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    Default Independent study or traditional fire science degree?

    Next year I'm going to be going to University of Massachusetts but I haven't decided what major to pursue. One option I'm considering is doing a bachelors degree with an individual concentration. It's essentially an independent study major where you combine three courses of study and I was planning on doing something like a Bachelor's Degree is Fire Protection, Emergency Management and Spanish. I would take Firefighter 1 and 2, fire protection courses, management courses, spanish and hispanic studies classes and EMT-B and EMT-P.

    My other option is to just get a Spanish major, get the certifications separately and start to pursue an AS or BS ins Fire Science while applying to departments.

    What will look better for departments? The BDIC major will make me stand out, but I'm not sure if it will be in a good or bad way. It kind of has a reputation as a "hippy major" at UMass, but there have also been plenty of really serious majors to come out of the program. Will I stand out over candidates with Fire science degrees or will departments take me less seriously? If it makes any difference I will be applying to departments in the New England area after I graduate.

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    Self delete.
    Last edited by dctalk523; 05-23-2012 at 02:42 AM.

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    sugeest you get a major in something that will translate to a job, if the fd does not work out, or as a second job if fd does work out

    most depts do not require a major, yes it looks good becuse you are applying yourself

    once you get on you can decide if you want to be a chief or some thing near there than start getting a business, admin, or other related degree

    current ed requirement for a fire chief opening:::


    Education:
    Bachelor‚s degree in public or business administration, science, emergency management, or related field is required. Master‚s degree in public administration, urban affairs, criminal justice or related field preferred. Certifications from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (advanced or higher), National Fire Administration (executive fire officer) or Chief Fire Officer designate preferred. Advanced Life Support Certification preferred.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dctalk523 View Post
    Major in a subject thats practical/can be used in the work force/real world application. A degree in fire science is useless in the real world. Why the emphasis on Hispanic studies/Spanish? Are you interested in teaching as a back up plan? Trust me, the job market is brutal and its not going to get better anytime soon. Competition is stiff and the job market is saturated w/ folks who have a Liberal Arts degrees and collecting dust. You don't want to have a degree in something thats useless. If I had to redo everything, I would think about getting a BA in public administration. Just my thoughts.
    I want to major in Spanish because I'm a native speaker and I want to improve and learn more about my heritage. If firefighting doesn't work out I want to either go into the military or go into business. I'm going into the reserves regardless but if I can't get a firefighting job I guess I'll make a career out of it. With a Spanish major I could go into international business or being an interpreter but I can't see myself teaching.

    At this point though I want my studies to be as focused on firefighting as possible. I can't really see myself doing anything else and with a combination of a degree, military service, and being bilingual I'll have a good shot of getting a department and that's my main focus. My question is what degree will look better to departments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    sugeest you get a major in something that will translate to a job, if the fd does not work out, or as a second job if fd does work out

    most depts do not require a major, yes it looks good becuse you are applying yourself

    once you get on you can decide if you want to be a chief or some thing near there than start getting a business, admin, or other related degree

    current ed requirement for a fire chief opening:::


    Education:
    Bachelor‚s degree in public or business administration, science, emergency management, or related field is required. Master‚s degree in public administration, urban affairs, criminal justice or related field preferred. Certifications from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (advanced or higher), National Fire Administration (executive fire officer) or Chief Fire Officer designate preferred. Advanced Life Support Certification preferred.
    Don't candidates with college degrees have an advantage over other candidates? I've heard most firefighters getting hired have college degrees nowadays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyW View Post
    Don't candidates with college degrees have an advantage over other candidates? I've heard most firefighters getting hired have college degrees nowadays.
    Degrees do look good (you've taken the initiative to better yourself). But don't fool yourself into thinking that just because you have a degree, you're getting a job. HOWEVER, coming out with military experience (and preference), your paramedic AND being bilingual... You'd have to be pretty dense to not get a job. At least that's how it is out west. I think you're on the right track with that, but only you can make the decision. Good luck!

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    Do not know anything about Mass.
    But most suggestions are to get paramedic cert, but I do not know if that is a requirement or a need in departments in your state

    Would suggest find out what the minimum requirements are for most of the departments in your state, and get those first.


    As already stated the major at entry level is not to much of a factor.


    It does matter as you move up in rank and admin, business, public finance, are good areas to get degrees in.

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    Also would suggest start applying to departments as soon as you meet the minimum requirements

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    Quote Originally Posted by dctalk523 View Post
    Major in a subject thats practical/can be used in the work force/real world application. A degree in fire science is useless in the real world. Why the emphasis on Hispanic studies/Spanish? Are you interested in teaching as a back up plan? Trust me, the job market is brutal and its not going to get better anytime soon. Competition is stiff and the job market is saturated w/ folks who have a Liberal Arts degrees and collecting dust. You don't want to have a degree in something thats useless. If I had to redo everything, I would think about getting a BA in public administration. Just my thoughts.
    I strongly disagree that a fire science degree is useless in the real world. I would agree that a fire science degree is useless if you do not want to have a job somewhere in the fire service or related field.

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    it is not useless, because hopefuly you can apply the information even as a the lowest person on the fire truck

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