Do I Need a College Degree?

Let’s get something clear – very clear – Leave no doubt that I fully believe in education. If you want to get a doctor, lawyer, public Administrator, Engineer or any other career that requires a college degree and beyond. But….don’t think for a second that a college degree is the key to earning your badge and becoming a firefighter.

Here’s a timeline to consider. If you’re just starting college, it could take 4 or 5 years to earn you BA depending on when you can complete all your classes and requirements. If you want to go further, the time it takes to get into the academy. Want to add paramedic to your credentials, add more time. What about street time….. the clock is ticking and adding another 2 year. So, it is likely that it will be about 7 years to get into position to go after the badge.

There are other factors to consider. Are you going to need student loans? If not, how will you finance your venture and support yourself? Do you have a special person in your life who is going to wait while you pursue your career? How long can you tread water? These are real concerns.

Yes – it’s true. Everyone has an opinion. And, there are exceptions to every rule. Even though life does not come with any guarantees, there is also more than one road to a badge. No matter what path you take, be thoughtful in your choices and look to your future. Ask yourself this question. Who is getting the badge? What certifications do they have? What degrees?  The answer to these questions can be eye-opening.

You see, we work with several different candidates. And, the truth is that most who get themselves hired do not have advanced degrees. Their resumes and experience include work as an EMT, or as attendees of the FF1 Academy. Some candidates are working on, or already have a Medics degree, an AA or AS degree. Some have no fire education or experience.

Here’s the NUGGET: The biggest asset a candidate can have is learning how to interview. Sounds simple, right? Well, it is if you are prepared.

Nothing matters until you get the badge. And, I mean nothing!

Fire Captain Bob