The versatility afforded to people earning a criminal justice degree makes it one of the most popular degree programs today. Criminal justice schools provide associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that dispense wide-ranging information concerning everything from theories of crime and criminology to cutting-edge forensic science techniques used to solve murders, rapes and other insidious acts. Further, the interdisciplinary nature of a cj degree allows graduates of criminal justice colleges the ability to apply for positions in fields as dissimilar as jail and prison corrections and urban social work.
Curriculum for Criminal Justice Degrees
Classes comprising a criminal justice program involve:
General education requirements (math, liberal arts, science)
Fundamentals of human psychology
Introduction to corrections
Introduction to criminal law
Crime, justice and ethics
Some of the criminal justice jobs that require or would greatly benefit from a bachelors in criminal justice include:
Adult or juvenile probation officer
Border patrol or drug enforcement agent
Students will also have the ability to specialize in specific areas of criminal justice, such as crime scene investigator or law enforcement administration.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that position openings for correctional treatment specialists and probation officers are expected to increase nearly 20 percent between 2010 and 2020, an increase considered “about as fast as average”. In 2010, the BLS also states that the average yearly salary for a correctional or probation officer was around $50,000.
Online Criminal Justice Degree Opportunities
Due to escalating costs of tuition and relation expenses, many people are choosing to obtain online degrees that are more affordable, offer flexible scheduling and allow students the ability to attend classes asynchronously. Most accredited online schools offer an associate’s or bachelor’s online criminal justice degree that merits the same validity and worth as criminal justice degrees provided by “brick and mortar” colleges or universities.
From Criminal Justice Degree to Practicing Attorney
Students completing a criminal justice degree program may elect to pursue a career as a criminal defense or prosecuting attorney. Although having a bachelors in criminal justice is not a prerequisite of entering law school, it can greatly enhance an aspiring law student’s ability to comprehend the complexity of the criminal justice system as well court procedures and laws.