Thread: Degree

  1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    548

    Default Degree

    Okay,
    I've heard the arguments, at least the capt bob and the other guy arguing about it. But whats the real deal on having your degree in fire science? I've just recieved mine and i'm wondering if it will really help me get hired or was it a waste of time. I've also got my EMT-B as i'm sure that's going to come up. I'd love to hear some of your opinions and get some info from your guys' past expericance with the hiring process in relevence to the degree..
    so... Good or Worthless?
    -pete

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Moscow
    Posts
    13

    Default same boat

    I am kind of in the same boat as you...except my degree I am still working towards. From what I have heard from various sources a degree is a degree meaning that just having a four year degree in any field may or may not help you get a job depending on if the department you are trying to work for even recognizes degrees and awards points for it. Although I am sure a fire science degree will help you get paid more with the various certs required to complete the degree such as FFI and FFII. hope this helps...i'm still very new to the whole process myself.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Bethlehem, Pa
    Posts
    22

    Default

    In my experiences if you are wanting to be a line firefighter only, then obtaining the certifications for such (FFI, FFII) is your goal. Having a degree in Fire Science may help with promotion points later. Oviously this is all depending on the department. A degree can never be a waste of your time. It will help you somewhere down the road. Maybe not know as you try to enter into the fire service but later when you look for promotion to officer or chief positions.

    Looking at the job requirements for new employment oppurtunities in the Fire Prevention Offices in my area, a degree in Fire Science is prefered and in some cases required to even be considered as a candidate. A degree in Fire Science, FFI, and FFII may be required for most positions in the future. If it is already happening for Fire Inspector or Fire Marshal positions here, I'm sure it is happening elsewhere.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    548

    Default

    i've got all my ff I/II, ARFF, Hazmat ops/awarness, all my I's (inspector, instructor, officer), all my II's, and my officer III, not to mention IC (the cert the hell out of us in the military) .. and like i said.. i just finished my Associates.. just wanted to know if it's going to help me get on at a major department.. or if it will just help me get promoted once i'm in the department.. like you said though.. i'm sure it can't hurt
    -pete

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    DennisTheMenace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Washington, DC/Northern Virginia
    Posts
    3,717

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peterbound View Post
    Okay,
    I've heard the arguments, at least the capt bob and the other guy arguing about it. But whats the real deal on having your degree in fire science? I've just recieved mine and i'm wondering if it will really help me get hired or was it a waste of time. I've also got my EMT-B as i'm sure that's going to come up. I'd love to hear some of your opinions and get some info from your guys' past expericance with the hiring process in relevence to the degree..
    so... Good or Worthless?
    -pete
    All comes down to you and where you want to work. Some depatments it is a requirement, most it is not. Pretty soon it will be a requirement everywhere to get promoted to the officer ranks.

    Anywhere that you have an oral interview, you will have the chance to talk about it and make it an asset since you already have it.

    Worthless? Heck no. Required? No again.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    DennisTheMenace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Washington, DC/Northern Virginia
    Posts
    3,717

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peterbound View Post
    i've got all my ff I/II, ARFF, Hazmat ops/awarness, all my I's (inspector, instructor, officer), all my II's, and my officer III, not to mention IC (the cert the hell out of us in the military) .. and like i said.. i just finished my Associates.. just wanted to know if it's going to help me get on at a major department.. or if it will just help me get promoted once i'm in the department.. like you said though.. i'm sure it can't hurt
    -pete
    Which major departments do you want to work for? Have you not applied anywhere yet?
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,047

    Default

    I am ďthe other guyĒ that you are referring to. Let me make it perfectly clear when I tell you that education sets you apart from the rest of the candidates. I will tell you that I sit on entry-level and promotional interviews on a regular basis. In recent history I have proctored exams Battalion Chief Exams in Denver, Ontario, Torrance, and Upland. Captains exams in Los Angeles, Glendale, Santa Monica as well as final chiefís interviews for the last four entry-level academies on my own department.

    As an evaluator I am partnered up with my peers from all over the country. On a recent exam, I was partnered with gold badges from New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Hartford. The conversation during lunch centered on how the standards for entry-level firefighters have changed.

