A Bachelor’s Degree in Law Enforcement
Getting into law enforcement doesn’t necessarily require a bachelor’s degree, but it probably won’t hurt your efforts either, and having such a degree will likely add to your career potential and advancement opportunities. But just because you can or possibly will get a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement doesn’t mean that law enforcement will be the right choice of career for you. There is more to consider than just whether you will be able to pass the coursework that is contained within your degree program. You must also consider whether you are right for law enforcement work and whether it is right for you.
Are You Cut Out for Law Enforcement?
Before considering a degree or entering into a degree program to obtain your bachelor’s degree in law enforcement, you should first consider you personal abilities and desire to be involved in the law enforcement field. Law enforcement can be both mentally and physically demanding and will likely require strength and endurance in both areas.
While you might work your way into a desk job or office work eventually or might even start off there depending upon your job selection, chances are, you may initially start your career out in the field, and if you aren’t prepared for such work, you might want to reconsider your decision to enter the law enforcement field.
Chasing criminals and dealing with crimes — often violent or mentally disturbing ones — can take a toll on those in law enforcement, and if you aren’t physically and mentally strong, such situations can prove difficult to handle on a regular basis. Deciding whether you have the ability not only to keep yourself strong in such situations, but help victims maintain their composure, as well as resist the temptation to exact your own justice upon criminals, and avoid bribes or other temptation, can all be factors in deciding if you are cut out for law enforcement.
Coursework and Subject Matter
From the actual criminal justice system that defendants and plaintiffs’ experience to the correctional institutions and enforcement techniques and tactics that will be used to uphold the law and catch criminals, there are numerous topics that you will likely encounter during your law enforcement degree coursework. It is important to realize that your coursework will be about more than just catching and dealing with the bad guys. While this aspect may be an integral part of your work, there are many other areas of law enforcement that a degree program might cover.
From subject matter relating to procedures, administration, and management involved in law enforcement, to topics like psychology, public safety, and investigations, there is a variety of areas you may explore within law enforcement degree work. You will also likely spend time learning and understanding documentation techniques, observation skills, interviewing, interrogating, crime scene investigation, and similar investigatory methods that may be a part of your law enforcement education.
There are a variety of ways in which a holder of a bachelor’s in law enforcement might apply his or her education. It could be that a career out in the field, working cases, chasing down criminals, and catching the bad guys, is more your style. If this is the case, you might find that working as a police officer, detective or security guard are appealing career choices. Otherwise, it could be that work as a probation officer or working in a correctional facility is preferable.
It might be that you start in one such profession only to realize that you would rather work in a related role like border patrol or customs officer or maybe even as an FBI agent. With a degree in law enforcement you can enhance your chances of winding up in such a role and further your potential for career advancement and promotions.