Thread: College degree?

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    Question College degree?

    How many of you have a college degree? If you don't do you wish you had one? Whats a good major if you plan on becoming a firefighter?

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    Good questions that come up frequently, check these discussion threads:

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=89561

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=89267

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=89435

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=88284

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=87744

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=86840

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=73367

    From 35 pages of results when you search for the phrase "college degree"

    If you are talking about a bachelor degree, it varies by age:

    Less than 5% of the 40+ year old career firefighters have a bachelor degree.

    About 10% of the 30-39 year olds have a bachelor degree, more than one-third of those without a degree have earned about 40 semester hours of credit (need 120 or so for a bachelor, 60 or so for an associate.)

    About 20% of the 20-29 year olds have a bachelor degree, about half of those without a degree have earned about 50 semester hours of credit.

    Firefighters have earned more hours and degrees where their employer requires it.

    Even if not required, firefighters working in metro areas (big cities) tend to have more formal education.

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeWard; 04-08-2007 at 12:34 PM.

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    I have an Associates in EMS technology, a BS in Public Safety Administration and am currently working towards a second bachelors in Fire science and safety engineering.
    Our union contract give us unlimited tuition reimburstment as long as it is job related and 48 hours of education time/ year. This is like vacation time that can be used for classes that fall on duty days.
    ski

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    I have an Associates in Science in Fire Technology and Administration (1992) and just completed my Bachelors of Science at Charter Oak State College (distance learning). Looking at Masters programs now.

    While a degree may not help you as a fire fighter, it will benefit you if you seek a promotion to an officer's position.

    Mike: Very interesting statistics on degrees and the fire service. I have noticed that more people in their 20's entering the fire service already have 4-year degrees. Big change from 25 years ago when college was a dirty word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenNFD1219 View Post
    While a degree may not help you as a fire fighter
    Sorry Chief, but I respectfully have to disagree. I feel very strongly that formal education will significantly help a firefighter regardless of what his or her degree is in.

    Earning 60 credits for an associates or 120 credits for a BA/BS shows you are able to dedicate yourself to something and achieve a goal. College teaches you more than just english, math, and science. Communicating with others, time management, public speaking, prioritization, and discipline are just a few of the life lessons you might pick up.

    - Turk

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    Quote Originally Posted by TurkII View Post
    Sorry Chief, but I respectfully have to disagree. I feel very strongly that formal education will significantly help a firefighter regardless of what his or her degree is in.
    Good points, I should have phrased what I said a little better. I am a strong advocate of any type of education.

    An entry level fire fighter should have as good work ethic, an ability to follow directions, a fair amount of mechanical aptitude, and be able to work as part of a team.

    Demonstrating these abilities through work, military, or school experiences will help anyone seeking a fire fighters position. A degree alone, while it shows a definite skill set, is not enough by itself. It is all part of the package the individual presents to the department.
    -------------------
    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
    -----------------------------------------------
    Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

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    Default College is Great For some things

    Quote Originally Posted by TurkII View Post
    Sorry Chief, but I respectfully have to disagree. I feel very strongly that formal education will significantly help a firefighter regardless of what his or her degree is in.

    Earning 60 credits for an associates or 120 credits for a BA/BS shows you are able to dedicate yourself to something and achieve a goal. College teaches you more than just english, math, and science. Communicating with others, time management, public speaking, prioritization, and discipline are just a few of the life lessons you might pick up.

    - Turk
    I will have to chime in and disagree with what TrukII has to say. Our job is dominated by large degrees in small rank. This condition on the fire ground just allows a lot of analyzing and finger pointing and not a lot of doing anything. When I came on we were measured by what we did not how many pieces of paper we had to offer. Its not bad to have a degree in anything it just seems to cloud your judgment of when its time to get it done and when its time to analyze things.

    But if you are going to get hired these days , yes you need one. Pick something that you can use while in your fire career and after because no one retires anymore they just find another career. I do respect the time commitment that it takes to obtain education, that is commendable. But education in itself does not make the firefighter, engineer or the Chief. A strong willingness to serve with your brother firefighters, do what's right, do what you say and adapt to your surroundings is the other half.

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