. I've been in college for two years and came in wanting to be a history teacher, but I've really been thinking about changing it to Criminal Justice. I've always wanted to be a police officer. I've got some questions about all of it though. I feel like I'd enjoy being a police officer more then a teacher.

I've been wondering if it's even a smart to change your major two years into your schooling? Basically I've gotten just about all my gen eds out of the way with a couple of my history classes done too. So those history classes would be a waste of money. I go to a four year school right now and plan on transfering to another four year program in Oklahoma City. I've also wondered if it would be better for me to attend a two year program to get my Criminal Justice degree? I am wondering if I can actually switch from a four year school to a two year program? I know that a CC could be a lot cheaper for me too. Does anyone know how long it takes to get your police officer stuff done?

Thanks

Dunit35


A cop??? Talk with ROYC75 about that subject...

crazycoffey
01-18-2007, 11:53 AM
I'm not a police officer so take my advice with a grain of salt. I like Jenson's idea here except that I wouldn't change majors to CJ. If you don't like history, change it to psycology or business or something else that will either be generally useful in your field or provide you with something to fall back on and go ahead and get a history minor if you can.

Definitely finish your degree. It won't hurt you in the police business (on the contrary, as others have indicated, it will probably help you land some jobs or some promotions) and it will give you something to fall back on if police work ends up not working out for you.

One thing that I didn't see mentioned is that you could join the military after finishing college and use that as a stepping stone into the law enforcement field. I know a lot of police officers who are former military so I'd imagine that that experience would help you find work too.


yep, military is a good route too, plus they will pay some of your college loans and pay pretty good to be an officer.

But again, don't change it to a CJ degree unless you plan on working in the FBI labs (not as dramatic as seen on tv, ala CSI types) or teach college level classes in CJ. You can be a cop or join the military with ANY degree, even underwater basket weaving.

I am going to school now and finally finishing a degree after 7 years of night school, I wish I would have done it sooner. I am a police officer and I don't know anyone at any department that had to have a CJ major on their degree, IF the department demands a degree. Many only demand some college and some will also wave credit hours for military experience. I know these statements to be true in Texas and Missouri and reckon I am still close to being true in other states. CJ is a throw away degree, don't do it. Get the teaching degree, become a cop, enjoy the job as long as you want then teach.

htismaqe
01-18-2007, 11:57 AM
If you want to be a front-line street cop, Criminal Justice - hell COLLEGE - might make you overqualified.

If you want to be a detective or go into the FBI or something, definitely consider changing your major.

crazycoffey
01-18-2007, 11:59 AM
If you want to be a front-line street cop, Criminal Justice - hell COLLEGE - might make you overqualified.

If you want to be a detective or go into the FBI or something, definitely consider changing your major.


again, to be an agent you need a degree, not a degree in CJ. keep the major for teaching and when you retire with a nice gov retirement check in 20 years and still in your fourties you can teach.

With the CJ degree you will only be able to consult with books, movies, big corporations, good bank, but that's what every other fed agent that retires is doing to.

Be smart get stay on course.

htismaqe
01-18-2007, 12:01 PM
again, to be an agent you need a degree, not a degree in CJ. keep the major for teaching and when you retire with a nice gov retirement check in 20 years and still in your fourties you can teach.

With the CJ degree you will only be able to consult with books, movies, big corporations, good bank, but that's what every other fed agent that retires is doing to.

Be smart get stay on course.

I have a history degree. It won't get him anything.

If he's majoring in education, fine. But if he's majoring in history, I recommend changing his major.

DenverChief
01-18-2007, 12:05 PM
CJ is a throw away degree, don't do it. Get the teaching degree, become a cop, enjoy the job as long as you want then teach.


HEY!!! WTF OVER?!?! BTW that is why I am getting my masters in CJ so I can start teaching undergraduate CJ courses in my spare time make some extra $$

crazycoffey
01-18-2007, 01:12 PM
HEY!!! WTF OVER?!?! BTW that is why I am getting my masters in CJ so I can start teaching undergraduate CJ courses in my spare time make some extra $$


If you read any of my other posts, you would have seen that I said the only reason to get a CJ four year degree is if you wanted to work in the lab, or get a masters or PHD in CJ to teach.

