Phds In Criminal Justice
Getting a Ph.D. in criminal justice would put you in rare company, especially if you want to work at an agency. Although 29% of chiefs and sheriffs have a bachelors and 32% have a masters, only 3% have a doctoral degree.
Yet a Ph.D. in criminal justice opens several possibilities. If you want to teach at a university or conduct research, its essential. Even if academia isnt your thing, you could work to create or change policy.
Ph.D. programs are, by nature, individualized. Your main output is a dissertation, which is written after conducting original research. By the end of the program, you will be an expert in a small sliver of the criminal justice field. But what sliver? Depending on the program, you could, for example, bone up on budgetary procedures and strategic planning, both of which are necessary to run a department, or you could explore the social determinants of a specific type of crime in a specific area.
A Ph.D. in criminal justice will likely include the following courses:
Weve written about doctoral degrees in criminal justice at length, including about the different types of criminal justice doctorates. Specifically, check out our interview with a criminal justice program director to see if a Ph.D. is worth it for you.
How To Become An Hsi Special Agent
As members of DHSs principle investigative arm focused on transnational crime, HSI special agents conduct a wide range of investigations targeting the people, money and materials that support illegal organizations.
This also means that special agents play a significant role within the national security and anti-terrorism space, with select agents being assigned to the FBIs Joint Terrorism Task Force and FBI field office counterintelligence elements.
Other investigations may involve drug smuggling, child exploitation, human trafficking, illegal arms export, commercial fraud and more.
While the basic eligibility requirements are largely the same as for ICE deportation officers, there is one notable difference: Applicants must be referred for selection by the day preceding their 37th birthday .
The most competitive applicants for these elite positions have also completed at least a bachelors degree in one of the agencys desired disciplines, including criminal justice, finance, accounting, foreign languages and computer science. They generally have at least three years of progressively responsible experience in law enforcement and criminal investigations as well.
The application process is also more rigorous:
The rest of the process is similar to that of other ICE law enforcement positions, including an interview, drug test, medical exam, background check and polygraph exam for certain applicants.
Types Of Homeland Security Roles
There are many different types of Homeland Security roles, each requiring its own unique set of skills. Some common roles within Homeland Security include Border Patrol Agents, Customs and Border Protection Officers, Intelligence Analysts, and Emergency Management Planners. Each role is vital in ensuring the safety and security of our nation.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Fix An Incorrect Police Report
Create A Detailed Resume
Before you can apply for jobs as a homeland security agent, you need to create a detailed resume that highlights your education and work experience. While most resumes are usually one or two pages long, resumes for federal positions often include much more detail and are often between four and six pages long.
In addition to listing prior work experience, education, extra-curricular activities and accomplishments, the Department of Homeland Security may also ask you to include information such as:
Federal salary grade
Be thorough when completing your resume to make sure it lists each of the items required depending on the specific agency and role you are applying for. Taking the time to prepare a well-constructed resume can help you in the application and interview process.
Homeland Security Agent Qualities
Homeland Security needs agents that are problem solvers that have well-developed critical thinking skills. The positions require a high degree of teamwork and the ability to empathize and relate to people from drastically different lifestyles. An agent may need to investigate and arrest people, some of whom are very dangerous, and some positions require carrying a firearm. The position may require long hours, significant amounts of travel, a vast amount of paperwork and lonely hours spent analyzing complex information. It is understood that individuals who are able to thrive in a high-stress environment will naturally be more successful in the field of homeland security.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Lookup My Police Report
The Future Of Homeland Security
The next ten years in the homeland security sector are going to be crucial. Physical security concerns are going to remain a high priority, but as technology advances and cybercrime and cyber terrorist activity are on the rise the Department of Homeland Security is going to need a fresh generation of tech-savvy candidates to take the place of the old guard.
Are you interested in being one of this new wave of Homeland Security Agents? If you want to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Homeland Security, consider ECPI University for your education. With accelerated classes and a year-round schedule, you could earn your degree in as little as 2.5 years. For more information, connect with a friendly admissions counselor today.
It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!
DISCLAIMER â ECPI University makes no claim, warranty, or guarantee as to actual employability or earning potential to current, past or future students or graduates of any educational program we offer. The ECPI University website is published for informational purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained on the ECPI.edu domain however, no warranty of accuracy is made. No contractual rights, either expressed or implied, are created by its content.
Is Afp Pso A Good Job
The work/life balance has been refreshing after coming out of the military. I have had time to catch up with friends and family, as well as start things that wouldnt be possible with other jobs. If you are thinking of a career within the AFP, becoming a PSO is a great place to start.
