What is the best degree to have for a career in law enforcement?
From degrees in criminal justice to sociology, here are six educational paths that answer the question, “What’s the best degree to have when considering a career in law enforcement?”
- Criminal Justice
- Foreign Language
- Public Relations
- Social Work
A criminal justice degree is a staple for anyone seeking a career in law enforcement. It allows students to gain an understanding of our laws and increases their general comprehension of processes behind the criminal justice system. This degree is a perfect option for anyone wanting to work in the upper echelons of police work. And while not specifically geared towards judicial- or attorney-based roles, it doesn’t close the door on those options either. Overall, a criminal justice degree is a solid choice to pursue for anyone seeking a career within the field of law enforcement.
Max Schwartzapfel, CMO, Schwartzapfel Lawyers
A degree in a foreign language can be beneficial for anyone interested in launching a career in law enforcement. Foreign language courses provide an understanding of language structure, which is essential in developing an investigative skill set. Additionally, it provides access to people of diverse cultures and communities, allowing for better communication and a deeper connection to the community being served by law enforcement personnel.
Foreign language degrees also provide the much-needed insight into the complexities of different legal systems, which are fundamental when providing security to those at risk. All of these skills translate into desirable attributes for any employer looking to hire professional law enforcement personnel, demonstrating that they’re well-rounded and capable of handling challenging situations, especially those arising from cultural differences.
Law enforcement entails watching over the public and ensuring that it’s adhering to the rules within its jurisdiction while also maintaining peace and order. While a degree in public relations isn’t mandatory, it’s an ideal qualification for anyone pursuing a career in law enforcement.
The degree serves to equip an individual with the knowledge of how to interact with and administer to the people in the public domain. What you’ll learn will complement your law enforcement training, where you’ll be operating in the public’s eye. That knowledge will let you handle public discord and potential fallout while you’re administering to the people you’ll be responsible for.
Cybersecurity is an increasingly popular degree for those interested in working in law enforcement. It’s comparable to computer science in that it largely entails the use of digital systems to identify and discourage criminal activity. Its primary concern is to protect the individuals using these systems from both internal and external threats.
With your knowledge of cybersecurity, you’ll have a wealth of career options available to you within law enforcement, where you’ll be in charge of protecting computer systems and people from the ever-expanding web of security risks.
Those wanting to go into law enforcement may consider a degree in social work. Understanding how our overall social system operates and knowing how to navigate it will help you tremendously. You’ll also get a realistic picture of what’s happening in society on a daily basis and the types of situations (and people) you’ll encounter.
Sociology is one of those underrated degrees that can help you get a job in law enforcement. A degree in sociology provides a broad understanding of social relationships, the functioning of social institutions, and processes that lead to conflicts. This knowledge will help you understand criminals’ behaviors and dynamics, and it will inform your interactions with diverse communities.
Thus, a law enforcement professional is better equipped to make professional decisions and take confident actions when problems arise. Besides, sociology includes coursework in research methods, data analysis, and critical thinking, which are valuable skills to have in law enforcement.
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