    I grade candidates on a regular basis. I donít care which position you are applying for, FORMAL EDUCATION IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

    Anyone who tells you it is isnít important, is way off base. The next person who tells you that it is not important, do yourself a favor and question them on their qualifications. How many candidates have they rated?

    Take this thread for example; itís a bunch of guys trying to get hired on the fire department sharing their thoughts on education. My favorite quote is:
    ďMaybe not know as you try to enter into the fire service but later when you look for promotion to officer or chief positions.Ē

    Youíre kidding me right?

    Having education proves that you can finish what you start. It proves that you can set a goal and achieve it. It also says that you can read and write. All of these qualities are important to the fire service.

    Let me make it very clear that a combination of education and practical, hands on experience is what we are after. Candidates who have spent their entire life in academics and do not know which way to tighten a screw will struggle in the fire service. Conversely, a candidate who cannot compose a sentence will not do well writing a report.

    The fire service has evolved from putting the wet stuff on the red stuff.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    548

    Default

    Glad to hear it wasn't a total waste of time.
    Dennis: I havenít had the opportunity to apply at any major fire department as of yet. I still have to finish my service commitment to the Air Force, which will be done in May. My goal is to get on at Phoenix, and as they only test in April/may time frame Iím going to go to Iraq for a year with WSI. This should provide some financial stability and padding during my testing cycles. I'm familiar with their pre reqs for hiring, and an associates is not one of them, I just wanted to hear from some board members about how they felt about.
    I havenít looked at any of the other fire departments in the area Iím at now (Colorado Springs), as Phoenix is the only place I want to work at.. But Iím sure they don't require an associates (as most places do not)

    BCLaprone: Thanks for the heads up.. Hopefully the degree and my certs, coupled with my military experience with give me the advantage over the other candidates applying.
    -pete

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Bethlehem, Pa
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Mr. BCLepore,

    First, let me make myself perfectly clear. I'm not trying to get into a department. I've already secured my place within the fire service. Now, allow me to direct your attention to the word "maybe" in your favorite quote. I made my comment based on some interview boards that have not hired candidates with degrees. Oviously you have to do well in the written portion of the test in order to be considered for an oral review.

    I do agree with you that education sets you apart from the rest of the candidates. However, just because one has a degree does not mean that they have better oral and written communication skills than one without a degree. The way a candidate presents themself during the interview also is important. Will you hire a candidate with a degree in fire science who shows up to the interview appearing like he/she just crawled out of bed and gives poor answers to questions over the candidate with no degree but answers your questions with well thought out complete responses?

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,470

    Default

    As Iíve written before I believe in education. You havenít wasted your time.

    In case you havenít noticed there is an army (or air force) out there with every degree, certificate, experience, military time, volunteer and every merit badge you could imagine trying to be one of up to 800 competing for each firefighter job.

    How many are competing for each fire/medic job? 12-20.

    As sgallagher mentioned above, your goal now is to combine your education, military and other experiences into a firefighter oral board presentation that is like no other before you show up. How can you stun the oral board panel into giving you the job over the other candidates? Phoenix testing process is different than most.

    Firehouse.com contributing author Steve Prziborowski, BC, Santa Clara County Fire Department wrote:
    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/con.../bio.jsp?id=25

    ďDo what you have to do be more marketable so you can take more tests and have something more to offer a department, but remember that it all comes down to that 15 to 30 minute oral interview. Iíve seen some awesome candidates with resumes packed full of accomplishments that couldnít sell them self in an interview to even make the top 50%.Ē

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com
    Last edited by CaptBob; 03-05-2008 at 11:57 AM.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    130

    Default

    Its not a waste of time at all. It absolutley does not hurt you in any way. But remeber you have to be top candidate for all of the other hiring processes. Having a degree or firefighter certifications won't get you a job.

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    548

    Default

    how is phoenix fire different then most?

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,470

    Default A tale of two

    Are you Prepared?

    Like some have wrote here find out what departments you want to work for required to take their tests.

