Law Enforcement Degrees
Law Enforcement degrees prepare individuals for a wide range of careers, which exist at local, state, and federal government levels. Law enforcement jobs cover many different areas including private security, local police departments, state police, and the federal departments. Law enforcement within the federal department consists of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Marshall’s Service, and Department of Homeland Security. A Law Enforcement degree is required by most state and federal agencies for applicants.
An associate’s degree in law enforcement is a two year program and is the minimum level of education required for most law enforcement job positions. An associate’s degree in law enforcement teaches the basic skills of police work. Coursework includes computer skills, report writing, and a general knowledge of policing procedures. Law enforcement job opportunities for associate’s degree graduates include police officers, private security officers, and fish and game wardens.
For many job positions in law enforcement, a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement is now considered the standard requirement. This four year degree takes an in-depth look into policing procedures and court systems, and also covers advanced writing, problem solving, and analytical skills. Job opportunities for graduates of a law enforcement bachelor’s degree include police detective, criminal investigator, FBI agent, customs inspector, and border patrol agent.
A master’s degree focuses on specific areas of law enforcement and the criminal justice system, which may include forensic psychology, leadership, teaching, and consulting. A master’s degree in law enforcement can lead to work at state and federal levels. There are also doctorate degrees in law enforcement, which focus more on theory and research of law enforcement and criminal justice.
Job Opportunities for Law Enforcement Degrees
Employment in law enforcement, specifically police and detective jobs, is expected to grow 10 percent from 2008 to 2018. This increased demand for police services is mainly due to population growth. There is a great deal of competition for state and federal law enforcement jobs. The more education and experience you have will make you a better candidate for the higher level jobs.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition