Does an AAS in criminal justice help when you're a CO?


A recent question on Quora asks if it's helpful to acquire an AAS in criminal justice when exploring career options as a corrections officer. Check out the response below by Ted Koehl, and add your own in the comments.

An Associate in Science Degree will likely help your career. Like most education, the more you know, the more likely you will be able to utilize your education to your employer’s benefit as well as your own. Most progressive law enforcement agencies require college degrees in order to advance into management.  While you may not see that as a goal at this time, circumstances may present themselves to you in the future and you do not want to be wishing you had completed a college degree when that time comes.

A college degree makes you more valuable to your employer and may translate into higher pay or other benefits. A college degree may make you more marketable to other employers. Many people in law enforcement will not be working in the field within a decade. If you neglect your education, how will you be prepared to take advantage of other opportunities or against other competition when those things are presented?

Finally, you may become interested in investigations, within or without the correctional setting. A good investigator must effectively communicate with a wide variety of people and critically think about relevant facts and circumstances in each case. A college education, in part, affords you a good start in that direction. You may get by without college, but you will likely limit yourself for the above reasons in the future.

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