More Than a Police Officer

Maybe the television shows about a police officer solving crimes or chasing the bad guys intrigue you. Maybe you’re interested in a degree in law enforcement because you want to serve and protect the public, without becoming a police officer. Regardless of the category you fit into, a degree in law enforcement includes more than becoming a police officer.

The purpose of a degree in law enforcement is to teach you how to:

  • Work with investigators
  • Handle evidence
  • Handle legal documents
  • Serve and protect the public
  • Use defense tactics
  • Use firearms

The degree acts as a stepping stone to other careers that are connected to the criminal justice and law enforcement fields. For example, you can work as a licensed private investigator and work for individuals, private firms or police agencies. Many private investigators specialize in a criminal justice field like fraud or homicide. Thus, you can conduct surveillance to help expose cheating spouses or criminal activities. Here are some other interesting careers connected to a degree in law enforcement.

Forensics Analyst
In this job you’d be responsible for gathering, classifying, identifying and analyzing evidence collected at crime scenes. You may be required to travel to different crime scenes to collect the evidence. Typically, you’re employed by the county, city or state crime lab.  

Federal Marshal
A federal marshal is employed by the U.S. government’s executive branch. So, you’d be responsible for protecting court officers and juries, maintaining security at federal courts and transporting prisoners. You may even track down fugitives.

As a lawyer, you’d represent or prosecute individuals in civil or criminal matters. You can use your degree to figure out a specialization you’d like to practice later such as criminal law or elder abuse. You could also choose a specialty outside of law enforcement like bankruptcy or probate law.

If you’re interested in law, but not presenting clients or trying cases, you have the option of becoming a paralegal. You’d work in a law firm, government agency or as an independent consultant to help lawyers. For example, you’d conduct research, organize documents, analyze information and prepare information for trials, hearings and meetings.

A career in law enforcement doesn’t stop at becoming a police officer. The degree gives you plenty of career opportunities. Many of these careers such as private detective or paralegal may not require additional education. Other careers like becoming a federal marshal requires a combination of a degree and law enforcement work experience. Regardless of the career you’re interested in pursuing, it starts with a degree in law enforcement.

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