Tertiary education, commitment, and turnover in police work

David Jones, Liz Jones, Tim Prenzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This study investigated the effects of tertiary education on police turnover (separations) and job attitudes. It is sometimes argued that tertiary education will reduce the commitment of police to staying in the job because they will experience frustrated promotional aspirations and they possess greater employment mobility. In a case study of Queensland police officers with between five and nine years of service, human resource data showed no significant differences in turnover rates for degree holders and non‐degree holders. A survey of serving police compared job attitudes, withdrawal cognitions, and intention to leave for degree holders and non‐degree holders. Results revealed few differences of significance between the two groups. In combination, these results suggest that fears that higher education will reduce police commitment to the job are not well founded—at least in large police departments with numerous career development opportunities and a system of promotion based on merit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-63
Number of pages15
JournalPolice Practice and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Police education
  • Tertiary education
  • Turnover
  • Organisational commitment

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