Best Majors For FBI Special Agents Full Guide
Are you someone looking for thrill and excitement in your career life and not feel satisfied with the idea of a 9 to 5 desk job than becoming an FBI Agent will fulfil your desire along with a reward of serving the community. There are various types of FBI Agents, a special agent is one of the most common ones, and their primary duty is to gather intelligence, investigate terrorism, counterintelligence, cybercrime, public corruption, civil rights, organized crime, white-collar crime, violent crime, and protect the national security of the United States.
Although becoming an agent looks very attractive, getting into the field requires a different set of skills and a relevant FBI bachelor’s degree. There are set requirements for different roles you play at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Other than the qualifications, there are some traits that an FBI agent needs when working in the field. Some are patience, good communication skills, analytical skills, strong willpower, and physical strength. As the FBI is not any other law enforcement agency, the agents’ cases are far more complex and risky. Therefore, one needs to be well prepared before coming into the field.
Many people ask which college majors are best for becoming an FBI agent.
First, please understand that the FBI does not hire agents right out of college; they require three years of professional work experience, with rare exceptions.
Second, understand that while Criminal Justice or some related degree might appear to be a logical choice, it will not put you on the fast track for recruitment.
The FBI prioritizes the skill sets it’s looking for when recruiting Special Agents.
These skill sets change periodically based on the changing crime and threat picture. For example, when the Bureau was created, lawyers and accountants were most in need. Those degrees are still valued, but they are no longer at the very top of the list. Computer sciences, engineering, and the “hard” sciences are in high demand, including intelligence and military or police tactical team backgrounds.
The key is having a very well-rounded and rigorous academic and work background that reflects your ability to contribute special skills and bring your intellect, judgment, and work ethic to the job.
If you choose a degree program that is not rigorous or related to critical areas, you will likely not fall within the prioritized needs for recruitment. That doesn’t mean you won’t be hired or wouldn’t make a great agent. It just means you’ll find it more challenging to get your foot in the door and pass through the recruitment process. I hope this helps.
This article will share some of the degrees needed for becoming an FBI agent apart from that. We will also discuss some of the best colleges for FBI agents. Keep on reading to learn more about what degree you need to become an FBI agent.
What Degree Do You Need To Become an FBI Agent
Suppose you have the passion for becoming an FBI agent. You must prepare yourself beforehand and get the prior experience that will eventually help you make a stronger portfolio. There aren’t any specific degrees for FBI agents. However, it is essential to have a bachelor’s college degree or higher education from an accredited college or university to become an FBI agent.
This article will provide you with some of the Best Majors For FBI Special Agents and FBI accredited colleges.
These are some of the Best Majors For FBI Special Agents:
- Criminal Justice
- Computer Science
- Cyber Security
- Finance – Forensic Accounting
- Forensic science
- International Studies
- Public Safety Administration
Further in this article, you will notice how each of these majors will help you become an FBI agent and teach you the skills required by the agent in a field.
Pick the most appealing major; it will hold your attention and prepare you for the future.
When we talk about agents or any other related field, a degree in criminal justice will always be on the list. This degree will provide you with the basic functioning of the justice system in the United States. The course outline covers the justice system’s three main aspects: the courts, policing, and corrections. It teaches the students the psychology behind criminal behaviour that helps them in analysing the crimes better. Other than that it includes juvenile justice, criminal law, the judicial process, administration theory and evaluations, and crime prevention.
FBI agents have to face different cases each day, some of which are unique, requiring a deep understanding of the situation. In this case, the theoretical knowledge that an agent received from the criminal justice degree will help solve the issue. The experience of this course will help you evolve in your career.
Some of the top universities for FBI agents that offer criminal justice program are:
- The University of Arizona Global Campus
- Purdue University Global
- Arizona State University
- Central Christian College of Kansas
- University of California Irvine
You might be wondering what computer sciences have anything to do with the FBI but let me tell you this; there are hundreds of falconries happening around us every day digitally. As an FBI agent, you will be working on secretive missions that cannot be discussed, sometimes even with the staff members. To protect the data and information stored in different digital devices, you need to know a deeper computer understanding.
