Questions.... :)

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Questions.... :)

lilbit1971
First off, this site rocks!!!  And thanks for creating the forum!

I just graduated from an online school, Kaplan University, with my Bachelor's in CJ.  My questions is: With my degree being from an online school, is that a problem?  I mean, would any agencies frown upon an online degree?  I'm afraid I wasted money on this education.  I applied for a private investigator job and the boss basically told me that I was lazy because I didn't go to a regular campus for my degree and that it meant nothing.  It really made me feel horrible and deflated my proud accomplisment.  I worked my butt off to get it while working 40+ hrs a week.  Online school is a lot of work because of the constant writing and reading. What is everyones take on this?

Also, I'm having a huge problem trying to find any volunteering or internships for CSI or maybe none exist.  I'm in Fort Worth, Texas....so, if anyone has any information I would greatly appreciate it.  I would also like to look into latent print classes or training in my area as well.   If I can't find any of these, I have thought of going back to school AGAIN for my forensics degree.  Any information would be so welcome!  

Lisa
Don
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Don
Lisa

Small world I just got my BS in Criminal Justice from Kaplan and currently working for Denton Police Department, I know Denton County Sheriff Department is looking for CSI person. On the matter of someone telling you are lazy, I wouldn't work for someone that said that, who knows that person might not even have a degree.  
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Re: Questions.... :)

lilbit1971
Hi Don,

Thanks for the reply.  I saw the Forensic Technician job posted on the website but I don't have my peace officers certification.  But, I applied for it anyway. I don't really want to be a police officer but it looks like that's the only way into CSI.

Are you a police officer?  When did you graduate from Kaplan?

As for that "boss" that said my degree was worth nothing........I was actually called back for another interview up in Chicago.  I turned it down because of what he said.  I don't ever want to work for someone like that.  Fortunately, another investigation firm took me on and I have been doing survellience since September on a part time basis.  

Thanks again!
Lisa
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Nerd05
Hey Lisa and Don,

I was thinking of attending Kalpan for criminal justice as well and I wanted to know how you all liked it, being that it was online. The whole online part is what really kept me from doing it, I didnt know how employers would take it. As you exsperience the same feeling Lisa , I see. Also im majoring in Psychology, more towards Forensic and am trying to do a dual degree, but I know I want to do CSI atleast for the first part of my life until I retire. I guess my other question is, how do you get into CSI. Would you have to join the police department as an officer or can you apply for a  Crime Scene Investegator or Tech or what not?

Greg,
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lilbit1971
Hi Greg,

I really liked Kaplan....the whole online thing is actually a lot harder to me because it requires A LOT of writing but the teachers/professors are more hands on.  They also require all writing assignments in APA format.  I have no qualms with Kaplan itself.......I was just afraid some employers might look down upon an online degree versus traditional.  I have only had one negative thing said about it and that's because the boss was a very old man, inconsiderate and set in his ways, I guess.  I think it's a great way to get an education when you have to work a full time job and don't have time to go to an actual campus.  As for starting in CSI, it depends on the requirements of the agency you are applying to.  I'm trying to find out the same thing!!  Good luck!!
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Steve Staggs
Administrator
In reply to this post by Nerd05

Greg--

You can check "How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator" on this website for some information on how to get into crime scene investigations.

Nerd05 wrote
... I guess my other question is, how do you get into CSI. Would you have to join the police department as an officer or can you apply for a Crime Scene Investegator or Tech or what not? Greg,
Webmaster
Crime Scene Investigator Network
http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net
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Phil
In reply to this post by lilbit1971
You all should remember one thing.  Degrees are nothing more than a piece of paper required "for some reason" by employers nowadays.  That education merely provides you with a basic understanding of your chosen profession, NOT the experience.  I am a Supervisory Federal Detective for the U.S. Department of Defense.  Personally, I would much prefer to hire someone based upon experience and maturity.  Most of the investigators under my supervision do not have formal degrees, yet they are some of the most highly trained people I have ever worked with - street smart with hands on experience.  I suggest you volunteer yourself for absolutely everything there is.  Who cares what it is.  You will gain a wealth of knowledge working with people who know what they are doing in the field.  In turn, you will be networking, building your reputation and opening doors for yourself that would otherwise never be opened for you.  THAT experience will go a long way....trust me on that.  I wish you all the luck in the world.  

PHILL
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J(Criminalist)
A professor at San Jose State told me many Forensics programs are not preferred because of the lack of science, but their program is so rigorous that you could easily double major in chemistry or biology. If you look at the course work he seems right, any thoughts?
Sue
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Sue
In reply to this post by Phil
Phill,

I guess I would have to agree with you about the degree being nothing more than a "piece of paper." That makes me feel great after busting my butt, to get my Bachelor's degree, in Criminal Justice, while working a full time job! My hopes were to be a Crime Scene Investigator. I have since realized that I wasted my time and still have my student loan to finish paying. When I first began taking my courses, for my degree, everyone I talked to said that this was the way to go. I even mentioned that I had no prior experience in law enforcement whatsoever. I was told, "don't worry, all you need is a degree to get your foot in the door." What a lie! Also, they told me that many places would hire a "civilian investigator." Another lie! I received my degree over two years ago. I have decided to just live with it and move on to something different. Basically I would just tell everyone that you should start out somewhere in the law enforcement field if you ever want a chance to become a CSI, if your lucky. Don't waste your time starting out in college for your degree. First, you should start out as a police officer, corrections officer, sheriffs deputy, etc. Then go to college if you feel its necessary. Thanks.

