1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    43

    Default Is Getting a Four Year Degree Worth It?

    I've been looking into colleges, both fire academies and 4 year schools lately. My main goal for training right now is to go to the CT Fire Academy, but I'm wondering if it would be more beneficial to get a 4 year degree first. If I go to college right out of high school instead of a fire academy, I know I'll major in something other than Fire Science because science doesnt interest me as much as other subjects and isn't my strongest class so taking college level science classes probably isnt a good idea. I'm if going to college to get a non-fire science degree is worth the price and will help my chances of getting a job significantly. Regardless of whether I go to college or a fire academy right out of high school I'm planning on joining the Army Reserve since I've always wanted to join the military, which should also help me pay for my school. However, the Reserve GI Bill would probably put a dent in the tuition but I'd still be in significant debt after college. I'm wondering if a 4 year degree will significantly increase my chances of getting hired and if it's worth the investment of money and time since my goal is to be a firefighter.

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    3,952

    Default

    First find out what education or Certifications most departments/ state requires to apply

    Then work towards that if you want to get on a department

    You need to look at a fire scencie degree courses, there are very few that are "science" related

    A four year degree in anything will help you in the future, but not typically to get hired, does look good on the resume

    A degree in a specific field can be used for a second job, once you get hired




    Sorry for the generic, troll answer ,, cnut no cut and paste!!!


    Also some cities have tuition reimbursement, so once you get hired you can work on a degree and get some or all paid for

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    CaptOldTimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,273

    Default

    Check this before you join the reserves.

    http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_inf...ligibility.htm



    Have a four degree will help you along the way, once you become a member of a department. It helps in promotions. Most departments will pay some extra money to members who process a degree, be it an Associate, Bachelors or Masters.

    Years back when I went on the job, a high school diploma was all you needed to be hired and advance through the ranks. However, I didn't sit on my tail and do nothing about educating myself. I did get an Associates and have enough for a Bachelors in public administration. Now days, members are getting their Masters as well, so if the opportunity becomes available when they have the time to retire they may be able to go to another department as a Deputy or Fire Chief!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    USA baby
    Posts
    172

    Default

    Another thing to consider is your "backup plan". What if you get injured firefighting? The job market is highly competitive. A 4 year degree will not only help you in a firefighting career, but also give you something to fall back on. A masters degree is really the new standard. Bachelos degrees are becoming a dime a dozen in the competitive market.
    Fire Service Interview questions - The blog that has REAL interview questions for firefighters, Engineers, Lieutenants, and Captains !

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    43

    Default

    Check this before you join the reserves.

    http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_inf...ligibility.htm
    The problem is that the most the GI bill offers per year is 10,000 and I'm looking at mostly out of state schools, both because I really want to get out of Florida and being both out of state and a black and hispanic guy with good grades will put me at an advantage over in state applicants at schools who are trying to be more diverse. However the price out of state is 30,000 plus so that means if I go out of state I'll end up in serious debt, but if I go in state I may not be able to get as much of a quality education and I wont get to experience a new place. Another problem is that my family isn't rich but we're pretty solidly middle class, so paying for college without aid or scholarships is pretty much impossible but I won't qualify for much financial aid.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    12

    Default

    If you're going to become a career firefighter and you that know, go through minimum standards, EMT, Paramedic...

    If you want a bachelors degree, don't wait and try to pull off some 10 year completion plan.

    If you want to join the military, don't half-*** it by joining the reserves. Go active so that you'll get full education benefits, and earn Veterans preference.

    Me - 4 years active NAVY, got 36 months Montgomery GI Bill + 12 months Post 9/11 GI Bill + earned veterans preference. Used the GI Bill to start college (in my last semester of BAS in Fire Science), made it through EMT and minimum standards in Florida. All done without having to get any loans or debt.

    I'd recommend going to college and finishing a 4 year degree in anything, becoming an officer in the military. Retire "OR" get out with an education, veterans preference, and then become a firefighter.

    No department in their right mind will turn down an educated, military officer veteran that is also a minority.

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    70

    Default

    actually if you are current reserve or guard when you apply you still get vet points. at least thats what i was told by a department in Oklahoma.

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    34

    Default

    The magic words..."It Depends..." Where/what do you want to be in 5 years, 10 years. I personally would get my EMT-B first and see if i like it, than go get your Paramedic and start testing.
    Militray is great and I'm not trying to say don't do it, but imo probably does not out-weigh a college edu in terms of a back-up plan or even using your medic some place other than the fire service.

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    70

    Default

    Do both Go online for college and do the training wherever you can. I go to Kaplan University which every department I asked says its an accredited college and while doing that go get training.

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Is Getting a Four Year Degree Worth It?

    Yes.

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    441

    Default

    If I saw Kaplan on a resume I'd just laugh. Not exactly on the roster of legitimate institutions of higher learning. Even amoung the "online" mills.

    Uncle Sam (or at least the Army) has real university programs set up at every major installation. Upper Iowa University is at many posts and has BS in Public Administration (with optional certification in Fire Science or Law Enforcement).

    I'd likely hire a E-5/6 Vet before a O-2/3 Vet. Difference mindset/skillset. But would hire combat arms troop long before a REMF.

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    70

    Default

    You may think so but what do I care every department I asked said it counted for credits and that's all that matters. Just so you know I am only 18 married trying to support my wife and kid while trying to get the training required for becoming a firefighter I can't go to a real University.

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    USA baby
    Posts
    172

    Default

    In the long term picture, a 4 year degree or a masters degree is worth its weight in gold. You never know what will happen in your life. Look beyond firefighting. What if you get injured and need a desk job? Having a degree will allow you to support yourself and your family in the event of a catastrophic life changing event.
    Fire Service Interview questions - The blog that has REAL interview questions for firefighters, Engineers, Lieutenants, and Captains !

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    CGITCH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Sumner IA
    Posts
    496

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fireinfo10 View Post
    Uncle Sam (or at least the Army) has real university programs set up at every major installation. Upper Iowa University is at many posts and has BS in Public Administration (with optional certification in Fire Science or Law Enforcement).
    As for Upper Iowa University, they are a stellar distance learning school. I live 15 miles from their main campus in Fayette (Town of 2000 including the University). They were about to become defunct when they expanded into the distance learning by mail and eventually into online courses. My mom was working in the distance learning department when it really started to catch on. They are a great school, and I know they aren't expensive...compared to some.

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    70

    Default

    I took A look at Upper Iowa University and I am going to transfer there in January. I plan to attend a Vo-tech here first though it gives you FF1 and FF2, EMT-B, HAZMAT OPS, and some other certs.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Memphis Medic Requirements...
    By KevinFFVFD in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 07-31-2007, 03:37 PM
  2. Replies: 35
    Last Post: 05-02-2007, 12:39 PM
  3. Fire Science Degree
    By RobbyJR307 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 75
    Last Post: 04-18-2005, 11:31 AM
  4. FYI in CA
    By hootman in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 09-28-2004, 01:04 AM
  5. on-line two year "Fire Science Degree"
    By afd334 in forum Computers, the 'Net & Us
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-22-2000, 10:19 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register