Unsure of which path to take.

Ideas in police education and training. Discussion for programs such as police foundations, law & security, criminology, police college training, etc.
colin10101
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Unsure of which path to take.

Postby colin10101 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:45 pm

Hey there.

So im a 21 year old male who will be graduating from Queens University in the fall with a Bachelor of Arts Honors in History, and a while back i concluded that Policing was the career path for me. I have been accepted at various academic institutions for Police Foundations, but i'm curious as to whether or not the 2 years will be worth it. If my university degree will be sufficient i would rather avoid accepting the 2 years and paying for it. The main problem with just applying to various Police Services is that if i choose to try that route instead of accepting the college program and don't get accepted to any, i will have put off school for another 8 months, as i will be forced to re-apply for another semester.

However i understand how competitive the field really is, so i know that a degree doesn't make you a shoe in. But is it worth trying to pursue more education in the policing field because it is so competitive that a degree in History will pretty much be useless for me? Im extremely serious about my career, so while i would rather not commit myself to another 2 years of paying for school, if it comes to it and it will greatly improve my chances i will do it without hesitation. Other information if relevant: 6 foot 1 male in good shape. I don't know if recruiters look into that kind of stuff as well.

Thanks guys.

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Homer
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Re: Unsure of which path to take.

Postby Homer » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:08 pm

If you search to forums, you will find many (many, many, many) responses to this question. The consensus from those who have been hired is that post-sceondary education is beneficial, but Police Foundations is definitely not required. (Many will say it a bit stronger than that) :D

Basically - you will soon have graduated with a BA from University. A college diploma adds nothing - unless you really want to take the course. Get out in the workforce and get some experience (and start paying off those loans) while you apply to your police force(s) of choice. Work experience at this point is more beneficial to you than additional introductory-level post-secondary education (although some may argue post-grad studies can help). Look at the Applicants section for more info.
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Re: Unsure of which path to take.

Postby GoodWitness » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:16 pm

Oil thigh!!

If you've got a history degree, why not just become a barista straight away instead of putting it off with police foundations? I kid, I kid...
Do some more reading on here, you'll see that police foundations is not highly regarded by many of the actual police officers on this forum (and I am not a police officer), what will probably be more relevant is experience working with the public, in paid and/or volunteer positions. And recognize that the average age of hire for a police officer in Canada is 27, so you may have a few years to make yourself a stronger candidate. Two more years of school, in a program that will not necessarily put you in a stronger position to be hired, makes little sense to me.
Search on here to see what people did before getting hired and you'll see people from a very wide range of backgrounds who made it. Some have PF, some have work experience and no education beyond high school, some have advanced degrees, some have military experience.

Get a job, establish yourself, pay off your student loan if you've got one, volunteer, just live your life, and apply while you're doing all that.

(Homer, great minds think alike, but apparently you type faster than me!)

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Re: Unsure of which path to take.

Postby colin10101 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:23 pm

Thanks for the replies guys! Really helpful to hear some new opinions on the issue. Honestly i had no idea that PF was held in such low regards. Perhaps ill steer clear and maybe pursue a masters instead. It had passed my mind to get some military experience as well, i hear that can go a long way in terms of your application. Any reccomendations for volunteer positions that will give me good experiance in the field?

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Re: Unsure of which path to take.

Postby Homer » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:37 pm

colin10101 wrote:Thanks for the replies guys! Really helpful to hear some new opinions on the issue. Honestly i had no idea that PF was held in such low regards. Perhaps ill steer clear and maybe pursue a masters instead. It had passed my mind to get some military experience as well, i hear that can go a long way in terms of your application. Any reccomendations for volunteer positions that will give me good experiance in the field?


Military experience can help - you demonstrate you are able to work in a team and follow orders, plus have some physical fitness requirements. But the same could be said about a construction worker. Short answer is to do what you want to do and do it well. That is what they will be looking for. Also, you want to do something that you don't hate - because you could be doing it for a few years before being accepted by a police force.

As far as volunteer positions - many people go into Police Auxiliary programs as a stepping stone to the parent force. It may be able to help, but is no guarantee. As with choosing a choosing a job - just find something you want to do. Don't do it just because it looks good on paper, do it because you love it. Options are endless - Big Brothers, Scouts, United Way, Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, St John Ambulance, food banks, religious organizations, and on and on.
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Re: Unsure of which path to take.

Postby Toonces » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:19 am

Lol. I'm on the job now and pursuing a history degree. :) It's not useless.


As I've said before on here, I work with more people who have degrees and diplomas in unrelated fields than I do with those with police foundations.
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Re: Unsure of which path to take.

Postby GoodWitness » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:53 am

Toonces wrote:Lol. I'm on the job now and pursuing a history degree. :) It's not useless.


As I've said before on here, I work with more people who have degrees and diplomas in unrelated fields than I do with those with police foundations.


Yeah, about those "useless" degrees, (...since I have one too! Also from Queen's! :D ) the only useless degree is the one that hasn't enhanced your ability to learn, think critically, and manage priorities/expectations/resources, as well as your knowledge around a specific subject.

You can develop those skills and aptitudes in ANY situation, be it the workplace, education, volunteer work, etc.

A younger relative graduated from Queen's with a history degree a couple of years ago, did a one year Master's in international something or other, and now has a job in a pretty much unrelated field, making a really decent salary and is highly regarded by his colleagues.

It isn't what you take, it's what you take from it.

