Security and crime prevention have become increasingly important areas for technological and career development. Skilled criminal investigation professionals are in demand—not only in law enforcement, public safety, and corrections, but also in areas like fraud prevention and private investigation. If you have keen observational skills, an eye for detail, and the desire to help people, attending an online criminal justice school might be the right choice for you.
What You Will Learn in an Online Criminal Justice Program
An online criminal justice degree may prepare you for a rewarding career in law enforcement, corporate and personal security or private investigation. Online criminal justice schools offer degrees from the associate’s to the doctoral level. As an undergraduate, you can either earn a two-year associate’s degree or a four year bachelor’s degree. Most federal, state, and corporate employment opportunities in criminal justice require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree.
While taking online criminal justice classes, topics that your degree program might cover include the following:
- Ethics in criminal justice
- Concepts of social science research
- Security and police administration
- Crime control policies
- American public policy
- Gender and politics
You may also take courses in sociology, forensic science, public administration, psychology, and crime prevention.
Why Get an Online Criminal Justice Degree?
A bachelor’s degree is the standard preparation for careers in law enforcement, crime scene investigation, private investigative services, private security, and more. Online criminal justice training from a reputable school will prepare you not only for the career challenges that lie ahead, but also for standard licensing and regulatory procedures you will need to complete before embarking on your career.
However, earning your degree is just the start. For many criminal justice positions your education does not stop once you graduate. Criminal justice professionals often work under rapidly changing conditions and are sometimes forced to make quick decisions in life-threatening situations. Depending on your career path, your on-the-job training could involve learning how to secure a crime scene, how to recover evidence properly, how to use the latest information technology to determine suspect involvement, and how to properly relay investigative findings in a courtroom setting.
Job Outlook for Criminal Justice
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for police and detectives is expected to grow slower than average through 2020. Opportunities are expected to be available at the local level, but positions in federal agencies are more competitive. Bilingual applicants with a bachelor’s degree should find the best opportunities. Police and sheriff’s patrol officers earned median annual wages of $54,230 in May 2011. The median annual wages for detectives and criminal investigators were $71,770 in May 2011.
Now is the time to explore your educational and career options in criminal justice. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an online criminal justice school will give you access to an array of career opportunities in the field. Start searching for a program today!