There is a lot of competition for new spots on the police force. Each year, thousands of cadets apply to training academies in order to complete their basic training and start a career as a police officer. Academies have a lot of talent to choose from, which makes it tough for some applicants to stand out from the crowd. Applicants that have a college degree in a field related to police work have a much better chance of making it through the first round of selections. By investing in your education, you can show the admissions council that you take the job seriously and expect to make a real career out of it. With more experience and knowledge in the law enforcement field, your time as a police officer will be much more focused and rewarding.
Do I Need a College Degree to Be a Police Officer?
No, you don’t need a college degree to become a police officer. In most states, the only educational requirement for entering the academy is a high school diploma or GED. There are entrance exams to enter every police academy, so having some book-smarts is still necessary to make the first cut. In some states, however, police academies are hosted at community colleges and will require the completion of a degree for basic training. A police training calender will help you find times and dates.
How Does a College Degree Help my Admission Chances?
The academy screens recruits along several lines. Each applicant has a differing set of skills and experience. Without any relevant work experience in law enforcement, it can be difficult to stand out from the pack of applicants. There are other ways to become a more attractive candidate, such as military experience. But for cadets that have the necessary resources, getting a college degree is an even more effective way to improve your chances of acceptance. With an education in law enforcement, the entrance exam for the academy and the overall placement score you receive will be much more beneficial for your career. If you intend to climb the ranks, you need to have the right credentials.
Which College Degrees are Best for Police?
The best college degrees for police work are those that deal with the field of law enforcement. The two most popular majors that police recruits study are Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. Depending on the institution you choose, there may be other types of degrees that satisfy the same criteria. There are two-year associate degrees and four-year bachelor degrees available in most states in these majors. If you intend to enter a specialized field of law enforcement, such as forensics or white-collar crime, there may be a more relevant degree to pursue. Think about what you want from your career before choosing a program for your police college degree.