Options for Students Interested in Criminal Justice Careers

Last Updated on February 28, 2013

Criminal Justice includes a variety of specialties and makes one of the most rewarding and exciting professions. I have written this post to help you understand this field and its educational requirements. Well, the most important thing to get into this field is a degree in law enforcement or criminal justice. These programs help students understand the criminal justice system and serve in different capacities in it. Depending in their own career goals, students can opt to enroll in different programs offered at Criminal Justice schools. Other than regular schools for Criminal Justice, online institutes also offer programs in this area of study, helping students obtain their degree in a manner that is both convenient and credible.

Both degrees and certificate programs are offered at criminal justice schools. Certificate programs can be completed in six months to one year while degrees may take two to four years to complete. An associate’s degree in Criminal Justice can be obtained in about two years while to earn bachelor’s degree students may have to spend four years. Master’s programs are also available at these schools – they span over one to three years.

Students who want to study remotely can enroll in online schools for Criminal Justice. These institutes offer online programs that are self paced and more flexible than regular degrees. Classes in these programs are managed on the web and students are not required to attend lessons in person. Compared to regular degrees, these programs are also more affordable. Students are provided with various tools and technologies through which they can manage their lessons, assignment and classes effectively. They can use online databases, websites, online libraries, char forums etc. for information and for interacting with their peers.

The curriculum in Criminal Justice programs may vary by degree level but some of the common areas of study in this concentration include law regulations, child neglect, police procedures and the criminal justice system and its procedures. Students also learn about criminology, abuse and domestic violence, and the court system. Liberal arts and specialized fields of study like psychology, law, health, chemistry and political science may also be included in these programs.

Earning a degree or certificate from a well reputed Criminal Justice school can help students find a number of rewarding job opportunities. They can opt to pursue a career as a police officer, criminal psychologist or FBI agent. Also, they can get into law enforcement, fraud prevention or private investigation. On an average, earning a Criminal Justice degree can help students earn about $62,750 to $150,000 annually. The precise salary, will however, depend on the degree level and the type of job one finds.

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