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Is a degree a waste for joining the police?

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    ~3 years is about the time they'll start recruiting properly anyway so it's not a waste of time. You really should supplement it with being a special constable though.
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    Oh it's like that is it? Well I can break things down as well!

    (Original post by IRL)
    LOL. Plumbing is stupidly easy. The notion that it's a specialist trade is retarded. You could learn 99% of what most plumbers do in a few weeks. I'll admit it takes time/experience to learn, what I'm really getting at is it is not academic, you can be qualified before your 18th birthday.
    Well I know little about plumbing, so I'm not going to argue the point. I doubt that's true though (few weeks), but yes, it's not academic. Not sure how that's relevant, but we agree there.

    (Original post by IRL)
    It probably is true. However averages don't mean jack ****, there will still be graduates who earn way less than the non graduates. **** waiting 10 years to earn more than a non graduate anyway - that seems ****ed up.
    I imagine the vast majority earn more then non-grads (if they are indeed money orientated, many choose career paths for different reasons). It's funny, in the next section you throw the 25k figure about like it's diseased, do you know that 25k pretty much puts you as 'Mr Average Earner' in your first year of employment? Median is about 25k, average closer to 30k, but median is a more useful figure truth be told.

    (Original post by IRL)
    Getting some ****ty 25k graduate job and hoping for years to get a promotion? That's the aim of most here.
    Clearly you miss the point of a graduate job. If you get on a decent scheme you are essentially fast tracked. Career prospects are considerably better and pay rises fast. I won't resort to giving out figures of my own scheme, but I highly doubt there is a non-graduate job (well, there will of course be exceptions, very few though) that would match the progression over the space of a few years.

    Can we get to the real crux of the matter, what on earth is your problem with degrees? Do you have one? Was it not useful for you? Or perhaps you couldn't get one? Did you get rejected, is that where the hate originates? Please explain so I can evaluate your condition.
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    (Original post by M1011)
    Can we get to the real crux of the matter, what on earth is your problem with degrees? Do you have one? Was it not useful for you? Or perhaps you couldn't get one? Did you get rejected, is that where the hate originates? Please explain so I can evaluate your condition.
    I don't really have a problem with degrees themselves, more so the people that do them, and the blind faith in what they'll provide for the average person. There are simply too many people coming out with degrees in a variety of subjects. You can't employ every one of them in a 'graduate' position. I think University is excellent for the right people - maybe the top 10% of students or something, but the way people are suckered in to doing utter bull**** courses all the time is ridiculous. Most jobs you can gain from having a degree do not really require three years of academic study, that is simply a lie. One that unfortunately a lot of people believe.

    I know a lot of average students who were suckered in to going to University, after getting ****ty A-Level grades, coming out with a 2:2 after three years, in debt and **** all in terms of job prospects. Those people shouldn't be going to University. Most people come out with a 2:1, and now that degree is starting to become the norm, so there is a ton of people coming out with 2:1s who simply can't gain employment in a relevant field.

    Do you have one?

    Yes.

    Was it not useful for you?

    In some cases it was useful, in others not so much.

    Or perhaps you couldn't get one?

    See above.

    Did you get rejected, is that where the hate originates?

    No.
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    (Original post by hamish19)
    I want to be a police officer, and i was wondering whether there is any point in getting a degree or would it just be a waste of time and £40k+?
    Being an American, I am unfamiliar with the educational system in the UK, but I presume they have some sort of community college system. It would seem to me that a two year degree in something like criminology would increase your attractiveness in the hiring process. If it were me, I would also do something like work towards a black belt in karate. I would think the police would be attracted to someone who knows how to handle himself.

    Also, in America some policemen wind up joining the FBI, or similar security type organizations.
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    (Original post by IRL)
    I don't really have a problem with degrees themselves, more so the people that do them, and the blind faith in what they'll provide for the average person. There are simply too many people coming out with degrees in a variety of subjects. You can't employ every one of them in a 'graduate' position. I think University is excellent for the right people - maybe the top 10% of students or something, but the way people are suckered in to doing utter bull**** courses all the time is ridiculous. Most jobs you can gain from having a degree do not really require three years of academic study, that is simply a lie. One that unfortunately a lot of people believe.

    I know a lot of average students who were suckered in to going to University, after getting ****ty A-Level grades, coming out with a 2:2 after three years, in debt and **** all in terms of job prospects. Those people shouldn't be going to University. Most people come out with a 2:1, and now that degree is starting to become the norm, so there is a ton of people coming out with 2:1s who simply can't gain employment in a relevant field.

    Do you have one?

    Yes.

    Was it not useful for you?

    In some cases it was useful, in others not so much.

    Or perhaps you couldn't get one?

    See above.

    Did you get rejected, is that where the hate originates?

    No.
    Its swings and roundabouts. yeah that's a fair point with regard to how necesary a degree is, but if you have two 21 year olds, one who's done odd jobs for a few years, one who's got a degree and has done odd jobs.. which one are you going to choose?