    Two friends, Dave and Scott were volunteers in their city. Dave had been convinced that he needed to get a degree in order to be hired. Scott told him to stay, become a medic and they would get on. Dave went off for six years, got his BA degree in business and still couldnít get hired. Scott became a medic and was hired by his volunteer department. He now has 6 years seniority, made more than $100,000 each year with OT ($140,000 last year---thatís real money) and enjoys the good life, more toys than you could imagine and has traveled everywhere.

    Guess what? Dave was still trying to get a fire job after six years. Even after getting all the usual credentials. Firefighter 1, BA degree, 3 seasons with CDF, rode ambulance yada, yada, yada, Dave finally figured out he needed to become a medic (yes, he enjoys the medic side) to get hired. After getting his medic cert, he got hired. Where you ask? The department he was a volunteer for.

    www.eatstress.com

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    548

    Default

    that's cool
    but you didn't answer my question:
    How is phoenix fire testing process different than most?
    My old man works there, and it's the only one i've been exposed to.. so i'd like to know how it's different to be able to prepare in case i decide to test elsewhere.
    -pete

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,470

    Default

    Pete:

    I'm sure you dad can fill you in on Phoenix. Give me call if you want more. 888-238-3959.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,047

    Default

    Same old stale posts over and over
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  17. #17
    Permanently Removed
    CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    6,520

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peterbound View Post
    Okay,
    I've heard the arguments, at least the capt bob and the other guy arguing about it. But whats the real deal on having your degree in fire science? I've just recieved mine and i'm wondering if it will really help me get hired or was it a waste of time. I've also got my EMT-B as i'm sure that's going to come up. I'd love to hear some of your opinions and get some info from your guys' past expericance with the hiring process in relevence to the degree..
    so... Good or Worthless?
    -pete
    Pete-

    Ok, I am not as "salty" as the two main players in here, but here is my take.

    Wasted your time? No way. I've always referred to a college degree as "paper gold". Regardless whether youíre a Firefighter today or next year- Youíve achieved higher education. Youíre at the next level, no one and I mean no one can take that away from you.

    I do have to ask what your degree is in? Sometimes it might not apply to an entry level Firefighter job. If its in Fire Admin/Management, then it will aply down the line in time. Is it non-fire service related? Thats ok. You can build off of it and move in the direction you want.

    What if you do make it in the fire service and then get injured? You have something to fall back on. An education to go somewhere elsein the fire service and have a career.

    I think I am in the same boat as most people here, I started my education, got caught up in life and finally went back and completed it. I still have more to go. The nice part about being done early is you can focus on other life and career goals. Yes, that includes Paramedic school. Please picture yourself in the medic entrance oral boards and them asking you about your background- Yes, you have a degree? Most likely you'll get selected based on the fact you have shown a level of achievement and again, a building block platform.

    Lastly, letís say you do get on a department soon. Get settled in, wife family, bills, cars, dog, cat, little league- Life 101. Fast forward 2-5 and now you want to promote. Who has the time? Itís expensive and the kids need braces! But your education is done brother. You donít need to look back.

    No sir, your degree is ever a waste. Be proud of that paper gold and continue to excel in your life and career.

    Bou
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 03-07-2008 at 02:46 AM.

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    Surtur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Edgerton, Wisconsin
    Posts
    74

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peterbound View Post
    whats the real deal on having your degree in fire science? I've just recieved mine and...
    Quote Originally Posted by CALFFBOU View Post
    I do have to ask what your degree is in? Sometimes it might not apply to an entry level Firefighter job. If its in Fire Admin/Management, then it will aply down the line in time. Is it non-fire service related?
    Yeah, looks like it's fire service related.

    No way is having gotten a two-year degree a waste of your time. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it, trust me. Like CALFFBOU said, that piece of paper is worth its weight in gold. Just a degree and your EMT-B won't get you a job, though, which is I'm sure why you're asking this question. The thing is that so many people applying for fire jobs seem to miss is the fact that you can't just meet the qualifications for a department and expect to get hired. You need to be a well-rounded candidate, or else you're just another number.

