What is the Best Degree to Become a Secret Service Agent

The answer to the question of what is the best degree to become a Secret Service agent is simple because the job is simple. While the interview and application process can be difficult, Secret Service Agents are investigators at heart, which is why a bachelor’s in criminal justice is the best degree available for those interested in joining the service, according to Forbes. Here’s a breakdown of why this major is best.

Bachelor of Criminal Justice

Because Secret Service Agents are primarily investigators that receive job training after being hired, the undergraduate major is not necessarily that important. The Bachelor’s of Criminal Justice does lend itself to the title of the best degree to become a Secret Service agent because it will teach candidates how to investigate crimes and follow protocols that are used by the government for their investigations. The subjects taught in the major cover everything from investigative analysis and methods to interviewing skills and psychology, covering the range of topics that will become a part of the agent’s everyday job.

School Factors

Not all schools have the same criminal justice program, so in order to build the best degree to become a Secret Service agent possible, it’s important to look at some factors. A school must, first of all, have regional accreditation in order to be considered for the service; it does not accept unaccredited degrees. Second, the school must provide the courses necessary to make a great agent, including courses in criminology research, behavioral science, written and oral communication skills, and more. Third, the school should provide some avenue towards an internship or work-study program that allows students to work in the field prior to graduating to ensure that they develop the skills they’ve learned in the classroom.

Pros and Cons of the Degree

The Bachelor of Criminal Justice might be the best degree to become a Secret Service agent, but it’s not without its drawbacks. If a student enters a program only to find that the degree is taught through theory lectures alone, they may be less served than a student who found a program that utilizes simulations and real-world experiences to help their students apply the necessary knowledge they would need in the field. It’s also important to remember that while a student will want to keep their eye on the goal of becoming an agent, it’s best to find a general degree in the field in case things don’t pan out.

Is a Master’s Degree Necessary?

Whether or not a master’s degree is necessary depends on whether a student wants to become an agent at the GL-07 level or the GL-09 level. The difference between the levels is education and starting salary. A candidate with a bachelor’s degree will be eligible for GL-07, which is a lower pay rate than GL-09, which is open to master’s degree candidates. While the difference in pay is around $3,500 per year, it’s important to note that as an agent moves through the ranks, the pay rate will even out in the long run.

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Choosing to go to school is one thing, but choosing to become an agent sworn to protect the government and its officers is beyond the call of duty. By choosing the best degree to become a Secret Service Agent, candidates increase their chances of joining the ranks of this honorable agency.