Sue
D7
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D7
In my lab we use to get a few interns from time to time.  Some wanting deperately to get into this field and others just to finish thier credits.  What I usually tell those who are interested is that it depends on what part of the country you want to work in.  From most of my experience in the North East....especially in New York State.  Most CSI type work is done by sworn officers.  However there are some civilain labs out thier....but they do very limited field work if any at all.  Other parts of the country seem to hire more civilians.....but I believe salaries in those areas tend to be lower as well.  You can find great CSI's from both groups (civilian or police).  The Pros and Cons for both vary greatly as does the job discription from one place to another.  I think deciding what area of the country you want to work in first and finding how CSI's get thier jobs in that area could prevent the some of the frustrations of recieving conflicting information about this field.
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MHerrera
In reply to this post by Phil
Hi Phill,

Your are so right, i am 22 years old and i have been riding along with the crime scene unit from my city since mon-sun on a 13hrs shift non-stoping because this is what I like to do ..I have been from burglaries scenes to homicides, I have done from processing evidence all the way thru Autopsies and even court, I have done all of these as a volunteer for my city.. they were nice enough to allowed me to attend some of their clasess ( for law-enforcement personel only) ofcourse I had to pay out of my pocket..but that didnt matter to me.., I recieved my certification from attending 2 clasess " Homicided Investigations and Crime Scene I "When they finally opened a position for crime scene techinician I, i applied took the test and passed..However I was not hired due to the fact that i dont have a degree..its kind of hard for me to finish my school now..specially with the economical situation that we are facing, i have to work full time in order to atleat save to pay my semesters, books ..etc,  but i havent lost hopes I am doing what I can to finish and work with what i like doing.. :)

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NFA_23
I am the CSI at a small department in the south. It is my experience that smaller jurisdictions use certified officers for their crime scene work. However, alot of the bigger cities are using civilians. Check with the larger agencies to see what you need to do.

It seems to me, that just about everyone we hire either has military experience or college. And someone who goes to college while working full time with us seems that they are praised for their efforts, and have a brighter future.
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Ebonie G
In reply to this post by lilbit1971
Hello How are You? This is my First Time on this site and I love it. Im in the Irving TX area and have been looking for CSI Employment. I have a AAS Degree from Oklahoma State University. The problem that I am Running into is that Every one wants a 4 year Degree or Experence. Have You found a job in your feild yet?
please Email me back Sweetdreams2us03@yahoo.com
Thanks!
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Re: Questions.... :)

203_forensics
In reply to this post by lilbit1971
I'm also studying forensics at UNH in CT. I took classes at Kaplan to receive a crime scene certificate. The only thing I didn't like about Kaplan was that it's not a accredited college and could be a problem to those who graduated with a B.A. or A.S. trying to apply to a job.
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MHerrera
Wow .. they are not accredited ! thats something ..its incredible what school can tell you for them to get you in..i was very close to sign up with them..but at the end i decided to attend Broward College which it used to be a community college in the county where i live in  but now they are offering bachelors in Science so it got big and they are full accredited..iam supposed to finish this year..i cant wait! ..but its hard out there..i recently applied for this position as a CSI Tech I ...i passes my test and all .. but they hired the cousin of an officer inside of the PD..she has no experience ..but sure she knows people there ...I am still looking for openings.. :(


From: 203_forensics (via Nabble) - No Reply <[hidden email]>
To: MHerrera <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 7, 2009 12:37:25 PM
Subject: Re: Questions.... :)

I'm also studying forensics at UNH in CT. I took classes at Kaplan to receive a crime scene certificate. The only thing I didn't like about Kaplan was that it's not a accredited college and could be a problem to those who graduated with a B.A. or A.S. trying to apply to a job.


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anhoang326
In reply to this post by lilbit1971
This was my first time in this site and I'm really love it. I'm a junior at high school, I have a dream of being a CSI. But i was wondering that IF you overweight and too short, then can i become a CSI?
( because i am :[ ).
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NFA_23
I have been able to do it just fine! Being short puts you closer to the evidence! . Being overweight means its harder for things to get by you.
J.
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J.
In reply to this post by anhoang326
Your appearance obviously wouldn't affect how you do the job, but there are, unfortunately, people that hire based on looks. But with those places even your average Joe would fall short when going up against someone that's more appealing than they are. This is not everywhere so yes, you can definitely become a CSI somewhere. It's the same for any profession, really.
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Re: Questions.... :)

Libby
In reply to this post by lilbit1971
I am currently going to be a junior in college and I am majoring in Administration of Justice and I really want to become a criminal scene investigator, but I was wondering what courses would you reccomend to take for becoming a criminal scene investigator. I will take all the coarses required for my degree, but I want to do whatever possible to ensure a position with CSI when I graduated.. is it best to become a police officer in order to get the position, and should I go to graduate school and get a masters in the forensic feild or the criminal scene investigator? Thanks for the help.
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Re: Questions.... :)

Sara Staggs
Hey Libby,  this page should answer some of your questions.  http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/becomeone.html
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