Oregon residents who are interested in having careers in the FBI should know that education is absolutely vital to their success.

The FBI requires its agents to have at least a bachelor’s degree, preferably higher, in the subject of their choosing. Even after the bachelor’s degree is earned, applicants still need one to three years of relevant work experience, have to undergo all kinds of testing, must meet other requirements, and will need to complete an application process and then, if successful, complete further training.

Obviously, the road to becoming an FBI agent is not an easy one to walk.

One of the best ways that you can really prepare yourself for all of the intensive training and testing that will go into becoming an FBI agent is to pursue your undergraduate or higher level degree and your work experience training in some aspect of criminal justice and/or law enforcement.

Like the military, the work is similar to that of the FBI. Plus, applicants with police, investigative or other law enforcement experience are usually highly preferred applicants and stand a greater chance of being admitted to and actually working for the bureau. Oftentimes, these applicants even start out with better positions.

The good news if this sounds like a fine option to you is that you can receive criminal justice or related training without having to go very far. Oregon, in fact, is a hotbed for criminal justice schools and training.

No matter what your interest in the area or what degree level you are seeking at this point, there is certainly an option for you. It’s just up to you to get out there and find the best educational fit to meet your career goals, as well as your needs as a student.

Popular criminal justice schools and programs in the state include Central Oregon Community College, in Bend, offering associate’s degree programs in criminal justice, and juvenile corrections, and Chemeketa Community College, located in Salem, with associate’s degree programs in criminal justice and juvenile justice, as well as certificates in basic corrections, basic law enforcement , juvenile corrections, and private security.

Another great community college is Clackamas Community College, in Oregon City, with associate’s degree programs in corrections (offered online), and criminal justice (offered online), as well as certificates in corrections and crime scene analysis. There’s also Clatsop Community College, in Astoria, with an associate’s degree program in criminal justice, and Columbia Gorge Community College, in The Dalles, with a certification program in criminal justice.

Outside of community colleges, you have schools such as ITT Technical Institute, in Portland, with an associate’s degree program in criminal justice (offered online), and Pioneer Pacific College, in Wilsonville, with an associate’s degree program and a bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice.

There’s also the prestigious Southern Oregon University, in Ashland, with bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice, and in criminology. Portland State University, which has bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice, criminology, and a combination of criminal justice and criminology, all available online, is equally prestigious as well. Community colleges, however, are by far the most common higher learning institutions in the state.

Other community college choices include Klamath Community College, in Klamath Falls, offering an associate’s degree program in criminal justice, and certificate programs in corrections and criminal justice, and Lane Community College, located in Eugene, with an associate’s degree program in criminal justice, and a certificate in juvenile corrections.

There’s also Linn Benton Community College, in Albany, with an associate’s degree program in criminal justice and a certificate program in juvenile corrections, and Mt. Hood Community College, located in Gresham, which has an associate’s degree program in criminal justice administration.

Don’t forget Portland Community College, offering an associate’s degree in criminal justice and certification courses in corrections, and juvenile corrections, either.