    So many people look at the job/s they have until they get hired on a department as just a way to earn money -- big mistake. Places where you work say a lot about what kind of firefighter you'll be. Long-term references from honorable organizations that give you a positive recommendation mean a whole hell of a lot. Having a sense of volunteerism and being an active member of your community -- huge! Becoming a paramedic is also a lot of work and a big commitment, but if you get it over with now, it's just so well worth it. Medics with a degree are golden candidates.

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber
    JohnVBFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Norfolk, Va
    Posts
    1,477

    Default

    This is great.

    And we wonder why we have so many problems in the Fire Service?

    Now we are advocating getting a certification JUST to get a job.

    That is just the type of "paramedic" I want working with me.

    P|$$ poor Firefighter and an even worse Medic.

    But hey, they got the "badge"

    I feel sorry for the people who live in the areas where you get people hired. Because we all know YOU aren't working with them or have them working on you.
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

  20. #20
    Forum Member
    SCSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Caledonia, MN
    Posts
    98

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    This is great.

    And we wonder why we have so many problems in the Fire Service?

    Now we are advocating getting a certification JUST to get a job.

    That is just the type of "paramedic" I want working with me.

    P|$$ poor Firefighter and an even worse Medic.

    But hey, they got the "badge"

    I feel sorry for the people who live in the areas where you get people hired. Because we all know YOU aren't working with them or have them working on you.
    That's the most self-righteous bunch of crap I've ever heard! Why does someone finish a nursing degree? Why does someone get a commercial driver license? Why does someone go through a police academy? TO GET A JOB! Firefighting is a job, not a religion. If some people have such a strong passion for a career the fire service and are so determined that they'll work hard to acquire whatever certification they need, then good for them. When I was working on my degree, I didn't like every single class I took, but I stuck it out and did well because finishing a degree and finding a career was important to me. Does it mean that I'm a phony because I completed classes I didn't really like just to get my degree and a job? Hell no! I think it shows a lot of character to try doing things that are outside of your comfort zone. Will someone get hired just because they have a cert or a degree? Of course not. We all know that it takes more than qualifications on paper to get a job as a firefighter anyway, so I really don't know what you're complaining about.
    Until you've been on a Harley-Davidson, you haven't been on a motorcycle

  21. #21
    MembersZone Subscriber
    JohnVBFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Norfolk, Va
    Posts
    1,477

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SCSmith View Post
    That's the most self-righteous bunch of crap I've ever heard! Why does someone finish a nursing degree? Why does someone get a commercial driver license? Why does someone go through a police academy? TO GET A JOB! Firefighting is a job, not a religion. If some people have such a strong passion for a career the fire service and are so determined that they'll work hard to acquire whatever certification they need, then good for them. When I was working on my degree, I didn't like every single class I took, but I stuck it out and did well because finishing a degree and finding a career was important to me. Does it mean that I'm a phony because I completed classes I didn't really like just to get my degree and a job? Hell no! I think it shows a lot of character to try doing things that are outside of your comfort zone. Will someone get hired just because they have a cert or a degree? Of course not. We all know that it takes more than qualifications on paper to get a job as a firefighter anyway, so I really don't know what you're complaining about.
    Wasn't going to, but here goes. Here is the major hole in your theory.

    To get a degree in nursing you have to want to be a nurse, where the degree is required. If I want to be a nurse should I go get a degree or certificate as an X-Ray tech or ER Tech only? Uh no.

    To obtain a CDL, you have to want to be part of a business or ogranization that requires a CDL. If I want to drive an 18 wheeler cross country, should I get a degree in auto repair? Uh no.

    To be a police officer many require 24-60 college credits in ANY degree. While I do agree with you that yes it does take time and effort which they are looking for, how useful is a degree in Electrical Engineering to a police office? Very little.

    So here are your choices:

    YOU require advanced life support. Which Paramedic do YOU want working on YOU:

    A- The medic who obtained and worked for his cert because he wanted to be a paramedic?

    or
    B- The medic who eeked by/doesn't care about his skill/obtained his cert because he wanted to be a career firefighter and get the badge?

