Best minor for Poli Sci/Crim Justice?

<p>Im a double major (Poli Sci with a concentration in Pre-Law and Crim Just with a concentration in Forensics) My goal is to get into either Homeland Security or the FBI down the road. What minor would be most beneficial? I was considering either Soc, Anthro, Russian, Environmental Studies (maybe it'd work well with FEMA?) or Business Studies. Any suggestions? Or would it be pointless to have a minor?</p>

<p>Agencies don't give a squat about your minor.</p>

<p>Take classes that can help you get a good job after you graduate and make you marketable. Right now your two majors fall short in the job market. I'd look into Computer Science, or Information Technology.</p>

<p>You don't think a language would be helpful with either of the agencies? I'm trying to be as marketable as possible here lol
Do you think I'd be better off just not going for a minor since you said that agencies don't care for them?</p>

<p>It may or may not help, it certainly won't get you a Federal LE job out of college, they require work experience, and that's all they really care about. Agencies only care if are fluent, which requires multiple exams. It takes many years to get that sort of fluency, you are being naive about "just picking up a language", earlier you said you were gonna learn 4 - very ridiculous.</p>

<p>Most people start off in local/state LE, or the military - then make the jump to Fed. LE.</p>

<p>If you care about being marketable, drop CJ and get something that is needed in the workplace. Hopefully you are taking the right Poli Sci courses that will give you some skills, if not - it's not gonna do anything for you.</p>

<p>Here are some good marketable majors to combine with Poli Sci.</p>

<p>Computer Science
Information Technology
Accounting
Finance
Biology
Chemistry
Statistics
GIS (If available)</p>

<p>Once you get good work experience, agencies won't give a squat about your degree. All they care is that you have one and meet the minimum requirements to apply for the job, after that they no longer care. </p>

<p>If you want to get into Fed. LE, become a cop after you graduate or join the military - go the officer route. Then, if you still want to go federal apply to whatever agencies you'd like to work for.</p>

<p>However, I caution you about the FBI, it does not have a good reputation. There are dozens of 1811 positions out there in nearly every branch of the federal government.</p>

<p>Ones with some of the best reputations are ATF, US Postal Inspectors, and USMS. </p>

<p>DEA is also coveted, but the work is unique and you really need to figure out if you want to be there or not. The USSS hires alot, because of high turnover. Lot's of being away from home and some of the work really sucks (protection).</p>

<p>Why does the FBI not have a good reputation? Could you fill me in a little bit more about that?</p>

<p>I was actually just starting to looking into DEA (family friends were both DEA and we're talking it up) but I don't know that that's really the best fit for me. </p>

<p>USMS definitely peaks my interest. And according to a recent study they're expecting to hire around 900 ppl in the next 2 years (higher than many of the others)</p>

<p>And as far as the Poli Sci courses...how am I supposed to know if they're the right courses? lol Did you do Poli Sci?</p>

<p>Yeah, I did Poli Sci.</p>

<p>The only real benefit of Poli Sci is research and analysis. So take as many courses in Statistics, Statistical Analysis, and Policy Analysis as you can. Basically search for courses in research methodology and take those, the rest are a waste. Also look into any courses that uses IT for research analysis purposes.</p>

<p>As far as the FBI, they have a reputation for being bureaucrats first, cops/investigators second. Anyone working in Fed. LE can probably tell you a story about them, it's pretty common. Real LE folk prefer not to work with them, and I don't blame them. Plus, they have a very poor culture, poor attitude. I can't tell you how many people were turned down by them, then later in their careers said, "Thank God they turned me down, I could never work for them." I know multiple people who spent along time getting into the agency, and are now desperately trying to leave.</p>

<p>I doubt USMS will hire 900 in the next two years, but ya never know. Regardless, you will need work experience first, they don't hire college kids with no experience. They prefer former street cops and people with military experience. And all new 1811's start off working court duty, which sucks, but it's how it goes.</p>

<p>DEA is good, but if you don't want to be a street cop, stay away - because it's basically the same job as a street cop working on a special unit. </p>

