Career Outlook

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics* (BLS) estimates that the number of individuals employed in policing and related fields will increase through 2018, primarily due to population growth.

Although education was not historically mandatory in the field, it has become increasingly necessary as perceptions about policing change and technology advances.

Continuing education and training helps police officers, detectives, and special agents improve their job performance and their chances for advancement.

Competition for jobs is expected to increase for state and local positions and remain especially high for federal positions with organizations such as the U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • law enforcement officers
  • school resource officers
  • deputies
  • policy analysts
  • victims’ advocates

With additional education, graduates can pursue careers as judges, attorneys or social workers -- or even have second careers as professors.

As the field grows, careers in law enforcement at the local level will be the most readily available, but competition will exist. Positions at the state and federal level will remain the most competitive. Those with college degrees will set themselves apart.

* Bureau of Labor Statistics: Police and Detectives