Criminal Justice Degree Options

A Criminal Justice degree can prepare you for a rewarding career in a variety of fields from law enforcement, to homeland security, to immigration, to court administration, and to regulatory agencies to name just a few. With an academic degree not only do you expand your horizon in criminal justice, it will more than likely help with your career advancement.

Book knowledge coupled to applied study will introduce you to the past theories and present methodologies that are used in the everyday world of the criminal justice fields. Criminal justice is complex and is becoming more sophisticated not only from a local perspective, but also a global perspective for law enforcement. Criminal justice focuses on the reasons, the causes, and the preventions of crime on society, and staying ahead of the curve is one reason that an academic education in criminal justice makes sense.

Criminal Justice Degrees
  • A Criminal Justice degree can be earned at community colleges, junior colleges, four-year universities, specialized training schools, and Internet schools where you have the ability to work at your own pace and leisure toward online degrees. Determining a career path in criminal justice will also be dependent upon the academic degree that is earned. The following list includes your possible options:
  • An associate's degree, usually completed in two years, is typically seen as the entry-level for the education requirements for employment with law enforcement agencies, private security, and social welfare organizations.
  • A bachelor's degree, typically competed in four years of study, is now fast becoming the minimum that local, state, and federal agencies and organizations require of an education.
  • A master's degree, which is obtainable only after first earning a bachelor's degree, will generally require two more years of education. By having a master's degree in criminal justice, advancements in professional employment can be found with state and local police enforcement, private security services, parole and probation, social welfare, homeland security, US Customs for Immigration, the Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and other federal law enforcement agencies.
  • And last, a PhD, which comes after earning a master's degree, may require up to another three years of education. By having a PhD in criminal justice, you are preparing yourself for applying the theories and the practice of the criminal justice profession in structuring, controlling, managing, and directing agencies, such as the state and local police enforcement, private security services, parole and probation, social welfare, and other federal law enforcement agencies.

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