Criminal Justice Degrees

Advantages To Obtaining A Criminal Justice Degree

The field of criminal law and justice is far reaching and provides many employment opportunities. Since criminal law and justice is responsible for keeping citizens safe and protected, it requires a strong group of individuals with various professional training to address the problems which occur daily. A criminal justice degree program gives students the ability to identify the definitions, causes, and prevention of crime while familiarizing students with the legal processes, treatment, and rehabilitation of offenders. A criminal justice degree provides students with the ability to develop knowledge of legal and correctional systems within the United States.

Students with an interest in the field of criminal justice and law may pursue degree programs offered through on campus and online colleges and universities to acquire the skills necessary for future employment. Many students find obtaining a criminal justice and law degree through online programs offering virtually the same experience as traditional on-campus courses. Most online programs consist of groups of 25 students with 24 hour access to course information, materials, and instruction. Introverted students may find an online forum less intimidating than an on-campus forum as online programs allow one on one conversations, through internet chats with classmates and instructors. Students learn gain knowledge through the participation in courses based upon law, sociology, political science, psychology, forensic science, urban studies, and the criminal justice system.

What Students Learn Within An Online Criminal Justice Degree Program

Students enrolled within an online criminal justice degree program learn all aspects of how the criminal justice, legal, and law systems work. Courses provide students with the understanding of criminology, investigation, ethics, criminal procedures, and other concentrated, more specialized courses including forensic psychology. criminal behavior, law enforcement, administration of justice, police science, public service, and public administration. A bachelor degree generally qualifies students for entry level employment within corrections or town, county, state, and federal police departments or law enforcement agencies.

Some individuals choose to advance to a master’s degree program with courses like: theory and philosophy of corrections, criminology, law and social control, law enforcement, criminal justice policy analysis, administrative and policy core, criminal justice management, juvenile justice system, research methods in criminal justice, applied statistics in criminal justice, applied criminal justice research methods, white collar crime, police effectiveness, correctional rehabilitation, and community corrections. Graduates who attain a master’s degree in criminal justice generally qualify for upper management level positions within corrections, law enforcement, and government agencies like the CIA and FBI.

Graduates who seek a doctoral degree take courses like: instructional assistant supervision, philosophy of law, justice, and social control, advanced criminological theory, criminal justice ethics, administration, and public policy, race and ethnicity in crime and criminal justice, quantitative research methods, linear regression for criminal justice research, advanced research for planning and evaluation, law and behavioral science, law and public policy, legal and legislative research, organizational theory, criminal justice leadership and management, survey research methods for criminal justice, comparative criminal justice systems, philosophies, and public policy, ethnography of criminal justice, environmental criminology, macro criminology, justice and global information technology, and transnational public policy and security. Graduates from a doctoral degree program in criminal justice are considered experts in the field and work as professors and researchers within colleges and universities.

Most Popular Majors Within Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Students enrolled within a criminal justice degree program gain the skills necessary to work as professionals within their field. The most popular majors within the criminal justice discipline include law enforcement and criminal justice administration and management. Students majoring in law enforcement concentrate studies in the basic understanding of modern law enforcement organizations, gain knowledge regarding landmark U.S. law cases, and gain an understanding of how the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution applies to cases. Students majoring in criminal justice administration and management learn how organization, problem solving, leadership, and research ensure the efficiency and operation of the justice system. Core courses train students in the criminal justice discipline with all aspects of the law, public service, and crime. Specialized course provide students with the skills necessary to protect individuals and property while following laws. As positions within the field of criminal justice are often dangerous and stressful, specialized courses provide information regarding maintaining safety and managing stress. Students who major in criminal justice degree program often refine studies with concentrations in: administration, constitution law, criminal investigation, criminal justice reform, criminal profiling, evidence, eyewitness testimony, forensic law, judicial process, police science, psychology, research methods, sociology, or victimology. Specializing a criminal justice degree program often gives students advantages over other candidates while seeking employment.

Most Popular Jobs For Criminal Justice and Law Degree

Graduates A criminal justice degree provides students with a solid educational background to base future career success within various criminal justice, corrections, and law enforcement agencies. Graduates with an associates or bachelor’s degree often use the skills acquired through formal training to serve the public within probation departments, law enforcement agencies, correctional institutions, parole offices, federal agencies, court administration, victim advocacy services, or community treatment or community service settings. Graduates with specialized training may work as private investigators, detectives, counselors, rehabilitation counselors, victim advocates, or as staff within halfway houses, private youth agencies, or residential treatment centers. Graduates with advanced criminal justice degrees often work as instructors within academies, colleges, or universities or as researchers within facilities and laboratories.

Job Opportunities For Criminal Justice Degree Graduates

Graduates who obtain degrees within the field of criminal justice are projected to have excellent employment opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) projects job growth in criminal justice sectors, particularly for probation officers and corrections specialists, to grow at a faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations through 2018. The BLS expects jobs for graduates who specialize in probations or corrections to grow 19 percent through 2018 due to increasing prison populations. Graduates who gain formal training in the form of advanced degrees and individuals with work experience are expected to be preferred candidates over those who do not. Factors like budgetary constraints and economic downturns may adversely affect the number of jobs available for criminal justice degree graduates. As many States have increasingly sought alternate forms of punishment and rehabilitation, as well as changing mandatory sentencing guidelines, the demand for probation and parole officers has increased significantly. Employment growth in the field of criminal justice is dependent upon government funding and many leaders prefer less expensive alternatives, like community supervision, over imprisioning offenders. As governmental officials reduce allocations to corrections, probation, and parole systems, community supervision may reduce job opportunities for graduates.

Types of Criminal Justice Degrees

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