Criminal Justice

Serving others can lead to a highly respected career.

The criminal justice career field keeps expanding on all levels. A more security-conscious society combined with population growth continues to increase the demand for police services, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This increased demand is the result of heightened security concerns, increased litigation and the need to protect confidential information and property of all kinds. The proliferation of criminal activity on the Internet will continue to require more security and investigative professionals. Employee background checks will become standard for an increasing number of jobs. Growing financial activity worldwide will increase the need to control internal and external financial losses, monitor competitors, and investigate industrial spying.

Applicants with military experience or college training will have the best opportunities. Those with a bachelor’s degree and several years of law enforcement or military experience will have the best opportunities for positions in Federal agencies.

Am I a good fit for this career?

Do you have the strong discipline and personality traits needed for criminal justice?

Integrity, honesty and sound judgment play an important role in any criminal justice-related career. Successful professionals in this field have a strong sense of responsibility and are able to control even very tense situations. They are comfortable serving as a role model for their community.

A career in criminal justice could be right for you if you:

  • Have good communications and people skills
  • Have respect for authority
  • Are comfortable working in a highly-structured hierarchy
  • Work well under pressure
  • Deal well with emotional or difficult situations
  • Are physically strong and healthy

What are the career opportunities in this field?

There are many different paths for Herzing’s criminal justice degree graduates. Career opportunities exist at the federal, state and local levels, as well as private sector organizations.

  • Local: sheriff department, juvenile justice facilities, jails
  • State: court system, narcotics and liquor bureaus, crime commission, attorney general offices, prisons
  • Federal: Food and Drug Administration, Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, immigration, FBI, customs, Federal Trade Commission, and veterans affairs
  • Private: private investigation, security officers, safety patrol, insurance investigations, bodyguards

SPECIFIC CAREER OPPORTUNITIES INCLUDE:

Detectives and criminal investigators – Detectives investigate crimes and gather facts that lead to uncovering the criminal or parties responsible. They conduct interviews, examine paper and electronic records, observe suspects for suspicious activities, and participate in raids and arrests. Often, a detective or investigator specializes in a specific type of crime, such as homicide, narcotics, or financial crimes, and will work on a case until it is solved or dropped.

Fish and game wardens – These professionals patrol hunting and fishing areas to enforce hunting, fishing and boating regulations. They also investigate violation complaints and conduct search and rescue operations.

Parole and probation officers (also known as Community Supervision Officers) – Parole and probation officers perform very similar duties, however parole officers supervise offenders who have been released from prison, while probation officers work with offenders who are sentenced to parole instead of prison. These officers monitor an offender’s activities by visiting them at home, work or therapy sessions. They typically employ the offender’s family, church, and other community organizations to help the offender stay on a lawful path. While both occupations require filling out reports and paperwork, probation officers also spend time working for the courts conducting background investigations, recommending sentences, or attending hearings.

Correctional treatment specialists – This type of officer works in a jail, prison, or parole facility. They evaluate the progress of the offender using psychological tests, interviews and questionnaires, and must determine if the offender is likely to commit further crimes. This evaluation will be included in the officer’s comprehensive case report on the offender which will be used during parole board release hearings. Correctional treatment specialists also help the offender develop job skills or resolve emotional issues by setting up training and treatment programs.

Correctional officer and jailers – Also known as Detention Officers, they are responsible for overseeing inmates in a public detention facility/jail while they are awaiting trial, or in a prison once they have been convicted and sentenced to serve time. Correctional officers keep the peace in prisons and reformatories as well as process new inmates, report on inmate activities, and transport inmates between institutions. They also conduct inspections of inmate cells, settle disputes, and enforce disciplinary procedures.

How do I advance in this career?

Criminal justice positions typically have multiple levels of rank, and advancement is determined by level of education, length of experience, and on-the-job performance. As most positions are in the public sector, specific levels must be reached before advancement can occur; this may include a minimum exam score, number of years in the position, or a bachelor’s degree.

Where do they work?

Depending on the specific occupation, work environments can vary greatly. Some criminal justice positions require large amounts of time in an office environment while others are primarily mobile. Work weeks are typically 40-hours in length, and there may be opportunities for over-time. Shifts may be rotating. Many professionals in this field belong to a union, and full-time employees receive full benefits packages. Public sector employees also typically receive a government pension at retirement.

Regardless of the occupation, most people employed in a criminal justice position will routinely engage in situations where their personal safety is threatened. In addition, professionals in this field are expected to be honest and ethical while on-duty and off, and are often looked at as role models within the community.

What is the program title, length, and content?

A degree in Criminal Justice from Herzing University prepares graduates for many different careers in the law enforcement, security and corrections fields. Students gain a solid understanding of the legal system and judicial process as well as learn the unique aspects of corrections and juvenile justice. They also gain proficiency in criminalistics and evidence forensics.

Criminal Justice Program Comparison Chart

Program availability varies by location.

Program Credits Months
Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice 60 20
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice With a Concentration in Homeland Security 122 36
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice With a Concentration in Supervision and Management 121 36
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice With No Minor or Concentration 122 36
*Average number of months for students to complete program

PDF icon Disclosure Methodology

Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice

This degree program is designed to give graduates the credentials and capabilities needed to gain entry-level positions at the local and state level. With a well-rounded approach to working within the public safety sector, graduates are employable in many different career areas. Download Program Course Sheet

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Homeland Security

In addition to core criminal justice courses, this program also delves into criminal psychology and investigation, narcotics and financial crimes. In their homeland security coursework, students explore such critical areas as fire science, terrorism, emergency management, industrial security, and incident stress management. Today, this knowledge of homeland security and public safety strategies is very valuable to any criminal justice-related career. Download Program Course Sheet

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Supervision and Management

This program provides students with a comprehensive academic knowledge of public safety; including criminology, law enforcement, corrections and the criminal justice system as well as the skills and techniques for supervision and management. Download Program Course Sheet

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with No Minor or Concentration

This degree completion program allows students to more easily transfer a large number of college credits they have earned previously. While it does not include a minor or concentration, the curriculum does feature all core and elective Criminal Justice courses. Download Program Course Sheet

Which locations offer this program?

Akron Campus
Birmingham Campus
Brookfield Campus
Kenosha Campus
Madison Campus
Minneapolis Campus
New Orleans Campus
Omaha Campus
Online Campus
Orlando Campus
Toledo Campus

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