He clearly stated he was thinking about changing degees to be a cop. I am a cop too and I know more people that said they wish they would have gotten thier degree in something other than CJ, than those that had degrees wishing they would have studied criminal justice other than what they had studied.

I was responding more to the other poster (not a cop) saying to change his degree to CJ because it could open more doors for the thread poster's law enforcement career.

Sorry if I offended you, you are doing what you want and what I was explaining as the reason to to get a CJ degree. However with a four year degree in teaching history, he has something to fall back on. He didnt' mention anything about a desire to teach college level courses or even to pursue a Master's degree.

Even with a four year degree in history, switching his master pursuit to CJ to teach CJ to college kids makes more sense long term to me, than changing now just for his four year degree.

DenverChief
01-18-2007, 01:55 PM
If you read any of my other posts, you would have seen that I said the only reason to get a CJ four year degree is if you wanted to work in the lab, or get a masters or PHD in CJ to teach.

He clearly stated he was thinking about changing degees to be a cop. I am a cop too and I know more people that said they wish they would have gotten thier degree in something other than CJ, than those that had degrees wishing they would have studied criminal justice other than what they had studied.

I was responding more to the other poster (not a cop) saying to change his degree to CJ because it could open more doors for the thread poster's law enforcement career.

Sorry if I offended you, you are doing what you want and what I was explaining as the reason to to get a CJ degree. However with a four year degree in teaching history, he has something to fall back on. He didnt' mention anything about a desire to teach college level courses or even to pursue a Master's degree.

Even with a four year degree in history, switching his master pursuit to CJ to teach CJ to college kids makes more sense long term to me, than changing now just for his four year degree.


I was just messin...but it is much harder to get a masters outside of your undergrad discipline if y ou don't have the basics first....very few exceptions to that rule.....CJ, Sociology with Criminalistics emphasis, and Poly Sci are about all you can do and still do good in a CJ Masters program....

crazycoffey
01-18-2007, 01:59 PM
I was just messin...but it is much harder to get a masters outside of your undergrad discipline if y ou don't have the basics first....very few exceptions to that rule.....CJ, Sociology with Criminalistics emphasis, and Poly Sci are about all you can do and still do good in a CJ Masters program....


I am finishing a B.S. in business and planning to go for my Masters in Art education, there's another one to add to the list.

I think I'm getting too old to stay in Law Enforcement. 34 and starting at a new department? Not going to be fun.

DenverChief
01-18-2007, 02:14 PM
I am finishing a B.S. in business and planning to go for my Masters in Art education, there's another one to add to the list.

I think I'm getting too old to stay in Law Enforcement. 34 and starting at a new department? Not going to be fun.


GAH! Don't say that! I just started my LE career at 29 (been in 2 years) Why did you leave your last department?

I think that saying a CJ degree is "worth nothing" is akin to saying military experience is "worth nothing" but that is just my opinion :shrug: I also served 5 years in the Army 3 Active, 2 Guard

El Jefe
01-18-2007, 02:24 PM
Denver Chief, good advice. It is the same in Ohio I am doing a police academy starting in June that runs 22-25 weeks and is mon-fri 5-9pm. Now if I want to work in the COPD (Columbus) which is the biggest in Ohio you have to attend their academy even if you are already an officer. So I am going to do my Academy then try to get on at Columbus it has something like 1900 police officers.

Jilly
01-18-2007, 02:26 PM
I always thought police officers were like firemen, you just take a test and go into an academy.

crazycoffey
01-18-2007, 02:29 PM
GAH! Don't say that! I just started my LE career at 29 (been in 2 years) Why did you leave your last department?

I think that saying a CJ degree is "worth nothing" is akin to saying military experience is "worth nothing" but that is just my opinion :shrug: I also served 5 years in the Army 3 Active, 2 Guard


my wife got a promotion and we moved from texas to missouri. I also have five years of active duty MP. The five years in texas was on a SWAT team, so we did alot of active training and it just takes years from your life, all the sweat, stress, etc. Add to that being a chiefs fan, I think I only have a couple years left..... LOL.

I appologize again about saying the CJ comment. I think there are better options one could pick for a degree if you want to go into law enforcement, but you even said you wanted to teach some classes, then it's right for you.

