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Top 10 Criminal Justice Technology Degrees for 2020

Although the primary jobs associated with a degree in criminal justice technology focus on law enforcement and security, graduates have a strong foundation in information technology. The degree program teaches students different technology tools and techniques used in the criminal justice system. A common option for professionals with a criminal justice technology degree is working in the security industry. The degree allows students to work in cybersecurity roles as well as basic network security within a company or private corporation.

Many workers begin their career in criminal justice with just a high school diploma, but obtaining an associate’s degree in criminal justice technology offers an opportunity to increase your income and employment opportunities. While the exact criminal justice technology salary you can expect depends on your position and job, you will notice that the degree offers greater opportunity for a raise or a salary increase.

Our Process: Ranking the Best Criminal Justice Technology Associate Degree

To rank the best criminal justice technology associate degree programs, Criminal Justice Degree Hub editors researched programs offered online by community colleges and colleges across the US. Programs are ranked by Alumni Salary, Cost, and Reputation, using data from IPEDS, College Scorecard, and Niche. 

1. Northampton Community College

A criminal justice associate degree from Northampton Community College prepares students for a career in law enforcement. This program offers flexible learning options to allow students to choose how quickly they finish degree requirements. Courses will cover topics such as criminal procedure, crime causation, civil law, and the justice system. Affordable tuition and transfer agreements with numerous four-year universities make Northampton Community College a top pick for students.

Northampton Community College is one of the few Pennsylvania community colleges with housing options available to students. Campus housing allows students to get the full college experience while pursuing their associate degrees. Class sizes are small with personalized attention given to all enrollees. Northampton Community College is a part of a transfer credit system that assists students with getting all credits earned applied to their four-year degrees. 

Degree: Criminal Justice Technology AAS

2. Craven Community College

Craven Community College is dedicated to helping train the top professionals in the field of criminal justice. The criminal justice technology associate degree is a credential needed for advanced positions in police departments, sheriff departments, correctional facilities, and parole offices. Courses in the program will focus on court systems, criminal justice processes, ethics, community relations, and computers. Craven Community College’s associate degree option offers a very affordable way for advancement in the field of criminal justice.

Craven Community College designs its degree programs based off of the needs of the students. The community college aims to prepare students for their future professions without having a large amount of debt. The college has an active student life with more than 15 campus clubs and organizations. Craven Community College has the distinction of being ranked as one of the Best Online Colleges in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report.  

Degree: Criminal Justice Technology AAS

3. Ogeechee Technical College

Getting a criminal justice technology associate degree from Ogeechee Technical College prepares students for both field and supervisory work in law enforcement. Courses within the program cover a range of topics including private security, criminal law, corrections, homeland security, justice system, and crime scene processing. Students can typically complete all requirements within a two-year timeframe. The Ogeechee Technical College offers a promised high return on investment for all criminal justice degree programs.

Ogeechee Technical College was established as a public two-year college in the late 1980s. Over the years, renovations have made the campus one of the most advanced technical schools in the state. New additions include a horticulture building, a health and science laboratory, and a childcare facility. New degree programs are regularly added to the curriculum including an applied technology and industrial manufacturing degree. More than 2,8000 students are enrolled in the community college’s GED, certification, and degree programs.

Degree: Criminal Justice Technology AAS

4. Richmond Community College

The criminal justice technology associate degree program from Richmond Community College has recently gone through an overhaul. The program now focuses more on the skills needed for law enforcement personnel to work at the local, state, and federal level. The curriculum includes courses on the justice system, psychology of crime, investigative principles, ethics, and technology laws. The two-year program will award an associate degree while a one-year diploma option is also offered to students. Richmond Community College’s criminal justice department is highly rated in the state.

Richmond Community College creates programs that will prepare students for high-paying positions that are currently in demand. The college has transfer agreements with dozens of public colleges throughout North Carolina. Many majors accept credits from work experience and even advanced high school classes. Richmond Community College emphasizes flexibility within its degree programs. Many degrees, including criminal justice majors, can be done 100 percent online. 

