How to Get Started on Your Career in Criminal Justice

Maybe you have already worked directly or indirectly in one of the various positions related to criminal justice and you’re looking to get a degree that better qualifies you for expanded career possibilities. Today, Criminal Justice has many faces, often overlapping with law-related careers and ever more so with technology. Florida National University (FNU) offers an Associates degree as well as a Bachelors degree in this field with a growing demand for skilled staff.

How to Get Started on Your Career in Criminal Justice
Member of the Armed Forces at FNU Open House

A degree in criminal justice can equip you for a career as a:

  • paralegal
  • police officer
  • detective
  • customs and import agent
  • computer forensics investigator
  • loss prevention specialist
  • private investigator
  • crime victim’s services coordinator
  • data analyst
  • a correctional or juvenile probation officer
  • counselor

While some of these careers require that you obtain at least an associate’s degree, some require a bachelor’s degree. Take our easy, to see where you are now and where your future might take you.

Get Your Accredited Degree at FNU

FNU is an accredited university located in South Florida, with two campus locations in Miami and Hialeah, that offers two separate Criminal Justice Degree programs: An Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with electives in related fields such as humanities, IT (computers) and natural and behavioral science. Before we take a closer look at each degree problem to find which program is right for you, let’s find out more about the job market.


Is There A Demand for Criminal Justice Careers?

How to Get Started on Your Career in Criminal JusticeThe criminal justice program at FNU focuses on the enforcement side of the law sector, but it also focuses on the policy-making procedures that are used to safeguard the overall public. After you have earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at FNU, you will qualify for the many criminal justice careers in demand in South Florida. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual wage for police and detectives was $62,960 in May 2017, and the job prospects for police and detectives alone are expected to grow by 7 percent through 2026. Also, the median annual salary for private detectives and investigators was $50,700 in May 2017 with an 11 percent projected job by 2026. But, that’s not all.

The criminal justice programs at FNU trains students to transition into a leadership role in a field that can often be considered intense. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the private sector of the criminal justice sector, there is a significant demand for trained professionals in fields like security, and the industry will continue to increase. Depending on if you choose to work for a private business, a corporation, or for the government, consultants can expect to make more than $100,000 a year. To start your career in the criminal justice sector, see what documents FNU will need to start you on your path.


How to Get an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice

The Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice (AA) is a program that is designed for students who seek a degree in law and law enforcement. This two-year program offers a broad introduction to the country’s criminal just system, and the 60 credit-hour program includes courses like Introduction to Criminal Law, Introduction to Security and Law Enforcement, and Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation, as well as several credit hours of elective courses.


FNU will award an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice upon graduation to students who meet all of the requirements. Students who earn an associate’s degree can obtain careers in the law enforcement field with jobs in court systems and the private industry. But if you are interested in furthering your education, you can do so by continuing on to a bachelor’s degree.


Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (CJBS) at FNU builds on a student’s Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice. The program expands the way a student thinks critically and analytically and advances their ability to communicate data that is complex, both written and verbally, and it also prepares them for higher-level careers within the criminal justice sector. Or, if thinking in the long-term, it qualifies them for graduate-level programs. The CJBS program requires more credit hours to complete.


At a total of 120 credit hours, credit hours are made up of general education, technology, and behavioral science courses, and students will also take several credit hours of lower-level classes like corrections, criminal law, and criminal investigation. Also, several credit hours are required in lower-level electives like research methods, constitutional law, criminal justice capstone project, and research methods, and classes for the CJBS include police administration, white collar crime, forensic psychology, and minorities and crime.


To ensure you graduate with a thorough, profound knowledge in Criminal Justice, upper-level electives are also a requirement. While you can choose to take courses outside of Criminal Justice program, however, it will serve you well to really specialize if you choose from our classes such as


  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Terrorism
  • Police Administration
  • Pathology
  • Private Security
  • White Collar Crime


How to Get Started on Your Career in Criminal Justice
Forensics Photo: Creative Commons, U.S. Army RDECOM, Flickr


The curriculum for this program is comprised to study theory, learn functions regarding crime and delinquency, and conduct research. FNU awards a diploma upon graduation. It is worth noting that for graduates to gain employment, most law enforcement agencies require certification in basic training upon competition of the CJBS program.

Enroll in FNU’s a Criminal Justice Today!

Founded in 1982, FNU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Whether you are ready to enroll in a criminal justice program or you are just looking for more information, an academic advisor is here to help you. You can also request a full course catalog and contact our admissions department to make sure that you enroll in the right FNU program for you.