Bad guys need not apply: a guide to criminal justice degrees
Do you look good in uniform? Do you stay home on Saturday night to watch “Cops”? In fourth grade, were you the orange-sashed captain of the Safety Patrol?
Sounds like a criminal justice career might be perfect for you. But criminal justice is a broad field – it’s not only about law enforcement but also includes security, corrections, emergency response, crisis management, information technology and the court system. You could work as a private investigator, ATF agent, computer forensics expert, court clerk, paralegal or U.S. Marshal, to name just a few options.
Many of these jobs require some kind of degree to get hired or to advance professionally. Online criminal justice degrees are a smart choice for people who need a flexible class schedule and affordable tuition. We’ll take a look at some of the criminal justice degrees available and the jobs you can get with each degree.
An associate of arts degree in criminal justice gives you a big-picture overview of the criminal justice system. You’ll learn about policing and corrections, the court system and juvenile justice. This degree is a popular choice for those who need a college degree so they can become a police officer or sheriff’s deputy.
If you’re interested in one main aspect of criminal justice, consider a bachelor’s degree in a specialized field. A Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration prepares students for leadership positions in corrections or law enforcement. A Bachelor of Science in Organizational Security and Management degree may be a good choice if you’re interested in joining the Department of Homeland Security.
You can also get a standard bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and add a concentration that prepares you for your chosen career. Examples include corrections, forensics, juvenile justice and crime scene investigation. One fast-growing field is computer crime/cyber security; if you have a knack for computers you may want get a criminal justice degree with a technology focus.
If you’re already in a criminal justice job and you want to advance your career, think about getting a master’s degree in criminal justice. A Master of Science in Administration of Justice and Security degree teaches students the administrative, policymaking and leadership skills they need to take on management careers in police departments, corrections, security or court operations. Or with a Master of Public Administration in Public Safety Management degree, you could develop disaster preparedness strategies for your city or state.
Ready to start your new career? Register for a criminal justice degree program today.