<p>If you aren't willing to be a cop or join the military your chances of landing a Fed. LE job is slim.</p>

<p>Your only other option would be to look into uniformed FLEO jobs, 0083 like USSS Uniform Division, Capital Police, ect., but those are all force protection/security. The only real FLEO 0083 that does real LE work is the US Park Police.</p>

<p>Maybe try the Air Marshals, they hire alot, but you usually need some working experience before you get hired. Plus, the job sucks. Being on a plane everyday can really wear you out, and you don't get to any investigations and will make zero arrests most likely.</p>

<p>I was actually just considering Air Marshals...cause I love flying/traveling..but the lack of investigations kills it for me. The whole reason I'm going this route is because i LOVE investigating.</p>

<p>Thanks for the heads up about the FBI...and the type of work relating to the DEA. </p>

<p>I figured with majoring in CJ it was a good start for any job in LE and thought having my degree in CJ/Forensics that might give me a good concentration...and maybe actually be more marketable?
As for majoring in Poli Sci(Pre-Law) it would leave me the option of trying for law school if a police career doesn't work out. But it sounds like from what you're saying Poli Sci is like a waste of a degree?</p>

<p>Honestly, you need to stop worrying about federal agencies, and start focusing on what job you will get directly out of college. Because federal agencies don't hire recent college grads to be 1811/Federal Agents. To be competitive for those positions, you need work experience - period.</p>

<p>The most competitive applicants for 1811 are people with local/state LE experience, military officers, and ideally people with a combination of both. Lot's of applicants have years of local LE experience along with enlisted military experience, including multiple combat tours.</p>

<p>Right now you are making a common mistake among young people who want to break into Fed. LE. They see stuff on TV and think that's what agencies really need. Forensics, while "cool", isn't how most investigations are conducted, and honestly - the forensics you are learning in CJ classes are completely useless. The only way a forensic education will benefit an applicant is if it's rooted in the hard schiences (Bio/Chem). They want people who can do the science behind the practice, so you would need a background Forensic Pathology or Forensic Toxicology for it to be of use to a agency. They stuff you are learning right now is just basic stuff taught in any academy, and in no way will it help you get a job or perform a job. </p>

<p>Wipe away everything you've ever seen on CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds, ect. - it's all BS.</p>

<p>If you want to learn how to conduct investigations, the top skills you need are Accounting and Computer Science. The other skills will be taught to you in the academy, training programs, and on the job experience.</p>

<p>Right now, I would focus your efforts on beefing up your Poli Sci curriculum by going heavy on the research methodology. That means start adding Statistical Analysis, Empirical Analysis, Policy Analysis, Polling, technical writing, and IT courses that focus on using technology and databases to conduct research.</p>

<p>In you CJ curriculum, start looking at Crime Mapping courses and more statistical analysis. Look at your schools geology/geography department and see what classes are offered in GIS (Geographic Information Systems), and take as many as you can.</p>

<p>If you do this, you will have a pretty good set of tools to start looking for a job as an analyst, which can also lead to Fed. LE jobs. More than likely you won't get this sort of job right out of school, but you will be on the right track.</p>

<p>If you are serious about this line of work, my best suggestion is to join the military. If you enlist, you can join as an Intelligence Analyst (guaranteed), and you will really have doors open for you. If you join as an Officer, you won't get to pick which MOS/Branch you get, but you do have a say (ranking system). </p>

<p>If you want to explore private sector opportunities, look into the National Guard or Reserves branches. They will give you lots of training in Intel/Analysis, solid experience you can take to the next level, and even pay your student loans or help pay for a graduate degree.</p>

<p>I'm an analyst and the majority of my co-workers are former military analysts (I did something else), so it's a great track for a person to take. Plus, it gives you 10 Veteran preference points when applying for government jobs, which really helps!</p>

<p>I'm focusing on what will look good to an agency because I know a major or minor isn't going to matter much at all when it comes to getting a job as a cop after college. Yea around by me they look for graduates with a degree in CJ but all that does is improve your chances of moving up to Detective a bit faster than others who just go to academy right out of high school. </p>