    I will clue you in, working in an ALS enriched area. There IS a difference in the Pt care skills.
    Last edited by DocVBFDE14; 03-08-2008 at 08:55 AM.
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

  22. #22
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    548

    Default

    I'm starting to realize that you this doc guy is just a Major Flamer and you can't take him seriously. What a joke. He sounds like he's bitter. He must have lost out on quite a few jobs to people that actually prepared themselves to be competitive. i mean geez.. he ended working in virgina beach.. possibly the dirtiest city i've ever been too (they made a park out of a land fill for christ sake).
    But after reading many of the posts here, i'm glad i've got my degree.. it's like i tell my troops i supervise now about military regs and standards. You can either met the regs.. and that's fine, but it won't get you any where, or you can exceed the regs.. and go farther in your career.

    thanks for the advice
    -pete

  23. #23
    MembersZone Subscriber
    JLam77's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    162

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    buncha crap
    You're either a troll or a complete buffoon. I'm going with the buffoon option.

  24. #24
    MembersZone Subscriber
    JohnVBFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Norfolk, Va
    Posts
    1,477

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JLam77 View Post
    You're either a troll or a complete buffoon. I'm going with the buffoon option.
    Maybe. But at least I can read, figure out who wrote what and respond to it accordingly. Knowing that you are a major supporter of Major Spammer and Mini Spammer, I am not the least bit surprised you used someone else's words to try and support your position. But hey, if it floats your boat. Have at it.


    Quote Originally Posted by peterbound View Post
    I'm starting to realize that you this doc guy is just a Major Flamer and you can't take him seriously. What a joke. He sounds like he's bitter. He must have lost out on quite a few jobs to people that actually prepared themselves to be competitive. i mean geez.. he ended working in virgina beach.. possibly the dirtiest city i've ever been too (they made a park out of a land fill for christ sake).
    But after reading many of the posts here, i'm glad i've got my degree.. it's like i tell my troops i supervise now about military regs and standards. You can either met the regs.. and that's fine, but it won't get you any where, or you can exceed the regs.. and go farther in your career.

    thanks for the advice
    -pete
    I don't care what your view of Va Beach is. Nor does anyone else here. As I have pointed out here, I only volunteer with the VBFD while I am still serving the Navy a 2nd time. I competed against thousands. I have my job up North. And I feel really safe knowing I work are get a paycheck from the City I do

    And I find it ironic that now you are Joe-Military. I mean, YOU did say:
    "we've got our hard arses in the AF too.. all still strung up on earning being a fire fighter (or a really well paid janitor, 9 years.. one fire.. can't really call my self a fire fighter)"
    http://forums.firehouse.com/showpost...4&postcount=60

    Look, if you are that offened, like I said in the other thread. My location is given. Need directions to my command at NavSta Norfolk, feel free to PM me. I could honestly care less. To borrow this from FyredUp:

    Have a nice day.
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

  25. #25
    Permanently Removed
    CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    6,520

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    This is great.

    And we wonder why we have so many problems in the Fire Service?

    Now we are advocating getting a certification JUST to get a job.

    That is just the type of "paramedic" I want working with me.

    P|$$ poor Firefighter and an even worse Medic.

    But hey, they got the "badge"

    I feel sorry for the people who live in the areas where you get people hired. Because we all know YOU aren't working with them or have them working on you.

    Doc- WTF?!?!?

    Did I pimp or push Medic school on the guy? NO! I only suggested it in case he wants to go. I didnt shove it down his neck.

    Goeez man, relax!

    Medic school is a great route for people who want to get hired! Its not the only route, but thats what a lot of departments are going for these days.

    Ease up man and the people who WANT to go to PM school, will go.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 03-08-2008 at 01:34 PM.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

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

Similar Threads

  1. Degree or No Degree
    By FireZoneOnly in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 04-09-2007, 07:57 AM
  2. which degree
    By inviscid in forum Career Advancement
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 01-28-2007, 10:38 AM
  3. Degree?
    By mskilleen in forum Hiring & Employment Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-30-2005, 11:04 PM
  4. is a degree better?
    By AntiochVFD222 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 03-16-2004, 05:54 PM
  5. what can i do with this degree
    By smokyfirebug in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-11-2003, 10:06 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