In order for society to be a safe for individuals to live, work and raise a family, there must be a system in place whereby criminals are held accountable for their actions. Typically, this is known as the criminal justice system, and it is made up of a variety of different positions ranging from lawyers to judges to police officers.
To begin any one of these kinds of employment positions, you will need to be prepared and trained through a formal college degree in the field of criminal justice.
Discover five of the top reasons that an online degree in criminal justice can be the ultimate way to get ready for a future of fulfilling work, great pay and meaningful employment.
1. Criminal Justice Degrees Open Countless Career Doors for Graduates
One of the most appealing aspects of earning a degree in criminal justice is the fact that the program is incredibly versatile. Studying criminal justice can open countless doors for your future, just some of which might include becoming a police officer, becoming a criminal investigator, becoming a private detective or even becoming a lawyer.
Criminal justice is a wide area of study, and there is not just one job opportunity available for those who graduate with a degree in this specific field.
Whether you are drawn to work in a one-on-one setting with teenagers who are having trouble with the law, you want to be responsible for holding criminals accountable for their actions, you want to stick with a more traditional administrative career in a courthouse or you are ready to enjoy a fast-paced lifestyle as a deputy sheriff, one degree can prepare you for all of these careers and many more.
This makes criminal justice degrees a good option for those who want to make a difference but aren’t yet sure the exact career that they want to pursue after graduating from college.
2. Criminal Justice is a Great Base for an Advanced Degree
Typically, those who decide to study criminal justice at the college level will choose between two undergraduate degrees: the associate degree and the bachelor’s degree. An associate degree is an entry-level program that typically takes two years to complete.
It can be a great way to get ahead in basic criminal justice positions, but it may not be adequate for some high-ranking or managerial opportunities. However, the far more popular degree choice for college students is the bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. This program takes four years, on average, to complete.
Along with preparing students for many of the careers listed above, the bachelor’s degree can be a fantastic way to prepare for a master’s degree or any other kind of graduate training and education.
If you want to attend law school, for example, a four-year bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can give you the background you need to get into a competitive program. Many criminal justice graduates have opportunities to further their education with advanced degrees in subjects like law, public administration, psychology and social work.
3. Potential to Focus on an Area That Interests You Most
Another major advantage of studying criminal justice in college is that the curriculum can be tailored to fit your specific interests, passions and career goals for the future. Some of the most common subjects, which are found in nearly every degree program’s syllabus, tend to include courses like criminology, public administration, the legal system, public safety, constitutional law and corrections procedures.
However, each of these subjects can be explored on a deeper level, or students can opt to study something related as their focus while in college. If you are interested in criminal justice for terrorists or threats to the nation, for example, you might enroll in a few courses like homeland security or national threats.
If you have a background in computer knowledge and have a familiarity with programming, then taking several courses in cyber security can be a fantastic way to prepare for a cyber criminal justice degree. There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to the exact subject matter of a criminal justice degree, allowing you to focus on specific areas of the field that thrill and interest you most.
4. Opportunities for Meaningful Employment
There are a variety of different factors that can, and should, influence your choice of college degree. Potential salary earnings, opportunities for promotion, job availability in your area, personal interest and natural skills are all important elements that come into play when deciding which subject will be the best fit for your future.
However, also important is how meaningful the work feels for each person. While some employment positions are profit-driven, with the bottom line being the biggest priority for the company, that is rare in the field of criminal justice.
Whether graduates go on to become a corrections case manager, a domestic shelter violence counselor or a police officer, they can know that they they do truly does make a difference in the world. If you are looking for a position that is fulfilling and leaves you feeling positive at the end of each work day, then studying criminal justice can be a natural fit for you.
5. Online Criminal Justice Degrees Offer Flexibility and Convenience
If you have made up your mind that criminal justice is the best field of study for you, then the next step is to decide where you want to earn your degree. It is important to understand that there are two major options: Online degrees and traditional campus degrees. In many ways, the two degree programs are identical, but online study can be a much better fit for busy students.
Instead of needing to live on campus, commute to campus daily, deal with the hassles of traffic and adjust your work schedule to fit in with late-night or early-morning classes, online students can fit their coursework around their personal schedules.
Online degrees are flexible in both location and time. As long as you have access to a computer and an Internet connection, you can stream lectures live, watch the recorded sessions later on, participate in online group discussions and even take your exams from the comfort of your own home or office.
An online degree is an especially good fit for nontraditional students who may work full time, live in a rural location far from a college campus or need to take care of elderly parents or young children during the day. These degrees are readily accepted by employers, and they can often be cheaper than traditional campus degree programs.
If you are ready to pursue one of the many meaningful careers in the world of criminal justice, then earning a degree is the best place to start. An online criminal justice degree can prepare you for a variety of employment opportunities that help to create a better and safer society.