Police departments all over the country are increasing the education requirements on people they hire to be officers and supervisors. Where young law enforcement officers could once “learn on the job” gradually, they’re now expected to have taken classes in accident investigation and other basic skills before getting their first job. Many federal law agencies, meanwhile, now only consider applicants if they have a bachelors degree.
The good news is that state and local police departments have embraced the idea of law enforcement training online. Some are requiring officers to keep updating their skills through online education every year, and even offering financial aid for their employees to pursue college degrees.
If you want to make yourself a more attractive candidate for a law enforcement job, you can choose from a wide variety of distance learning options, some of which deliver pure internet training and some of which involve some mail correspondence or individual tutoring.
Online training in advanced areas like leadership and supervision has become popular with current officers who want to move up to higher job positions, and with active military personnel considering a move into law enforcement, who want to study on their own schedules. It’s advisable to get some direct work experience in this area before committing to an advanced degree. But a graduate or postgraduate degree can help you start at a town or city police department at a higher level of responsibility and pay than you would get with no education. (More on Online Law Enforcement Training Classes in private schools versus police academies, and earnings expectations for law enforcement officers.)
A key to finding the right law enforcement training online is to seek out a college or university where instructors can speak to you from direct experience. Many police chiefs and county sheriffs teach internet courses today at major schools, and can help students with real world advice onthe challenges they’ll encounter in a law enforcement career.