Criminal justice professionals are responsible for the safety and protection of their communities. Their daily responsibilities can require skills in areas such as criminology, law enforcement and corrections and they can find positions in various levels based on training and education. Public safety is an important part of every community and this is expected to result in a need for more officers according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
If you’re interested in a criminal justice career, pursuing a degree is the first step. Here is how to get a criminal justice degree and what you can do with it.
Benefits of earning a criminal justice degree
There are several benefits you can take away from earning your criminal justice degree, including:
- Helping others: Whether you’re supervising a jail or assisting in the rehabilitation of someone on parole, criminal justice careers offer you the opportunity to use your position to keep people safe and secure as well as find justice for those in need.
- Job stability: Jobs in the criminal justice industry are usually in demand although it depends by locality and municipality budget. For example, the BLS predicts law enforcement officers to have a growth rate of 5% between 2018 and 2028. There is a continued need for criminal justice professionals to help ensure the safety and protection of the nation's citizens.
- Variety of job opportunities: There are a variety of job opportunities in the criminal justice system including law enforcement, corrections and more.
Level of education needed
When you pursue a bachelor’s or associate degree in criminal justice, you will learn about the criminal justice system, legal system and criminology, as well as select areas of interest you might want to pursue. Earning a bachelor's degree usually requires at least 120-course credits for a full-time student. Herzing University is transfer friendly and you could potentially transfer up to 90 approved credits.
Herzing University’s online criminal justice program features associate and bachelor’s degree options you can complete between 20 and 32 months. Herzing also offers bachelor’s degree concentrations in either Homeland Security and Counterterrorism or Management and Leadership. These specializations provide students with skills in subjects such as emergency management, narcotics, financial crimes and others, preparing them with valuable knowledge applicable to any criminal justice-related career.
Employment opportunities with a criminal justice degree
There are four major parts of the criminal justice system you can work in: federal, state, local and private-sector levels.
Some jobs may require more education or experience, but a criminal justice degree can help provide a rich base of knowledge that can prepare you for a variety of careers. With a criminal justice degree, you can qualify for jobs such as:
- Detective or criminal investigator
- Fish and game warden
- Parole and probation officer
- Correctional treatment specialist
- Correctional officer and jailers
Interested in starting an online program? Check out Herzing University Online to start earning your criminal justice degree!