    Personally I think hands on experience, backed up by a degree is the way forwards if you know what job you want to go into. I know many people, myself included who are earning very good money having done this instead of stepping into a graduate role with no real world work experience. In fact similarly, many of my friends now out of uni are in that boat of not having a job, not having clear prospects, or earning a basic garad wage, lessened by the amount of grads who were applying...

    Re the OP: if the police is what you want, like others have said, the police do recruit younger members (mainly as PCSOs or back of house seemingly) but tend to lean towards people with more 'life experience' etc. so ideally you'd do well to do some sort of degree, have a backup in case the police thing doesnt work out or you change your mind, and then go for it..
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    And that's the point. When an employer is faced with one candidate with proof of ability and another just saying they have the ability, 99 times out of 100 they are going to take the person with proof. Hiring employees represents cost and risk to employers, they are almost always risk averse and so like to see proof.
    Yeah, that was just me being nit-picky, sorry.

    The truth of the matter is that the Police Service doesn't ask for qualifications; it asks for people who will do the job well, as proved by going on any Police Service's website and looking at the requirements. To that end, a degree is a waste of time and money.
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    Aside from the fact that many employers ask for a degree (it's like checking for a pulse these days...most people have one), there's very little you gain from uni that employers give a toss about...

    1) Life experience? You have got to be s******g me!!! Go get a job, any job, or volunteer, go travelling, whatever. It'll be more useful in that regards. Uni life is a super-bubble. Hang around in your own clique, drink too much and do enough work to get through exams once a year. About the biggest benefit from a degree is that it...maybe...gives people an extra 3 years to grow up a bit.

    2) More employable? How exactly. Don't BS me with research ability, self motivation, intellectual prowess or whatever. Economists are familiar with what a good degree is supposed to 'signal' to employers, but having done one, i'm at a loss to understand any correlation between a degree, getting a job and doing well in it. The key aspects of what makes you competent, employable and sharp are in no way assessed or improved by university (in the piece of paper = degree sense)

    3) Knowledge. Well, in a handful of practical subjects, maybe.

    Well, that's my take of it, and my 1st from a top-10 uni got me directly into an investment banking job in the city. Glad i did it, but i'm now doing something unrelated and non-grad-requiring and wouldn't go back to the grad world for all the money in this weekend's jackpot. Only did one because i had no idea what else to do. Turned out well - through numerous life junctures, i am now where i am. If i didn't do one...well...who knows. Maybe better, maybe worse.

    I agree with a previous post. Only those applying, studying or just graduated defend degrees through ignorance alone. Without a few years real life (not uni....) experiece, it would be impossible to do otherwise

    edit: OP....no idea mate. Maybe join the Army for the minimum stint? That would give you FAR more relevant experience...super relevant experience...than studying some BS subject.
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    Brabzzz, you make some very valid points and on an unrelated note I've thoroughly enjoyed your travel posts, having travelled some of the same routes I can relate, hill tribes in particular.

    I think your first point says a lot, you say that aside from getting the piece of paper that university doesn't offer much - but you also say that employers won't give you a look in without one, surely that makes it worthwhile? And I know there are exceptions, but as a blanket criteria it makes a very easy cutting point for applications.

    How come you packed in the investment banking? Aside from the obvious reasons, or was it just not for you? Genuinely curious, a few of my friends have said they've 'sold their soul' already but the money is keeping them there etc.
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    Right, put it this way - as it stands at the moment you could get to Inspector easily without a degree, any further and it'll be a problem. Obviously, this could change, so think about how far up the ranks you want to go when thinking about Uni.

    I hope to join the police and personally have just left after GCSEs - don't intend on returning to sixth form or college, as I want to go into work (plus there's a load of other personal issues). I feel this will give me just as much "life experience" as education or uni would, plus the voluntry stuff I've done has given me good grounding and people skills. Just ask yourself, do you want to get to the end of Uni to find that the police have not opened graduate entry and you'll still have to be a special constable (only route in now) for up to 2 years? I'll admit - if the police fails for me I'm qualification wise, but then again what doors would the uniformed public services course I was going to take open up?
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    Metropolitan Police force have started a graduate scheme this year for the first time ever.

    I remember a report into the police force with one of the findings/ suggestions being that they should look to recruit more graduates. Looks like this could be the way things are going with regard to future recruitment?
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    (Original post by original_username)
    Metropolitan Police force have started a graduate scheme this year for the first time ever.
    Given how difficult it is to get in the normal way, I imagine getting into it as a graduate would be unbelievable.

    It'll be for bloody superstar candidates. That said, standard entry is helped by being a graduate.
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    I don't think it is a popular viewpoint on this website but you know it is allowable to think of your education and career as two seperate things. Your education isn't just about getting qualified for work.

    I would just decide whether you want to go to university or not as a seperate thing from joining the police. As has been mentioned, police careers are highly sought after and it is very competetive to get in so you can't really pin all of your hopes on getting that job.

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