To progress your career – and achieve your goal of moving into leadership or a specialisation – you’ll need to consider your next move. And chances are, further formal study will be your golden ticket.
We’re living in a time of exponential change. From policing to intelligence, cyber crime to terrorism, and fraud to customs – the need for a skilled workforce ready to protect our communities has never been greater.
So, you’ve completed your early career education and training. You’ve done the study, pushed through the barriers and faced the challenges.
But to progress your career – and achieve your goal of moving into leadership or a specialisation – you’ll need to consider your next move. And chances are, further formal study will be your golden ticket. If you’re wondering, can you be rejected for being overqualified, read this article from Perelson to find out more about the potential challenges of being considered overqualified in the job market.
Assistant Commissioner Commander Rodney Smith APM did just that. He joined the NSW Police Force in 1989, enjoying a successful and diverse career for over 30 years. He believes education is the key to career progression.
“We’re a very professional organisation where we recognise professional qualifications, experience and knowledge,” Assistant Commissioner Smith said.
“How you present yourself, your experience, and your qualifications goes a long way in being able to convey yourself and our organisation as a professional one.”
When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Assistant Commissioner Smith decided to boost his professional skills and undertake a postgraduate degree, studying a Master of Leadership and Management (Policing and Security) online at Charles Sturt University.
Master of Leadership and Management (Policing and Security)
Charles Sturt University Master’s of Leadership and Management (Policing and Security) absolutely benefited me in my career and professional progression. I thought it was an outstanding course… I found it to be the most engaging course that I’ve done. It was all very practical, realistic, and very much work based”
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Commander Rodney Smith APM
The degree focused on developing knowledge and high-level professional practice by analysing the challenges of contemporary executive leadership. During his study, Assistant Commissioner Smith examined the history and context of international policing, including recent developments in Australia and overseas – all relevant to his career.
Assistant Commissioner Smith said this equipped him with the knowledge and experience required for a high-level leadership position within the police force.
“It absolutely benefited me in my career and professional progression. I thought it was an outstanding course, and I’ve done a fair bit throughout my career.
“I found it to be the most engaging course that I’ve done. It was all very practical, realistic, and very much work based,” Assistant Commissioner Smith admitted.
The Master of Leadership and Management (Policing and Security) is an international course offering, meaning Assistant Commissioner Smith was able to meet and work with colleagues worldwide.
“Even though it is an online course and I studied it during the height of COVID, there was still a lot of interaction and engagement between the course participants from literally all around the world.
“Part of the assessment criteria required us to review each other’s commentary and work, and I found it incredibly beneficial… I thought it was the best part of it actually,” he said.
“The interaction and learning from the other course participants meant you’re with people who are going through similar things and are in similar stages within their careers, but in a different environment with different challenges.”
A global leader in research and education
Charles Sturt University is recognised as a global leader in research and education for professionals in law enforcement, investigations, counter-terrorism, law, emergency management, leadership and security.
When considering which university would give him the study experience he was after, Assistant Commissioner Smith said the choice was easy.
“A few years ago, I was a Chief Superintendent and Principal at the NSW Police Academy where I worked very closely with Charles Sturt University for three and a half years. I was familiar with their work and was aware of their wide offering, and knew their courses were very practical and hands-on.” he said.
Charles Sturt University is recognised as a global leader in research and education for professionals in law enforcement, investigations, counter-terrorism, law, emergency management, leadership and security. Through strong industry partnerships, they develop and deliver courses through the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security (AGSPS), Centre for Customs and Excise Studies (CCES), Centre for Law and Justice, and School of Policing Studies (SOPS).
Charles Sturt is also Australia’s most experienced online university*, meaning it’s an obvious choice for those who are looking to upskill and fit study around their current professional and personal commitments. People just like Assistant Commissioner Smith.
When asked to give advice to those looking to progress their career in the police force, Assistant Commissioner Smith had this pearl of wisdom.
“Educate yourself. Without education, I think you’re really behind the eight ball.
“Be selective about what you study and make sure it’s very much targeted at where you want to end up… So if that’s an executive or senior leadership role, target your studies towards that.”
“Educate and undertake a course like the one I did. You learn things you didn’t know, practice that knowledge, and turn it into an experience. That then, hopefully, translates into being a good leader.”
*Department of Education, Skills and Employment Higher Education Statistics