Studies & Professions in Criminal Justice

As our economy rebounds, there is a variety of career opportunities that individuals are training for. One that has remained viable throughout economic fluctuations is a degree in criminal justice. National security has remained at the forefront of societal concern for many years now and as a result, online criminal justice degree are increasing in number and popularity. Positions in law enforcement, corrections, parole and probation as well as other administrative and management jobs can also be obtained. Many different degree programs exist as well as professions that can be pursued after graduation.

Criminal Justice Degree programs

Both bachelors in criminal justice degrees online as well as on-campus courses are traditionally associate degree programs. These programs are tailored for individuals that will later pursue a career in law enforcement as well as a related field that does not involve police work. A common title for many programs at this level is an associate of applied science in criminal justice. Ancillary degrees or certificates may include corrections certificates, which qualify people to work in correctional facilities, crime scene technician certificates, and credentials to become certified as a private investigator. Some states require that individuals go on to complete higher-level degree programs after finishing with certification courses. Many institutions also offer bachelor level degree programs such as Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Science in criminal justice administration and management. Masters level degree programs are also available however many professions may not require this level of education for entry level or even mid level positions. Most text materials can also be downloaded from the web and used virtually instead of buying them in a store. They can also be purchased at a discount in this fashion.

Career paths in criminal justice

The different career paths that can be pursued after graduation from these programs are as diverse as the course offerings themselves. Many individuals go on to become police officers after training at a police academy however there are many other options as well. People can go into probation or parole officer work and they can also go into a number of different administrative positions in the legal system. Students may also go onto pursue other education in law or stenography with their criminal justice degree as a base of studies. Homeland security is also a very popular field with the heightened attention to national security that has been going on over the past decade. Border patrol agencies and other positions within the department of homeland security cannot be filled fast enough and there is overwhelming demand for qualified individuals. In the past a person could qualify for one of these jobs with just a high school diploma however now agencies are looking for higher caliber individuals who can communicate effectively and have a broader knowledge of the overall legal system.

Obtaining an online criminal justice degree

People who have not attended school in a while or who never have may have a jaded view of what it means to attend a university or other institution online. It is not uncommon for these individuals to downplay the credibility of an online degree or think that it is somehow easier to earn a degree in a virtual manner. In fact this could not be further from the truth as online courses are just as rigorous if not more so than traditional courses on campus. Further, very prestigious universities and community colleges offer online courses. Some degree programs have supplemental online courses where only a portion of the program is taken on a computer whereas others have the entire curriculum online. Employers also cannot tell the difference between a degree earned online and one earned from attending traditional classes. If you are inclined to believe that online courses are not as good as traditional ones you can put the myth to rest. Criminal justice degrees earned online are just as good as certifications earned in the classroom.

More and more opportunities are becoming available as the unemployment rate drops in our country and people start going back to work. Positions in criminal justice have remained relatively stable during the downturn and are also seeing growth as the economy turns around. Traditionally many people move into law enforcement roles after graduating from these programs however; there are many other career paths that can be followed. Associate degree programs that typically take about 24 months to complete are the norm for criminal justice degrees. However, individuals can earn Bachelors and Masters level degree certificates as well. Certificates that take less than 24 months to earn such as in corrections and other fields are also available online and in person.


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