<p>As for the forensics, my college's CJ/Forensic program does require bio/chem/genetics (just found that out and since I'm not very good at science I'm reconsidering the Forensic track and may opt for the Homeland Security track instead, not sure how much that'll help if any) </p>

<p>Question about the military idea. In order to be an Officer don't you have to have a degree? Or be in a ROTC program? I don't know much about this area, althought I come from a military family, everyone's always gone the enlisted route.
Would you recommend a specific branch or is any military experience good? I think I would have to do reserves being that I want to be able to finish up my degree within the next 2 years. I'm already 23 and don't feel like putting off college for another 4 years to go active you know?</p>

<p>Thanks for pointing out all that information about what kind of courses to take. I never would've thought about Geology classes. My school actually offers a minor in Geology, not sure that it would be worth it but still something to look into I suppose.</p>

<p>Being that you are already an analyst, could you tell me a little bit about that? Do you work out of DC? (Just asking that last part because my college offers an internship with different agencies in DC and I was wondering if you think those that intern have an advantage over those that don't)</p>

<p>Sorry for all the questions. You've been so helpful!</p>

<p>I can't say this enough.</p>

<p>Agencies - Don't - Care - About - Your - Education.</p>

<p>They only care that 1) You have a degree to meet the minimum requirements of the position, 2) What makes you a competitive and attractive candidate is your work experience, that's it - that's all.</p>

<p>This is why you are much better off getting a degree in something useful both in government and private sector, such majors as Computer Science, Accounting, and Finance. That way, if you don't want to work in gov/LE, you have other options for a career. CJ gives you zero options outside of LE and social work.</p>

<p>Those degree also give you a better foundation for some investigative methods, much more than CJ or Poli Sci. Poli Sci is really just research based, and if you don't take alot of courses in research methods then you don't get the "benefit."</p>

<p>"Tracks" in Homeland Security and other similiar programs are a waste, you're just throwing money down a whole for information you will never use and never help you get a job. If you want to be marketable, go to school and get skills agencies need, like the ones I mentioned before. A CJ major is a dime a dozen, and even they have zero skills to use on the job.</p>

<p>I did suitability investigations for PD's for a few years, and I never heard of agencies giving CJ majors preference in promotion, just because they were CJ majors, that's crazy. You could have a degree in anything and be eligible for promotions, in fact - they usually prefer people with other degrees in something other than CJ. Also, becoming a Detective isn't really a promotion, it's a title not a rank. There are lots of cops who aren't Detectives and hold a hire position than those who are Detectives.</p>

<p>To become an Officer you do need a college degree. This is consistant for every branch. You don't need ROTC to become an Officer. You can become an Officer via the OCS (Officer Candidate School) route, which is basically boot camp for Officers. </p>

<p>I believe you are a female (from your screen name), so I would recommend the Air Force, but the vast majority of the time you need a technical degree to become an Officer (CS, IT, Engineering, Science, Math). So that's pretty much out.</p>

<p>I don't know enough about the Navy's program to give advice.</p>

<p>I'm prefer the Marines, but I'm partial and I understand while that may not be your cup of tea.</p>

<p>Don't know enough about the Coast Guard to give advice. I do know they have a new (about 2 years old I think) Intelligence Specialist rate, so maybe look into that.</p>

<p>Your education is really best suited for the Army (Marines too). They like Poli Sci majors and they also need Officers. In the Army you get "Branched", which means you become an 2nd Lt. in one of the Army Officer Branches. Some of those are the combat MOS (Infantry, Armor, Artillery), Intelligence, Military Police, Ordinance, Aviation, ect. There are more, but you can look them up yourself.</p>

<p>Towards the end of your training you rank each branch according to your preferences, then they tell you which one you will go to. As a female, the combat MOS's are off limits. </p>

<p>The National Guard and Reserves are good options, but remember to get the real benefits and experience you will have to do a deployment. You just can't stay at home and reap the benefits (as if they'd give you that option).</p>

<p>As far as being an analyst it's mostly information gathering and dissemination. Lot's of statistical analysis, report writing, and database work. </p>

<p>Getting a couple good internships definitly helps.</p>