No police officer can succeed without a detailed understanding of the practical and theoretical aspects of the field. A bachelor's degree in policing offers a variety of benefits to aspiring police service members:
1. Data Diligence
Modern policing is increasingly data driven, with departments relying on research to predict future trends. The most successful officers have data analysis skills, and obtaining a bachelor’s degree is a great way to learn them. Bachelor’s programs teach you to analyze data and apply what you learn in the field. You will be able to fuse theory and practice for effective policing.
2. Competitive Compensation
The median annual salary for a police services member in Canada is $81,598, and obtaining a bachelor's degree can increase your job opportunities, career possibilities and salary ceiling.
3. Job Outlook Optimism
Although the number of officers on the streets has decreased in recent years, the job outlook in law enforcement is expected to stabilize. Having a bachelor’s degree in policing will give you a competitive advantage over other applicants, regardless of what the overall job market looks like.
4. Catering To Communities
It is important to be able to communicate respectfully and effectively with the community. Officers must stay alert to local trends and build public trust. When conflicts do occur, they must know how to de-escalate and help everyone find solutions. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in policing will train you to do this more effectively. The best bachelor’s degree programs provide detailed introductions to community policing, teaching you to earn the trust and cooperation of local citizens.
5. Specialties Savvy
New police officers who dream of being involved in forensics or other specialized activities can be dismayed by general duty requirements. In most of Canada, officers must serve for at least 4 years in general policing before they can transfer to specialized services. Some general duty is inevitable for all officers, but a bachelor’s degree will make it easier to transfer to specialized services early in your career, especially if your studies relate directly to those services. The better your education, the more police departments will compete to hire you, giving you greater say in the direction of your career.
6. Testing Tenacity
Police in training must pass a series of physical, written, and simulation tests in order to become active officers. If you fail a test, you must wait for at least 3 months to retake it, and the record of failure can make it harder to get hired or promoted even if you pass the retest. Bachelor’s programs will prepare you for many of these tests, ensuring that you have all the knowledge and skills to pass the first time around. They also will alert you to other requirements, such as having a driver’s license or first aid certification, ensuring that your career is not delayed due to technicalities.
Wilfrid Laurier University’s online BA in Policing program offers all the theoretical and practical skills you need to succeed in law enforcement, all in an online format.
For more information on advancing your career in policing, contact an Adsvisor today.