The degree is useful for those who are planning to join the counterintelligence department of the FBI. Traditionally spies used to pass the information to foreign governments for agenda building however this is not the case of the contemporary world, now data is used for human destruction, and all of this is done through data and networks. Therefore, it is essential to safeguard the States’ national security. A computer science degree will help you develop software, code in different languages, and guide you in solving complex computing problems.
Some of the best FBI College that offers computer science is:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Stanford University
- University of California Berkeley
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Harvard University
Cycle crimes are increasingly becoming one of the common problems that agents have to deal with. The common issues faced are phishing attacks, malware, online credential breach, debit or credit card fraud, and identity theft. All companies need to make sure that their data is not accessible to cybercriminals. As in the modern world companies compete with one another, issues of data theft are commonly experienced by many companies. To make sure that such falconries are in control, FBI agents who are specialized in cybercrimes keeps a stronghold.
A degree in cybersecurity helps the agents in solving complex computing problems and find solutions in due time. The employment rate for cybersecurity agents has increased in the past couple of years as digital crimes have increased. There are different roles at the FBI in which a major in cybersecurity will make your job much more comfortable. If you are an intelligence analyst or in surveillance, having this degree will resolve the issue for they turn into complex once. The same goes for agents working in cybercrime and counterintelligence.
Some of the colleges for FBI agents that offer cybersecurity are:
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- University of Southern California
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign
Finance – Forensic Accounting
A degree in finance or forensic accounting is another option if you think of perusing your FBI career. This degree is most broad and does not restrict law enforcement and the justice system only. Like other companies, the FBI also needs assistance in keeping their budget maintained and evaluated so that the Bureau stays on track. The degree focuses on teaching the ground principles of accounting and finance and how crimes can be committed by changing the numbers or data.
The FBI, with a major in finance, will take you on two different sides: the first one consists of dealing with the customer and various departments like finance, accounting, budgeting, fiscal planning and reporting matters. At the same time, the other sector is a bit complex. It deals with the matter that involves forensic accounting in an investigative manner. You can have different career paths with a degree in finance in FBI from executive assistants to human resources to management consultants.
Universities for FBI agents that offer Finance
- University of Pennsylvania
- Georgetown University
- Washington University in St. Louis
- University of Michigan
- University of Texas at Austin
A degree in forensic science is a straightforward option for those planning to have a career in the FBI or any other law enforcement agency. The degree will teach you how to reconstruct the crime and analyze physical evidence such as blood, fingerprints and DNA, skin, hair, and clothing fibres, and how to use them in a court of law. This major also teaches how to collect samples without disrupting the crime scene and evaluating those in a report.
For FBI agents, this major allows them to work in both the field and laboratories. In professional criminal cases, their job becomes more challenging as they have to collect samples from all the possible places because habitual criminals clear out all the possible evidence. FBI hires forensic scientists for different roles and different missions.
Schools for FBI agents that offer Forensic Sciences are:
- Penn State University
- Texas A&M University
- Pennsylvania State University
- University of New Haven
- Ohio Northern University
International studies were critical in history, but now FBI and other agencies working internationally are always looking for individuals with a background of international studies. As technology is advancing, many companies have introduced themselves to global markets, increasing the connections between different lands. Now if this company breaks the USA laws, the issue becomes complicated. Therefore it is essential to understand foreign policies and politics to avoid such problems.
The degree in international studies teaches you about the differences in culture, laws, and policies of different counties, and language is an essential part of this course. The approach used in teaching this major helps students in overcoming serious challenges like counterintelligence and counter-terrorism. With the tech industry’s advancement, there will be a higher threat of breaking the laws; therefore, more agents specialized in this subject will demand.
College for FBI that offer international studies are:
- Brandeis University
- Abilene Christian University
- Colby College
- University of Michigan
- Boston College
Public Safety Administration
A degree in public safety administration not only gives you knowledge and skills to protect your community. This program teaches how to deal with an emergency and offer instant solutions. For example, if there is an attack on federal poverty, you will learn how to protect and secure the area with minimum deaths. Other than this, emergency management, fire inspection, and police service are also included in the course outline.
