What is the Best Degree for Getting into the FBI?

Within the law enforcement profession, there is perhaps no position more coveted than one with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Whether it’s investigating white-collar crimes, going after the notorious “Most Wanted” list, or working in a number of forensic occupations within this broad agency, graduates from a variety of majors, walks of life, and universities are all looking to at least find an entry-level position that will grow with them over time. For those looking to have the best shot at getting an FBI job, there are a few majors and considerations that will make it more likely to at least land an interview, with a strong application that may well beat the competition.

Start Off with a Degree in Criminal Justice

Unless applicants are looking to be merely a clerical or administrative professional within the FBI, they’ll need to make sure that they get a bachelor’s degree of some sort. Generally, candidates looking to tackle real-world crimes and dangerous incidents need to prove their mettle by earning a lofty GPA in a criminal justice program from a major university. These programs are perfect for aspiring FBI agents, with courses that emphasize the ethics and logical process of investigation and criminal pursuit.

The criminal justice program should be paired with a concentration or academic minor that is related to the student’s eventual preferred job within the agency. That might mean choosing a minor in legal studies, forensics, biology, chemistry, or numerous other fields. There are opportunities for all kinds of students and graduates at the FBI, but choosing the right academic background is the first place to start when in pursuit of an entry-level position.

Go Beyond the Bachelor’s: Specialization Can Help Land a Job

One of the most important things to remember about the FBI is that it holds some of the most attractive and lucrative jobs within the broader law enforcement profession. For this reason, competition is extremely tough when pursuing even an entry-level position with a regional office. Though there is generally no requirement for possessing a graduate-level education when seeking an entry-level position, doing so will dramatically improve applicants’ chances of landing their dream job.

That graduate education should be in something rather specialized and designed to attract interest by those performing interviews and conducting the hiring process. Someone looking to work on cases involving DNA and biological evidence might want to pursue graduate education in biology or chemistry. Others, who might have an interest in more procedural investigative work, may want to pursue a graduate-level education in legal studies or even go for their law degree prior to applying for a position.

As a Rule, Start with Criminal Justice and Then Specialize

The first thing to do is to obtain a degree in criminal justice while studying for a four-year degree. This will lay the groundwork for a successful career in virtually all law enforcement and investigative capacities. From here, specialize in a field of interest that specifically appeals to the FBI and satisfies one of the agency’s in-demand occupations.

With the right combination of education and specialization, aspiring agents will stand a good chance of getting through each round of interviews. As long as they pass the FBI’s well-known criminal background check and personal interviews with loved ones, they’ll be on their way to a rewarding career in the top tier of their profession.