Most people who are truly interested in having careers as FBI agents know that they will need to have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. A lot of people, though, wrongly think that there is one specific major that they need to have or one school that they must attend in order to make their career dreams a reality.

This is actually not the case, however. Current FBI agents come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds and attend a diverse range of schools. For Indiana residents, especially, entering into the career field is all about choices.

The first choice you will need to make as a prospective FBI agent is about how you wish to go about your degree. While all agents will need a bachelor’s degree, you can choose to earn this degree in a number of different ways. The majority of people simply graduate from high school or obtain their GED and then go directly to a traditional college or university to earn their bachelor’s degree, often in about four years time.

This doesn’t work for everybody, especially those coming to the career field later in life, and fortunately, there are options for such individuals. You could choose, for example, to attend a community college or a trade or technical school. Such institutions tend to be cheaper than traditional institutions, and they often design their educational programs with working adults or busy parents in mind.

These kinds of institutions will generally only grant you an associate’s degree, but you can transfer the credits earned to an undergraduate institution to earn your bachelors in less time. You also have the option of doing your schooling online. Even though online schools often get an unfairly bad reputation, you can earn a great education from home if you take the time to find the right, accredited school.

When you have decided how you wish to earn your degree, then it is time to determine the subject area you are most interested in.

While FBI agents can theoretically major in just about anything, the vast majority of them will choose majors like financial studies, accounting, foreign language, linguistics, law enforcement, criminology, criminal justice, crime scene investigation, computer information technology, computer networking, computer science, and other related areas. The reason these majors are so popular is because they are the areas that the FBI requires all of its agents to have at least some level of expertise in.

After making the decision about what to major in and how to do it, it is time to figure out where. The good news is that, because of the decisions you have already made, your choices will be narrowed down quite a bit, making the whole process less overwhelming.

When looking for a school, just make sure that it is accredited (the most important factor) and that it has lots of opportunities, like study abroad and internships, that can make your experience truly worthwhile.

Some top schools attended by prospective FBI agents in the state include Ball State University, Indiana State University, and the University of Southern Indiana. Other good choices include Indiana University at Bloomington, Indiana University East, and Indiana University at Kokomo. Other Indiana universities are Indiana University Northwest, Indiana University at South Bend, Indiana University Southeast, Indiana University’s Purdue University at Columbus, Indiana University’s Purdue University at Fort Wayne, and Indiana University’s Purdue University at Indianapolis.

For those going the community college route, there is Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, which is actually quite prestigious for a community college.