Criminal justice is a multidisciplinary and interesting area of study that can lead you toward a multitude of employment options. A career in the criminal justice field may be for you if you:
– are open to new and interesting challenges each day
– are interested in solving problems and finding solutions
– are good at science and math
– are interested in doing a job that benefits the general public and has tangible results that matter to society
– are often described by others as logical, analytical, rational, or a good problem-solver
– interested in society and law, and learning how the latest laws apply to real-life situations
– enjoy reading mysteries, watching criminal dramas, and police thriller films
A criminal justice degree can be of significant use in many fields of work. Law enforcement and crime scene investigation may be the first to come to mind. However, a wide range of professional fields such as social and human services, correctional services, forensic laboratory work, paralegal and legal assistance, court reporting and administration, IT, security, and criminal psychology are also available.
Many of these jobs deal with the public and with improving social conditions and thus are also ideal for people who want to contribute positively to society. Moreover, many require applying laws, regulations, and protocols to dynamic and variable situations – so if you pride yourself on being a good problem-solver, criminal justice may be a great field for you to consider. Beyond the job security and the potential for a comfortable life after retirement, careers in criminal justice provide the intangible satisfaction of knowing that you’re working to make a difference in the world around you.
There is a growing demand for individuals with criminal justice degrees. Careers in criminal justice often offer stable professional outlooks. Communities increasingly recognize the importance of well-trained law enforcement and corrections professionals, as well as social and human services officers. In addition, jobs that are linked to a criminal justice degree require a locally-based person to do them – so there is virtually no chance of being outsourced or replaced by technology. Many of these jobs offer good salaries and even better benefits packages. All this is augmented by the sense of fulfillment that comes with knowing that one is helping the community while earning a living.
What Does it Take to Earn a Criminal Justice Degree?
There are criminal justice programs of study offering either associates or bachelors degrees. This means two things: there are opportunities for different levels of commitment, and there are careers available for these in each educational bracket. Those who are willing to dedicate the time and effort to earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice will generally have more and better employment opportunities. However, even with an associate’s degree in criminal justice, a wealth of employment options is available to graduates.
How to Choose a Criminal Justice Program
First, it is important to decide your level of commitment and the time you are willing to invest towards your future. If you have been stuck in your career path or job search, you know the importance of a college degree. Consider whether you are only able to devote the time and effort to the associate’s degree, or if you want to go for a bachelors. It is also possible start with the associates and then build up to the bachelors as well. In addition, give some thought to which professional branch you may be interested in upon completion of your criminal justice program and whether that branch requires an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree to successfully enter the field. This will also be instructive in deciding which program is right for you.
A Criminal Justice Online Degree – A Flexible Way to Career Success
If you are contemplating just how to earn your criminal justice degree, consider these five reasons why an online degree may be right for you:
1. Career – You are currently employed, and want to advance without having to quit your job or face a long commute to class after a hard day at work. Online classes allow you to combine the responsibilities of earning a living with the opportunity for career advancement.
2. Flexibility – you want the flexibility to study from a distance without the stress and commute of traditional classes. With an online education, class time is whenever you have computer and internet access. Study time is anytime – middle of the night, before work, at lunch, on the couch in your pajamas. The effort and commitment is yours – but with an online degree, you have the choice of when, how, and where you study.
3. Balance – you may have family and personal responsibilities that come first, and an online degree allows you to tailor your education to fit around your life priorities while still moving toward a brighter future.
4. Personal attention – students in online courses have the chance to talk to instructors whenever they see fit. It is not necessary to wait for office hours – students can email, online chat, or Skype their instructors to discuss their questions and concerns.
5. Go at Your Own Pace – An online degree allows you a more student-centered teaching approach. Each individual has his or her way of learning, and online education can help ensure that each lesson or every new piece of material is understood optimally before you move onto the next. This allows an ideal learning process as it is individually tailored
Starting Out Your Criminal Justice Career at Florida National University (FNU)
FNU offers both an Associate’s Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
Associate’s Degree: The Criminal Justice (AA) Associate of Arts Degree program is designed for students seeking an education in the field of Law and Law Enforcement and other high-demand careers. The program offer students a broad background in the Criminal Justice System, as well as including courses in communication, humanities, behavioral science, mathematics, natural science, and computers.
The Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice requires a minimum of 60 credit hours for graduation, after which an AA degree is conferred. Students who have achieved the Criminal Justice AA may continue their education at the bachelor’s level to other accredited universities, or begin careers in the field including law enforcement(Employment with certain law enforcement agencies may require separate certification in a basic police training academy)., court system, and private industry.
Bachelor’s Degree: The purpose of the Bachelor of Science Criminal Justice (CJBS) Program at FNU is to expand students’ critical and analytical thinking skills, to advance students’ written and verbal abilities to communicate complex data, and to prepare students for higher-level positions within the criminal justice sector, or gain admission to graduate-level programs. The Criminal Justice Bachelor of Science requires a minimum of 120 credit hours for graduation.
Contact FNU today for more information about how to get started in a fast-paced and rewarding career path in criminal justice!