Most students might assume that in order to earn a career in criminal justice, they will be required to go through an extensive period of schooling. That actually all depends on the type of job you’re looking for. If you want to be a criminal lawyer, then you should prepare yourself for a long career as a student. However, if you’re considering a position in the criminal justice sector that’s more on the administrative side, or on the counseling side, what you might be looking for academically, is a program in Criminal Justice.
Achieving a Career in the Correctional Sector
Some students may not be aware that a Criminal Justice program exists. Anything related to law may be associated with legal studies. As important as the law is, there are also other related departments that have a direct influence on these laws and vice-versa where a more focused approach is needed. This is where a degree in Criminal Justice comes in.
What are the Steps that You Need to Take?
First of all, you need to be absolutely sure about what kind of career you want to pursue within the law industry. Is it law or law enforcement? There’s a difference. The last thing you want to do is spend your money on an education that is not relevant to the career of your dreams. That’s why it’s important to choose a college that has a tentative staff of guidance counselors to offer you the right kind of advice about the type of programs that would be the best fit for you.
FNU Academic Options: Law or Criminal Justice?
It’s not uncommon for students to get a little confused between whether or not they should enroll into a Criminal Justice or Legal Studies program. Although both of them are law-related, the two sectors have their own distinctive areas of concentration.
The Criminal Justice program focuses on the enforcement side of the industry of law as well as the policy-making procedures that help to safeguard the general public. It helps you get a better understanding of the nature of the crime , some of its causes, and the decision process of criminal justice. This program prepares students to easily transition into roles of leadership in what can sometimes be an intense career field.
A Legal Studies program prepares students for law and law-related careers that relate with, but are not limited to business, government, and even criminal justice. Although the areas of concentration seem to be somewhat similar to the Criminal Justice program, Legal Studies focuses on the law office atmosphere and how the law affects not only the Criminal Justice sector, but also all other areas of the law.
Florida National University (FNU), an accredited university located in South Florida offers two Criminal Justice Degree programs as well as one in Legal Studies. Here is a more detailed description of FNU’s Criminal Justice and Legal Studies programs:
Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
FNU’s Associates of Arts in Criminal Justice is designed for students who are looking to pursue a career in law enforcement. This program offers a broad introduction to the criminal justice system. The degree typically takes approximately two years to complete with a total of 60 credits in Communications, Humanities, Behavioral / Social Science, Natural Science, Mathematics, Computerscore requirements, and credit hours of electives.
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice at FNU builds on the Associate of Arts program. This program requires more credit hours to complete—a total of 120 credit hours to be exact. There are a total of 39 general education credit hours to complete and 42 core requirements. The core requirements are broken into 12 credit hours of lower level courses, 9 credits of suggested lower level electives, 30 credit hours of upper level courses, and 30 credit hours of suggested upper level electives.
Here, the courses are comprised to study theory, perform research, and learn various functions regarding delinquency and crime. The classes are also designed to teach students how to understand the manner in which offenders are processed. By the end of the program, students will have a better understanding about the nature and extent of crime as well as the theories related to explain them. They will have conducted detailed analyses to scrutinize the functions of the law, police procedures, courts, and correctional systems. An FNU Criminal Justice graduate will have attained a broader perspective of society in general, making them a better, and more prepared job applicant.
Note: To gain employment with most law enforcement agencies, certification on basic training may be required.
Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies
FNU’s Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies offers students the ability to advance their critical thinking skills within the legal profession. It is designed to prepare students for a higher-level position in the legal field whether they want to apply for an administrative position or earn an undergraduate degree before applying to law school.
Type of Criminal Justice Jobs
Earning an associates or bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice has the potential to yield a rewarding career. Here are some of the careers in South Florida that you can acquire with a degree in Criminal Justice:
- Private Investigator
- Law Enforcement Officer
- Security Manager / Officer
- Data Analyst
- Correctional / Juvenile Probation Officer
- Loss Prevention Manager / Investigator
FNU: Opening Doors to Your Future
You can aspire to be anything you want in life, you just need to pursue it! FNU is here to help you do just that! If you’re looking to achieve a degree in law, whether it’s Criminal Justice or Legal Studies, contact our admissions department and one of our guidance counselors will help you enroll in the right academic program for you.