You May Like: Where To Get Copy Of Police Report
Salary Expectations For Homeland Security Professionals
As with most careers, several factors influence homeland security professionals salaries. Federal professions, like those within the DHS, fall under the general schedule classification. This system provides a structured layout for various employment levels and respective salaries.
The GS system runs from 1-15, with GS-1 being the lowest and G-15 the highest. A professionals education, experience, job function, and location determine their GS level. For example, professionals with a bachelors degree typically qualify for G-5 positions, while those with a masters degree may qualify for G-9 roles.
Though professionals can advance their position and pay grade through various means, experience plays a big role in the GS system and wage schedule. Within each grade, professionals progress through 10 steps, with each subsequent step providing a higher salary. It typically takes 18 years to progress from step 1-10. The following table outlines some DHS careers and their average annual salaries.
Average Annual Salary for DHS Careers
Important Skills For Homeland Security Agents
Here are some of the most important homeland security agent skills that can help you advance in your career:
Critical thinking: Homeland security agents must have excellent critical thinking skills to accurately assess situations, solve problems, develop plans and analyze results.
Communication: Homeland security agents must be skilled active listeners to gather intelligence during interviews or surveillance. They also require strong communication skills to issue clear commands in the field.
Empathy: Homeland security agents work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Showing empathy and understanding can help these professionals deescalate tense situations and communicate effectively with civilians and other team members.
Leadership: Strong leadership skills allow homeland security agents to take necessary control in high-stress situations. This can provide reassurance to civilians during emergencies.
Perceptiveness: Having a strong sense of perceptiveness aids homeland security agents in making accurate judgments based on real-time observations. It can also help them detect potential threats and take preventative measures. This skill can help deescalate situations and save lives.
Recommended Reading: How To Prepare For Police Academy
Can Homeland Security Police Pull You Over
Can federal police pull you over? Cheryl Wiese, Lakewood Answer: Federal police officers do not have the authority to pull you over for minor traffic violations like speeding or failure to signal for a turn. And they cant stop you for misdemeanor offenses such as those and detain you for local officers.
Getting The Necessary Education And Training
Also Check: How Long Does A Police Report Stay On File
Affordable Online Homeland Security Degree Programs
The trend of rising post-secondary education costs are expected to continue for the foreseeable future, making it increasingly difficult to find quality programs at an affordable price. According to the most recent estimates by the Department of Education, students can expect to pay over $20,000 for an in-state, public education and close to $50,000 per year for tuition at a private college or university.
Rising costs, are therefore, one of the primary factors that influence students pursuing a career in law enforcement to forego a college education altogether, in favor of entry-level police careers where a degree may not be a requirement. However, there are many schools that maintain high academic standards, have an established track record of graduate success, and also demonstrate a commitment to affordability you just have to do a little research to find them.
Listed below are a hand-picked set of colleges that meet our strict requirements for quality and affordability. To qualify for this list, a college or university must have estimated annual costs of less than $30,000, demonstrate a high rate of job placement in the students area of study, and provide degrees that lead to careers with a starting salary over $50,000 per year. For a complete list of affordable online homeland security programs, visit our page, here.
Key Skills For Homeland Security Professionals
Homeland security professionals enjoy a range of employment options because they boast a diverse set of skills. However, the field does tend to rely on certain skills more than others. The following list looks at which skills contribute to these professionals success.
Due to the importance of their positions and the necessity for authority in high stress situations, homeland security workers often lean on leadership skills. These skills enable them to take control of situations and give others a sense of security in emergency and dangerous circumstances.
In many DHS careers, perceptiveness is one of the most important skills. Analysts, air marshals, and airport screeners all rely on their perceptiveness to identify potential threats. This skill allows professionals to make accurate judgements based on their real-time observations, which can de-escalate situations and save lives.
Strong communication skills are important for DHS professionals when issuing commands in the field or submitting intelligence reports. This skill also helps homeland security professionals listen to and comprehend what others are saying, which is useful when gathering intelligence during interviews or surveillance.
Don’t Miss: Where Can I Find Police Auctions
Bachelors Degrees In Criminal Justice
A bachelors degree is a four-year program that is around 120-semester credits . Students often enter a bachelors in criminal justice straight out of high school. Others complete an associate program first, meaning they have already completed roughly half of the required credits for a bachelors degree.
Students entering from high school must cover all the same lower-level coursework from an associate program . The final two years cover upper-level courses, which could include the following:
- Criminal law: Officers need to understand the U.S. Constitution so they can properly collect evidence, protect suspects rights, and arrest them.
- Applied research: Youve already learned what statistics mean this class is about using collected statistics to make decisions. For instance, you might be asked to determine how to deploy officers and use department funds to best prevent crime.