Degree: Criminal Justice Technology AAS

5. Montgomery Community College

The criminal justice technology programs from Montgomery College can be done on-campus or through a 100 percent online program. The courses are meant to prepare students for degrees within the fields of security, corrections, and law enforcement. Topics covered within the two-year degree program include loss prevention, security techniques, investigations, court systems, corrections, and criminology. An associate degree in criminal justice will require a total of 66-68 credits while a criminal justice technology diploma is 43 credits.

The fully accredited Montgomery Community College is one of the highest-ranking community colleges in the country. It has been valued for its low tuition cost, guaranteed return on investment, and high post-graduation job placement averages. The college works with numerous public North Carolina four-year colleges to get students transferred with their full amount of credits applied to bachelor degree programs. The community college has a high retention rate and offers students support services like career counseling.   

Degree: Criminal Justice Technology Associate’s

6. Wake Tech Community College

Wake Tech Community College has one of the best criminal justice technology associate degree programs in the state. The program is available in multiple formats including campus, hybrid, and fully online. Within the curriculum, the student will research topics such as community relations, governments, juvenile justice, criminology, and the court system. Wake Tech Community College has a high success rate of students finding positions after graduation as police officers, correction officers, county detention officers, and state troopers.

Wake Tech Community College is the largest two-year college in the state of North Carolina. The community college has six campuses throughout the state with enrollment of more than 74,000 students annually. The college is known for offering numerous degree types to appeal to as many students as possible with more than 260 majors available. 

Degree: Criminal Justice Technology AAS

7. Surry Community College

Getting a criminal justice technology associate degree from Surry Community College will prepare the student for his or her future career in law enforcement. The degree track features a rigorous academic program that can be completed in two years of full-time study. Along with computers and technology, courses will focus on criminology, investigations, private security, surveillance, and constitutional law. Graduates of Surry Community College’s criminal justice technology associate degree program find positions as police officers, loss prevention specialists, corrections officers, and probation officers.

Surry Community College provides exceptional degree programs to all its students. Classes are held at five locations throughout the state with online options offered for most majors. Surry Community College has a very low tuition rate as a way to assist with keeping student debt low upon graduation. In-state and out-of-state students can apply for admission with the public college offering a reduced cost to North Carolina residents.

Degree: Criminal Justice Technology AAS

8. Wayne Community College

Wayne Community College has a highly ranked criminal justice technology program for associate degree seekers. The program is available both online and on campus. Highlights of the curriculum include criminology, ethics, counseling techniques, computer systems, and community relations. All graduates of the program are fully prepared to secure positions within law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal level.

Wayne Community College is part of the public system of colleges in North Carolina. The fully accredited college has won numerous accolades for providing students with an exceptional education at a low cost. The college has more than 100 degree and certificate programs available. Most classes are held at the college’s 175 main campus in Goldsboro with state-of-the-art academic buildings, laboratories, and childcare facilities.

Degree: Criminal Justice Technology AAS

9. Lanier Technical College

The criminal justice technology associate degree program at Lanier Technical College follows a rigorous academic path. Although a one-year diploma option is available, the majority of students opt for the two-year online degree option. The highly flexible degree requirements allow students to choose electives that suit their interests such as legal terminology, police administration, police traffic control, and homeland security. Lanier Technical College has a high graduation rate for two-year associate degree students.

Lanier Technical College specializes in degrees related to STEM majors. The college has multiple campuses throughout Georgia as well as an online campus to make it easy for all students to earn their degrees. More than 5,000 students are enrolled each year in the degree and certificate programs with more than 50 percent receiving federal and state aid. Lanier Technical College boasts one of the highest retention rates among students in the state. 

