What You Should Know About This Degree
All law enforcement jobs can be stressful and demanding. Law enforcement administrators must lead by example, and demonstrate ethical behavior, self-control, sound judgement, and decision-making abilities. It’s important to evaluate if you have the right qualities to be a successful law enforcement administrator before pursuing advancement in this field.
The primary function of a master’s in law enforcement administration is to help you move from an entry-level job, such as a police officer, into a management role. As such, most programs seek candidates who have either an educational or professional background in criminal justice or law enforcement. In some cases, students must have graduated from a police academy in order to be eligible for the program. Make sure you review the school’s admissions requirements to make sure you are eligible for the program.
Additionally, depending on the role you are seeking and your particular department, you may be able to advance based on work experience and internal evaluations. Consider your career goals and what the necessary steps are to achieve them before committing to a master’s degree.
Individuals seeking positions in law enforcement must successfully pass background checks, drug screenings, and other evaluations before obtaining employment in the field. While some situations may be permissible, in most instances, a serious infraction like a felony will disqualify you from employment.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Master’s Degree in Law Enforcement Administration programs:
- How are courses delivered? Online programs usually deliver coursework synchronously or asynchronously. Synchronous courses meet remotely at scheduled times, making their flexibility somewhat limited. Asynchronous courses have to set meeting times, and students can access the lessons and assignments at any time. Determine what kind of delivery method best suits your schedule, and select a program with that format
- Does this program have the specialization that I want? Many students pursuing a master’s in law enforcement administration choose to specialize in a particular area such as criminal justice theory, victim and offender services, homeland security, and more. When researching programs, be sure to select one that aligns with your personal interests and professional goals.
Now is also the time to gather your admissions materials, confirm application deadlines, and research options for funding your graduate education. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers any tuition assistance benefits. You should also look into student loans, scholarships, and assistantships.