Your Degree Options in Criminal Justice

Obtaining a criminal justice degree affords one the opportunity to pursue a variety of jobs, but this is contingent on how much schooling you’re willing to go through. Starting with an associates degree, each subsequent increase in education opens up jobs that are not only more lucrative, but also increase engagement and responsibility. For someone passionate about criminal justice, furthering your education is the perfect way to get more involved in this engaging field. The field is consistently growing by leaps and bounds, so it’s definitely a worthwhile endeavor to pursue. The popularity of shows like Law and Order and Criminal Minds though, have made it important to get advanced degrees in order to obtain a job. Below we’ve outlined some different degree options:

Associate Degree

An associate degree in criminal justice typically takes two years and often only opens the door for positions at entry level or slightly above, but the degree can be the deciding factor that often substantiates one slightly more than those with no experience, thus beneficially differentiating them from other job applicants. Many people with associates degrees are in pursuit of a job in a police department, be it in a position as a police officer, probation or corrections officer, an investigator, or many other positions. An associate degree is a great stepping stone on the way to obtaining a bachelor’s degree because it enables you to get a job in your desired field while still in school. Many students with this degree will continue their academic career while working simultaneously in order to make more money while getting a Bachelor’s. Additionally, many jobs offer really valuable tuition reimbursement programs that can make a huge difference in one looking to advance their career.

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree is the first degree to significantly establish an individual in any field and criminal justice is no different. Classes at this level are much more comprehensive and delve into much more complex subject matter to ensure one is capable of delivering the highest quality work upon graduating. With a bachelor’s degree, graduates will be able to work as forensic science technicians, mental health counselors, intelligence analysts, but most commonly business intelligence analysts. There are many different jobs one can pursue with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and more can be found here.

Master’s Degree

The most engaging jobs in the criminal justice field require a master’s degree. From becoming a criminologist to a criminal profiler, a master’s degree will open the door to incredibly lucrative, meaningful, and rewarding jobs. When working towards a master’s degree in criminal justice, you’ll typically take advanced classes on that will refine your knowledge of criminological theories and leave you well-equipped for their application. These classes touch on some of the most important issues, while ensuring that students remain well-rounded enough to be successful. This is very useful for obtaining a job centered in the legislative and public policy aspects of criminal justice. These positions are often government-related and very demanding, but engaging. To see available positions, be sure to check out the Department of Justice’s website.

Useful Links

The allure of getting a degree in criminal justice has never been higher and there are more opportunities than ever to carve your own way in the diverse career field. Since it’s possible to get a job in varying government sectors, as well as work in the private sector, it’s imperative to understand the options available to finding a job once you have a degree. Getting imaginative regarding where to apply can yield impressive results and often help individuals land awesome jobs that are underrepresented in the job market. Here’s a list of useful organizations to reference and put your criminal justice degree to use:

Organizations & Associations:
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • National Federation of Paralegal Associations
  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • The Other Side of the Wall: Prisons and Prison Law
  • American Bar Association
  • National Security Agency
  • Popular Criminal Justice Degree Programs

    Kaplan University
    Associates in Criminal Justice
    Bachelors in Criminal Justice
    Masters in Criminal Justice
    BSCJ in Juvenile Justice
    Kaplan University -The accredited criminal justice degrees offered by Kaplan are fully online programs which allow you to study and take exams on your schedule. Kaplan remains one of the most popular universities for criminal justice students because of this flexibility and affordability. Kaplan has several Criminal Justice degrees available like an Associates, Bachelors, or Masters in General Criminal Justice or specializatioins like Juvenile Justice.
    Ashford University
    BA in Criminal Justice
    BACJ in Homeland Security
    BACJ in Corrections Mgmt
    BACJ in Forensics
    BACJ in Government
    Ashford University -For students who want to quickly achieve their career goals, Ashford University has added many online programs in the field of Criminal Justice to its course catalog. These programs can often be completed much faster than their campus counterparts. Several accredited bachelor degrees are available covering a multitude of specializations, including Criminal Justice, Homeland Security, Corrections Management, Forensics, and Government.
    Northcentral University
    DBA in Criminal Justice
    DBA in Homeland Security
    MBA in Criminal Justice
    MBA in Homeland Security
    Northcentral University -Northcentral University has several Criminal Justice degrees available through online programs. These online courses can be completed on your own timeline from the convenience of your home PC. In addition, assignments worked on and turned in at any time before or on the deadline, perfect for students who balance school with work schedules. NCU has online degrees available for DBA in Criminal Justice, DBA in Homeland Security, and an MBA in Criminal Justice.
    Walden University
    MS: Human Services - Criminal Justice
    DSW: Criminal Justice
    PhD: Social Work - Criminal Justice
    Walden University -Walden, an accredited online university, offers criminal justice degree programs on the bachelor's and master's levels and PhD programs with specializations in criminal justice. Programs include the MS of Human Services in Criminal Justice, a DSW in Criminal Justice, and a PhD of Social Work in Criminal Justice. Bachelor specializations include human services, information systemes, and management and administration.

    Click to see more colleges offering Criminal Justice degrees

    Search Online Degrees