The stories I've heard, an injury with only a B.S. in CJ (it's science, or arts? I don't know) anyway thier law enforcement career is cut short and it wasn't long enough to be a consultant, they were left in the cold, sorta. Interests in post Law Enforcement careers in a science field, or accounting field, etc. but they only had a four year in CJ and couldn't do anything but sell office supplies. In hindsight they'd wished they did something else. That's what I was going for.

Reerun_KC
01-18-2007, 02:38 PM
Do know much about the CJ degrees, but I am in the process of completing my BS in Aviation Science along with working on my commercial pilot certificates..

I decided I wanted to do something that would benefit me and my bank account.

I couldnt be a police officer, no offense...

IF you are looking for a place to work around OKC, try Edmond. All they do is write tickets, easy cake job.

I received a ticket for turning left on a green light, took it to court and won. Amazing what police officers can write tickets for now days.

DenverChief
01-18-2007, 02:39 PM
my wife got a promotion and we moved from texas to missouri. I also have five years of active duty MP. The five years in texas was on a SWAT team, so we did alot of active training and it just takes years from your life, all the sweat, stress, etc. Add to that being a chiefs fan, I think I only have a couple years left..... LOL.

I appologize again about saying the CJ comment. I think there are better options one could pick for a degree if you want to go into law enforcement, but you even said you wanted to teach some classes, then it's right for you.

The stories I've heard, an injury with only a B.S. in CJ (it's science, or arts? I don't know) anyway thier law enforcement career is cut short and it wasn't long enough to be a consultant, they were left in the cold, sorta. Interests in post Law Enforcement careers in a science field, or accounting field, etc. but they only had a four year in CJ and couldn't do anything but sell office supplies. In hindsight they'd wished they did something else. That's what I was going for.


Ahh gotcha...no need to apologize I understand you position completley, my degree is a B.S. I have seen CJ as a B.A. but that just doesn't seem right to me....anywho P.D. or S.O.?

crazycoffey
01-18-2007, 02:58 PM
Ahh gotcha...no need to apologize I understand you position completley, my degree is a B.S. I have seen CJ as a B.A. but that just doesn't seem right to me....anywho P.D. or S.O.?


I was with a PD, open for SO - I'm in St. Louis area. Have applications with County police (it's a weird setup, not SO, hard to explain because I hardly understand it), and a couple of suburbs. St. Louis proper wants you to be a resident in St. louis proper, and I don't see that happening, unless they let me get a free apartment somewhere.

I just past my POST test last month, so that's a good feather in my cap and should help my standing with said departments.

You said earlier you were with a SO, and you spent some time in the army, any active duty? I take it the SO is your first civilian post too.

DenverChief
01-18-2007, 03:21 PM
I was with a PD, open for SO - I'm in St. Louis area. Have applications with County police (it's a weird setup, not SO, hard to explain because I hardly understand it), and a couple of suburbs. St. Louis proper wants you to be a resident in St. louis proper, and I don't see that happening, unless they let me get a free apartment somewhere.

I just past my POST test last month, so that's a good feather in my cap and should help my standing with said departments.

You said earlier you were with a SO, and you spent some time in the army, any active duty? I take it the SO is your first civilian post too.


Yeah my 3 active were as a scout my 2 years guard were with an MP unit...yes it is my first LEO job and I love it ....always planning for the future though, hence the Masters program

crazycoffey
01-18-2007, 03:30 PM
Yeah my 3 active were as a scout my 2 years guard were with an MP unit...yes it is my first LEO job and I love it ....always planning for the future though, hence the Masters program


sounds good, I knew a couple of scouts and from taking some kind of pathfinder course, I also took the AIB course. We knew full well that we would not be able to wear the awards or patches because we were MPs, but did it anyway in training for the National MP competition. It was some good training. but man I hated road marching.

Sam Hall
01-18-2007, 05:23 PM
Ask yourself this question: What have I always wanted to be? Stick to that plan. I was depressed about my major last semester. I finally realized the major and career I chose aren't easy, but I should stick with what I have always wanted to do. I thought about changing my major, but realized I wouldn't be happy doing anything else.