Are you ready to protect and serve? Whether you are considering going into law enforcement, juvenile justice, public administration, homeland security, or another criminal justice field, you may want to consider a criminal justice degree that specialized in the area you are looking to work in. From an associate’s degree to a bachelor’s to a master’s and higher, many colleges and universities offer online courses to allow you a bit more flexibility in learning.
Associate Degree in Criminal Justice
An associate degree can give you the knowledge you need for most entry-level criminal justice position. The two primary are a corrections officer or a bailiff. Some courses that you may take are law enforcement and corporate security, forensic science, corrections, legal studies, crime scene investigation and documentation, and more.
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
A bachelor’s degree can open many doors for you in the criminal justice world. From police to detectives to Homeland Security to public administration to management positions, and more, a bachelor’s degree can help you learn what you need to move up in the criminal justice sector (Phoenix, n.d.). Many police departments today encourage schooling in addition to training, “Continue your education and the development of your police skills. Be open and flexible, think and grow (Couper, 2014).”
Some of the courses that you may take for a general Criminal Justice degree include cultural awareness and contemporary issues in criminal justice, as well as technology in criminal justice, among many. There are several specialized Bachelor degrees, as well. Here are a few of the specialized degrees.
BS in. Criminal Justice – Corrections
This degree is for those who are looking to move into the correctional system or probation system. Courses can include The United States Correctional System and Offender Rehabilitation, as well as the courses required in the general degree.
BS in Criminal Justice – Criminology
This concentration is for those who want to focus more on the nature of the criminal justice system and the connection between law and social justice. Some careers are social and community managers, probation officers, detectives, substance abuse counselors, etc. Classes in Criminology will include many of the same ones in the general Criminal Justice degree. However, they also includes courses in crime and criminal behavior as a social phenomenon.
BS in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
This is an ever-growing and changing career. It examines the nature of terrorism and how to combat it. This degree is for those who work in law enforcement, homeland security, or other governmental agencies. Courses may include intelligence and counterintelligence, terrorism in the US, and security management – just to name a few.
BS in Criminal Justice – Human Services & Advocacy
Those who work in social and community service choose this concentration to move into management positions. Learning about the resources that are available for people who need them is the main point of this degree. It helps bridge the gap between families, law enforcement, and the community (SNHU, n.d.).
Master Degree in Criminal Justice
For those who are looking to move into leadership, the Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice offers classes in management skills that you may need as a leader in law enforcement. Some courses include public policy, data-driven decision-making, ethical leadership, and more. Schools also offer specialization in a Master’s degree. Some of these areas include Advanced Counterterrorism, Public Safety, etc.
Online Criminal Justice degrees are available in almost every college or university. If your heart lies in helping and protecting others, this degree is one you want to consider. Depending upon the concentration you choose, you can work in the government, local town, and public services sectors.
By: Janis Rodgers