Degree: Criminal Justice Technology AAS

10. Forsyth Technical Community College

Getting a criminal justice technology degree from Forsyth Technical Community College is a surefire way to prepare future law enforcement specialists. Although computer science is a component of the curriculum, students also learn about criminology, ethics, community relations, and investigative principles. An Associate in Applied Science is given at the conclusion of the 64-credit program. Criminal justice electives and work assignments are put into the curriculum for college credits. Forsyth Technical Community College has a record of high two-year graduation rates and retention rates. Many graduates of the program find positions as police officers, corrections officers, investigators, patrol officers, and correctional officers.

Forsyth Technical Community College is a fully accredited school with two-year programs within North Carolina. The highly competitive academic degree tracks are STEM focused with options also available for those interested in the liberal arts. Besides two-year degrees, the college specializes in credentialing programs, enrichment programs, and corporate trainings.

Degree: Criminal Justice Technology AAS

What Can I Do with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice Technology?

When you are looking into associates of applied science in criminal justice jobs, you may want to evaluate the type of positions available with an associate’s degree. The question of what can I do with an associate’s degree in criminal justice technology gives you a place to start when looking into your career opportunities.

A degree in criminal justice technology allows you to take on work within law enforcement. It prepares you for a role as a police officer or a criminal investigator. The focus on technology allows you to work with professionals in computer forensics to identify potential concerns or threats that may arise in relation to cyber crimes. You may also have opportunities to work in government positions.

While positions within a police department or a police lab are common options for students who have a degree in criminal justice technology, it is also possible to work in a job that focuses on cybersecurity or computer technology. The degree offers a strong foundation in criminology, technology, and criminal justice to provide students with a variety of career opportunities. The key is focusing on a specific goal when taking courses and applying for jobs that fit into that goal after completing a degree.

What Are Some Technology-Related Criminal Justice Jobs?

When looking into job opportunities that focus on technology as it applies to criminal justice, students will want to focus on areas of interest based on their long-term goals. Criminal justice technology jobs fall into a variety of fields and industries.

The key to evaluating criminal justice technology job description data is to focus on the responsibilities of the position. By taking on roles in cybersecurity, students are able to apply their skills in technology to their careers while fully utilizing their knowledge of the criminal justice system and the evidence required for a trial. 

When students do not want to work in cybersecurity, they may have opportunities within a police department or law enforcement agency. Law enforcement agencies and police departments may need professionals who are competent with computer systems and networks to maintain security and to address risks to the agency. Furthermore, the degree allows students to work with forensic investigators to obtain evidence of a crime.

A criminal justice technology degree may also offer opportunities in private organizations and corporations to work with information technology specialists for specific goals. For example, students may work under the supervision of a programmer to develop software or tools used within a company for specific goals. It may allow students to work in the gaming industry under a programmer to help develop new games or to bring knowledge of the legal system into a game for greater accuracy.

The opportunities in technology vary widely and students may find that their understanding of criminology and the justice system offers an interesting range of options within the technology industry. The key is clarifying personal interests before applying to available positions in security, the private sector, or law enforcement.

How Much Can I Make with an Associate’s in Criminal Justice Technology?

The average income level for graduates with an associate’s degree in criminal justice technology is around $46,000 per year. The salary range is between $29,000 to $65,000 per year depending on your position. A security officer makes a lower income when compared to a police officer or a logistics analyst. An operations manager will usually make the highest level of income with an associate’s degree; however, some employers may require employees to continue working on a higher level of education to advance in their careers. The exact standards set by an employer may vary.

Keep in mind that the exact salary potential for a role may depend on your location and the cost of living. Large urban areas may offer a slightly higher salary when compared to rural environments. Furthermore, your experience in your field and your position may impact your salary. As you gain experience, you can expect an increase in your salary. You may also notice that positions in a private company or corporation may offer different salary options and benefits when compared to working in a government agency or a law enforcement position. You will want to evaluate the details of a job to clarify the salary potential and the benefits associated with the position.

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Criminaljusticedegreehub.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.