- Criminal psychology: This class is about getting into criminals heads to learn why they behave the way they do. Its important for crime prevention as well as rehabilitation efforts.
Weve laid out all the details on bachelors degrees in criminal justice on our site. You may want to take a look if youre interested in careers outside patrol. The FBI, for example, requires special agents to hold a bachelors degree. Fish and game wardens also need a four-year degree.
Police Officer Salary And Job Growth Expectations
Salaries in law enforcement vary significantly. Your salary will depend on whether you work in a rural area or a large city, whether you have seniority or youre fresh out of the academy, and whether you take overtime or leave at the end of your shift.
That said, the median detective and police officer salary nationwide was $63,380 as of May 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . Those working for the federal government did especially well, earning an average of $87,130. You should also calculate the value of benefits into the compensation package. Police officers typically enjoy paid vacation, sick leave, medical and life insurance, and uniform allowances. Plus, thanks to pensions, they can often afford to retire at a younger age than most.
As for getting into the field, the BLS projects job growth of 5% nationally for police officers from 2018 to 2028, which is on the low side for such a typically stable occupation. However, this outlook depends heavily on city and state budgets, which can fluctuate. The low rate of growth will create stronger opportunities for police officer applicants who hold a bachelors degree in criminal justice or a related field.
The top 10 states for police and sheriff patrol officer earnings in 2018 were:
Recommended Reading: How To Get My Property Back From The Police
How To Become A Homeland Security Professional
The path to becoming a homeland security professional varies by individual and field, but the process can begin as early as high school. Interested candidates should seek out as many relevant courses, training programs, and practical experience opportunities as possible. While many positions require a bachelors or masters degree for eligibility, some employers hire high school graduates with sufficient experience.
Due to the importance and sensitivity of these positions, the application process can take more than one year from start to finish. Applicants may need to go through several levels of interviews and inquiries, including a potentially lengthy security clearance check, before receiving an employment offer. The step-by-step process below examines how applicants typically find employment, though this may vary depending on DHS division.
Fps Opportunities For Management Professionals
Protective Security Officer Program ManagersFPS oversees approximately 15,000 Protective Security Officers, and requires professional managers with background in federal contracting, acquisition and program management.
Budget Analysts and Mission Support SpecialistsFPS relies on a cadre of highly trained professional management and administrative specialists for a wide range of mission support services.
Don’t Miss: What Are Police Challenge Coins
How Much Do Homeland Security Agents Earn
Salaries for homeland security agents depend on experience, location, and the assignment specifics. PayScale reports that the average annual salary for employees of the Department of Homeland Security is about $74,000 per year. Like most government jobs, benefits include paid sick and vacation time, insurance, and retirement options. Many agents are also attracted by the opportunity to work overseas.
What Being A Dhs Agent Entails
Once youve taken a job as a DHS agent, you will find that the job duties you are presented with are largely different from any law enforcement position youve held before. DHS agents will investigate smuggling, cyber crimes, national security threats and immigration crime. These jobs can take you all over the world, depending on the depth of the investigation, which may be appealing to some. The smuggling aspect can involve drugs, weapons or even human trafficking. If all of the aforementioned interests you, then its time to start the process of becoming a DHS agent.
You May Like: What Education Does A Police Officer Need
What Are Homeland Security Police
Functioning as the police force of the Secretary of Homeland Security. The FPS is responsible for policing, securing and ensuring a safe environment in which federal agencies can conduct their business. All federal facilities under FPS control receive a thorough building security assessment on a recurring schedule.
Benefits Of A Homeland Security Degree
Earning a degree in homeland security opens doors that will have long-term positive effects for you personally, financially, and professionally, including job security, salary growth, and professional mobility. It is well established that graduates who complete a bachelors or masters degree earn more over the course of their career than do individuals with only a high school diploma. Simply put, the more you learn, the more you will typically earn. This is especially true if you continue to stay abreast of changes in technology and focus on building your analytical and problem-solving skills. Holding a degree from a master’s degree program provides you with the higher education credentials you need to pursue employment opportunities on many levels within the Department of Homeland Security, federal agencies, and private companies who share the same mission.
Criminal justice degrees that provide you with the necessary skills and abilities needed to manage law enforcement teams and other security professionals can offer advancement opportunities within the private sector. With the right degree program, your ability to advance is limited only by your desire to succeed. Online homeleand security programs allow you to pursue your educational goals while continuing to work in your chosen career field. This added convenience makes it possible for you to get hands-on experience while you complete your degree in Homeland Security.
Job Security & Career Stability
Recommended Reading: How To Become A Police Officer In Washington