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Re: Unsure of which path to take.

Postby John014 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:54 pm

GoodWitness wrote:
It isn't what you take, it's what you take from it.


That, and not being a useless tit always helps.
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Re: Unsure of which path to take.

Postby GoodWitness » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:47 pm

John014 wrote:
GoodWitness wrote:
It isn't what you take, it's what you take from it.


That, and not being a useless tit always helps.

Yeah, more the latter, really.
So basically the most reliable piece of advice for aspiring applicants is to avoid at all costs being a useless tit. As I'm fond of saying, don't be "useless as tits on a wooden horse (or nun, depending on the company)."

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Re: Unsure of which path to take.

Postby shootemup » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:48 pm

What about a sticky to indicate that a Police Foundations course is only a prerequisite for security jobs? There are sure plenty of educational institutions making a bundle of off these virtually useless courses.
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Re: Unsure of which path to take.

Postby klink1983 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:13 pm

colin10101 wrote:Thanks for the replies guys! Really helpful to hear some new opinions on the issue. Honestly i had no idea that PF was held in such low regards. Perhaps ill steer clear and maybe pursue a masters instead. It had passed my mind to get some military experience as well, i hear that can go a long way in terms of your application. Any reccomendations for volunteer positions that will give me good experiance in the field?


viewtopic.php?f=14&t=28131

My post there pretty well sums up what I think about PFP.
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Re: Unsure of which path to take.

Postby colin10101 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:26 pm

Thanks for all the responses guys! Well, im still young, and after talking with my parents they told me if i chose to continue school they would continue paying for it. So a part of me is thinking about using this oppurtunity to do a PF degree at Humber College in Toronto, then when im 23 start applying for positions. As a back up plan (should i not get accepted by any Police Services following my BA and my PF degree) i can always apply for a security position, or officers training with the Canadian Forces, to get some more experience as i understand that most Officers that are hired are in their later 20's. I think that a resume with a BA Honors, PF Degree and some solid work and volunteer experience will really set me on the right path for this career, no? Thoughts?

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Re: Unsure of which path to take.

Postby GoodWitness » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:57 am

colin10101 wrote:Thanks for all the responses guys! Well, im still young, and after talking with my parents they told me if i chose to continue school they would continue paying for it. So a part of me is thinking about using this oppurtunity to do a PF degree at Humber College in Toronto, then when im 23 start applying for positions. As a back up plan (should i not get accepted by any Police Services following my BA and my PF degree) i can always apply for a security position, or officers training with the Canadian Forces, to get some more experience as i understand that most Officers that are hired are in their later 20's. I think that a resume with a BA Honors, PF Degree and some solid work and volunteer experience will really set me on the right path for this career, no? Thoughts?


Colin, if your parents are willing to pay, and you've got the marks and interest to do it, GET A MASTERS DEGREE. Do you honestly want to get a close-to-minimum-wage job (security) as your fall-back career?!? Sitting in an office building all night, periodically walking around jiggling doors? Or staring at a security monitor? Or sitting in the piece of crap car that is all you can afford on $11.50 an hour at some construction site, watching piles of lumber? Or do you want to be a mall ninja walking around the food court?

A master's degree will look far better to any prospective employer than a PF diploma, and if you've read the umpteen threads on here about police foundations you should have gathered that it is NOT going to make you a better candidate for a police career, nor is experience in a security job.

Or if you want to get some real-world experience and training in a different direction, join the military, IF YOU GENUINELY WANT TO SERVE YOUR COUNTRY. Don't insult the current, former or fallen members of our armed forces by joining because you think it's a good stepping stone to policing.

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Re: Unsure of which path to take.

Postby Phack_This » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:28 am

GoodWitness wrote:Colin, if your parents are willing to pay, and you've got the marks and interest to do it, GET A MASTERS DEGREE. Do you honestly want to get a close-to-minimum-wage job (security) as your fall-back career?!? Sitting in an office building all night, periodically walking around jiggling doors? Or staring at a security monitor? Or sitting in the piece of crap car that is all you can afford on $11.50 an hour at some construction site, watching piles of lumber? Or do you want to be a mall ninja walking around the food court?

A master's degree will look far better to any prospective employer than a PF diploma, and if you've read the umpteen threads on here about police foundations you should have gathered that it is NOT going to make you a better candidate for a police career, nor is experience in a security job.


Fantastic advice, Pure Gold!

A Master's degree in say Social Work, not only opens many doors but it studies theory and practice central to the role of a Police Officer. Providing an excellent career field to work in while you gain further life experience moving towards your overarching goal of becoming a PO.

I.E. Working for Children's Aid, Working as an addiction counsellor, working with people who suffer mental health issues...

If you already made up your mind, fine... but I wish I would have taken the blinders off when I was in a similar situation to you in '04. I went the PFP route. Now I'm 27, working full time and curse myself for my naiveté, trying to balance 4 classes weekly in University so that I can get a Master's and move on.

PFP won't teach you anything you won't have to learn again at the OPC anyway and it looks terrible on a resume when you apply for anything above barely minimum wage.

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Re: Unsure of which path to take.

Postby MakingTheClimb » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:43 am

Been there done that PFP just exposes you to the testing really (which you can actually do practice testing offered through various Services) If you're going to continue on with more education I would vote with the others on the masters degree (even do it part time while working for a Service). PFP was fun but it really left me with nothing and I returned to school for my BA


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