FBI hires individuals with safety administration degree in counterterrorism and administrative departments where they are required to make policies or alter them with time. The professionals also look at the international guidelines, so if that they can prepare themselves for any global threat. The individuals with higher positions in the FBI deals with real-time situations where every small move matters a lot. Therefore, they need to have substantial decision-making power and have the ability to see all the aspects of the problems. This degree helps all these skills to keep the nation out of danger.
Best colleges for FBI agents that offer Public Safety Administration:
- Florida Atlantic University
- Florida State College
- Keiser University
- Cleveland State University
- St. Petersburg College
When we talk about the degrees for FBI positions, not talking about law feels like something is missing. FBI deals with different situations starting from counterintelligence to white-collar crimes. All of these crimes require some legal actions, and for that, you need to have a deeper understanding of the laws of the United States and international laws. These individuals have to protect federal employees along with that they bring criminals into the courtrooms; therefore; you need to have an understanding of the law.
In this degree, you study international law, environmental law, conflict of laws, labour law, criminal procedure, and jurisprudence and along with that, some foundation courses include administrative law, civil litigation, commercial law, corporations, evidence, family law, professional responsibility, taxation, and wills and trusts. When working in the FBI, knowing the subject makes your work easier. You can make your team understand the situations better, for example when to go after the suspect and when to stand down. This degree will be very beneficial for you if you are planning on joining the FBI one day.
Some of the best colleges for the FBI that offers LAW are:
- Yale University
- Stanford University
- The University of Wyoming
- CUNY School of Law
- Duke University
All justice system agencies need psychologists to understand the criminals’ working the same is the case with the FBI. For the FBI psychology is essential for decoding the criminals’ behaviour and better understand why they are involved in criminality. These criminals are not the same; they have different thinking processes some are impulsive and foolish whilst others are intelligent. They make the master plan and harm the people around them. Therefore, it is essential to understand their plan and catch them before they cause destruction.
A major in psychology gives a vast understanding of the human mind, enabling you to become a better FBI psychologist. Criminal psychology is what is preferred if you are looking forward to pursuing a career in the FBI. This matter deals with the causes of crime and ways to prevent and control it; on the other hand, psychology deals with criminals’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Both degrees hold importance and can help the FBI in resolving the cases at a quicker pace.
Best FBI universities that offer psychology – criminal psychology are:
- University of California Berkeley
- City University of New York
- University of Maryland College Park
- Liberty University
- University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Sociology is the subject that deals with the surrounding of the individuals, how childhood, neighbourhood, parents, peers affect the behaviour of an individual. These specialists understand how the criminal has grown up and what factors lead him to where he is now. These subjects also help understand deviance and crime, how norms are made, and what happens when these norms are broken down—combining sociology and criminology you learn how the factors like the criminal justice system, including police, prosecutors, and judges, respond to victims and offenders.
In the FBI sociology works well in understanding the reasons behind the criminality; it helps in dealing with counterterrorism by identifying the behaviour of terrorist groups. They can also predict where the criminal will strike next, allowing the agents to stay one step ahead of the criminals. Sociology identifies the behaviour of criminals and can also help in preventing crimes. This can be achieved using different methodologies so that the environment that gives birth to criminality heals eventually reduces the crime rate.
Best FBI colleges in the US that offer Sociology are:
- Columbia University in the City of New York
- Princeton University
- Nicholls State University
- West Texas A&M University
- Western Carolina University
Becoming an FBI agent is not a bed of roses you have to deal with a lot of stress and anxiety; you will face many challenges and setbacks in this journey; however, this career path will be rewarding for you if you’re passionate about serving humanity. You will be the United States’ pride, but you have to keep in mind that you need to struggle hard to become a special agent at the FBI. The first and foremost thing is to complete your FBI college requirements and focus on enhancing your communication skills and working on your physical and mental health.
We wish you a bright and fulfilling future!
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