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Is a Law Enforcement Degree Better than Police Academy?

When you want to start a career that helps others, you may consider working as a police officer. By understanding and learning the process to become a police officer, you will feel confident in your education and skills. The key is to recognize the options and the benefits of the different options to ensure that you make an educated choice about your career path.

Process to Become a Police Officer

The requirements to become a police officer help you determine the best path for your education and training. Law enforcement education requirements start after you go through a background check. You cannot have a criminal record when you apply for the police academy if you want to work as a police officer or even take the law enforcement entrance exam.

In general, you have two options for training: a law enforcement degree and police academy training. You may meet law enforcement education requirements for hiring with just police academy training, but a degree will help you exceed the requirements to become a police officer and stand out among other applicants. When you finish your training or your degree, you will need to take the law enforcement entrance exam. The exam allows you to get a license as a police officer and ensures that you understand the rules and standards of your career path.

Advantage of Police Academy Training

When you look up the term “police academy near me,” you will want to consider the requirements to get into the academy. The police academy requirements help you identify what to expect in police academy training programs.

As a general rule, police academy training will give you the foundation you need to handle law enforcement and the challenges of making an arrest. You must pass the entrance exam and read through police training information provided before the exam. Police academy requirements for law enforcement training also requires a physical exam to ensure that you can keep up with the physical aspects of training and the work as a police officer.

After applying for a police academy training program, you will go through a background check. If you have been convicted of a crime, then you will not be accepted into training for law enforcement. When you are accepted into the program after passing the entrance exam and meeting the physical standards, you will have questions about the training program. There is generally an age requirement to apply, either 18 or 21 depending on the department, and many will not accept new applicants after 30 or 35. If you look into how long is police academy training, you will notice some variation between academies and programs. In most cases, the training is 12 to 14 weeks long; however, specific lengths of time will vary.

Benefits of a Law Enforcement Undergraduate Degree

If you decide to study police science through a bachelor’s degree program, then you will notice that you have more opportunities for advancement in your career. Police officers with law enforcement education through a college or university have more training than those who go through the police academy. In some cases, a police force requires an associate’s degree or higher to qualify for more advanced roles in the police force, or to enter roles like probation.

You can go through online law enforcement training or a traditional degree program, but the key is ensuring that you have the right degree for your goals. The primary advantage of a law enforcement studies diploma is the opportunity to work in more complex roles. You will have more technical training and will have the skills to handle leadership roles. Policing education through a college or university also helps you learn more advanced strategies to deescalate a tense situation for greater public safety. Specializations may also help you move up the ranks more quickly.

The decision to work as a police officer means you will face risky situations. You need proper training to handle the challenges of your career, but you have different options for your training program. You can go through the academy to learn the basic skills you need or you can obtain a bachelor’s degree. By focusing on the training you need in your local area and opting for more advanced studies to take on a leadership role, you will have more opportunities to reach your career goals.

Related Rankings & Articles:

Top 10 Law Enforcement Degree Programs
Top 10 Most Affordable Criminal Justice Programs
Top 10 Master’s in Criminal Justice Degree Programs 


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