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Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Your Criminal Justice Online Degree Prepares You for a Decisive Combat against Crime and Criminals

If you are looking to embark on a lucrative career in criminology, applying for an online criminal justice degree is an excellent first step toward making your profession in a multi-disciplinary field of criminal justice.

Your criminal justice online degree puts you on the front line, preventing crime and protecting your community. The programs are designed to give you comprehensive knowledge of criminal justice components including criminal law, crime investigation, criminal behavior and analysis, criminal evidence, law enforcement, corrections, and the judiciary.

You will also develop strong analytical, reasoning and critical thinking skills required to work in a modern criminal justice system in a variety of positions such as crime investigator, crime analyst, crime prevention inspector, police officer, FBI agent, probation officer, corrections officer, and detective.

There is a wide range of criminal justice degree online programs that allow you to work from home, giving you the flexibility to set your own schedule and review course materials at your own pace and convenience.

The quality of the education in online criminal justice degree programs is on a par with their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Experts in criminal justice, including professionals in forensics, corrections and white-collar crime investigation, craft the materials for these courses.

In fact, many of America's top professors lend their expertise to distance learning criminal justice programs, making your learning experience just as robust as what you would receive in a traditional classroom setting. You'll receive firsthand experience in criminal investigations, gain access to virtual online libraries and have the ability to study from any location.


What Should You Expect from an Online Criminal Justice Degree?

If you are fascinated by a career that deals with crime prevention, investigation, and analysis, criminal justice field is a natural fit to your interest. However, you must also be aware of certain key points like…

  • Although you have the flexibility to work at your own pace and schedule, criminal justice online programs require real work. You have to take your classes regularly and complete the assignments and projects on time.
  • For most of the jobs in criminal justice, you have to go through a variety of checks including background investigation, medical and/or psychological assessment, and drug test. Felony convictions, fraud charges, domestic violence convictions, and illicit drug activities can disqualify you for a number of jobs.
  • Some online criminal justice programs offer you an opportunity to work on real cases to get practical, real-life experience. In that scenario, you may have to attend few classes at local or nearby campus.

Learn About the Key Aspects of the Criminal Justice System

Online criminal justice degrees offer rigorous curriculum that includes study of criminal justice system, law enforcement agencies, judicial systems and correctional organizations and how they interact with each other.

The programs cover nuts and bolts of criminal law, criminal justice processes, criminal behavior, investigative procedures, evidence gathering, crime prevention and criminal rehabilitation.

Courses include a mix of legal studies, political science, sociology, forensic science, criminal psychology, public safety, urban studies and public administration—covering virtually all aspects of the criminal justice system.

You'll also gain insights into the social science aspect of criminal justice, closely examining the patterns of crime and what society can do to curb it.

By the time you receive your degree, you'll know exactly what a person experiences when undergoing the process of being arrested, going to trial and receiving a jail or prison sentence.

However, for most law enforcement jobs, you have to take additional training at a police academy.

Criminal Justice Degree Levels

Studying for criminal justice online degree is a convenient and effective way of gaining entry into the field of law enforcement. Students can complete most online associates degree in criminal justice in as little as two years. These degrees prepare you for entry-level career opportunities in a variety of organizations including police departments, law firms, courts, and correctional facilities.

An online criminal justice bachelor degree provides necessary grounding for careers in law enforcement, the judicial system, corrections and crime investigation and analysis.

For higher-level employment, like the FBI agent, Secret Service agent or managerial positions at state and local branches of law enforcement, a master's degree in criminal justice is required.

As in most facets of life, your level of success depends on your level of education - and how hard you're willing to work to achieve your goals.

Criminal Justice Degree Jobs and Career Overview

Criminal justice degrees offer a number of career options for graduates, and the opportunities should remain solid over the next decade. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, courts, and corporate sector provide most of the jobs in criminal justice field.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the following growth trends through 2020:

Detectives and Criminal Investigators
+2.9%
Police Supervisors
+2.1%
Law Enforcement Workers
+6.6%
Police Officers
+8.2%
correctional officers
+5.3%

Criminal Justice Professionals Earn Competitive Salaries

Individuals who have a criminal justice degree tend to draw competitive salary, and there are many opportunities for promotions and higher pay, especially in state and federal-level jobs. According to the BLS, the following was the median salary for criminal justice professionals in 2010:

Detectives and Criminal Investigators
$77,860
Police Supervisors
$82,060
Law Enforcement Workers
$54,040
Police Officers
$57,770
correctional officers
$43,550

Future Trends in the Field of Criminal Justice

Society will always have a need for law enforcement, so this is a field that will continue to hold a great deal of importance well into the future. The following are some future trends:

  • While violent crime has decreased over the past couple decades, communities still depend on police officers to handle domestic disputes, drug crimes and more.
  • As correctional facilities release more prisoners early due to overcrowding, there will be a need for probation officers to monitor offenders' behaviors.
  • Police officers have a high-risk profession, but are widely respected in the communities in which they serve. This will continue in the foreseeable future.

Criminal justice is a very tough and challenging field and requires guts and passion to fight against crime. But it also offers reward, recognition and respect in the community. At eDegreeSteps, we help you to find the top accredited online criminal justice degree programs.


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