The field of criminal justice is full of the stewards of our safety–police and corrections officers, employees of the court system, and many others. If you are considering a career in criminal justice, getting a degree can dramatically increase your chances for success.
But what is Criminal Justice? It is the system used by government to maintain social control, prevent crime, enforce laws, and administer justice. Law enforcement (police) courts and corrections are the primary agencies charged with these responsibilities. The fast-paced expansion of all areas of the criminal justice system is creating a demand for skilled workers as never before in local, state, and federal systems. Today’s criminal justice system workforce must be knowledgeable and skilled in every component of the system to address the public’s demand for protection and services–and having a degree will ensure that you have that knowledge and skill. Job growth is expected to exceed 25% in all of these fields over the next ten years:
o Correctional officers and jailers
o Police and sheriff’s patrol officers
o Private detectives and investigators
o Security guards
What Criminal Justice Degrees are available?
By far the most common Criminal Justice degree is an Associates–or a two year–degree. An Associate in Criminal Justice program graduate can successfully work in a variety of settings:
o Criminal Justice (local, state or federal)
o Intelligence Agencies
o Juvenile Justice
o Homeland Security
o Corrections (local, state or federal; probation and parole)
o Forensic Science
o Courts (court services/administration)
o Private Investigations
Also falling in the field of criminal justice, with Associate Degree programs available, are two other fascinating careers: being an Addictions Counselor or a Paralegal.
If you are interested in working in the social sciences and helping people change their lives for the better, you might be interested in becoming an Addictions Counselor. Most programs utilize a clinical focus to provide students with the knowledge base needed to immediately apply therapeutic skills. You’ll also find that many courses are taught by practitioners currently working in the addiction field.
Paralegals, also called Law Assistants, are a vital part of the court system. While attorneys assume the ultimate responsibility for the legal services they provide their clients, paralegals assist them in almost every aspect of their work. As one of the fastest growing careers in the US, you’ll find plenty of paralegal jobs in every part of the country.
Criminal Justice Degree Search
A Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration will provides you with an interdisciplinary study of crime and justice in American society. Most programs include the study of interpersonal skills and managerial and administrative subject matter, which helps prepare students for positions of responsibility and leadership within the criminal justice community and related professions. If you are already working in the Criminal Justice field and want to advance your career, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice may be right for you.
A Masters Degree in the field of Criminal Justice will be tailored to your specific area of study, but you’ll find that in a good program an individual curriculum is structured to meet the following four objectives:
o Provide students with the conceptual and research skills needed to undertake advanced analyses of the criminal justice system.
o Furnish law enforcement, corrections and court practitioners with knowledge of justice administration, social science perspectives of human behavior, policy analysis and criminal justice theory.
o Train those who will become leaders in the criminal justice system by providing the skills needed to upgrade levels of professional practice, improve supervisory standards, initiate fresh perspectives and act as agents of social change.
o Prepare social scientists to pursue careers in university and research settings.
If you are interested in pursuing a leadership role in the field of Criminal Justice, a Masters degree will be the tool that will help you reach your goal.
Criminal Justice Degree Search
If you are interested in pursuing research or teaching, a Doctoral Degree in Criminal Justice will launch you into that career. A doctoral program is designed to help develop social scientists that have the ability to consume, transmit, and independently produce research knowledge on crime and criminal justice. Demand is strong for graduates with a doctoral degree in criminal justice.
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