Get a Criminal Justice Career
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You can take online classes right now to get a degree in Criminal Justice. It’s really easy because you can work with your own schedule. With abuse, divorce, homeland security, and other areas that need experts in criminal justice, the time is right for people who want to pursue rewarding careers in Criminal Justice.
If you want a life of excitement, perhaps you should consider a career in criminal justice. Most people are familiar with uniformed city and state police officers, but there are many other career opportunities including private detectives and investigators, probation officers, corrections officers, parole officers, even fish and game wardens.
Many entry-level applicants for police jobs have often completed some formal post-secondary education at accredited career schools. A significant number are college graduates. \Criminal justice degrees, both bachelors and masters, are offered through many online and on-campus schools throughout the country.
What are your prospects? The U.S. government* predicts steady job growth for many law enforcement careers through the next decade. Career prospects may vary according to the exact profession. For example, opportunities in local police departments are predicted to be excellent for individuals who meet physical, personal, and psychological qualifications. Opportunities are also expected to be excellent for qualified computer forensic investigators.
Training for a career in Criminal Justice may solve your employment mystery! Contact a career school on Education-For-Careers and find out more.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition.
Online Criminal Justice Degree Helps You Help Others
Do you thrive on helping other people? If so, you might consider a career in criminal justice. With a criminal justice degree, you could serve the public in a variety of positions: Police Officer, Highway Patrol Officer, Sheriff, Deputy, Detective, Correction Officer, Prison Guard, FBI, Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Officer or US Marshall.
There are dozens of criminal justice degree programs available online today. You will gain the valuable knowledge you need to work effectively in corrections, probation, government and private security settings. Most programs have courses on criminal behavior, criminology methods, public policy, specialized interpersonal communication and criminal justice and ethical issues.
Here are some sample course names that you may take in your online education: Introduction to Criminal Justice, American Judicial Systems, Probation and Parole and Criminal Career Behavior Systems. If these course titles entice you, you will do well studying criminal justice.
How Far Will You Go?
Online criminal justice degree programs typically offer various levels of education, including an Associate of Arts degree, Bachelor of Arts degree, Masters degree and even a PhD! So it’s up to you how far you will go with your criminal justice studies.
Degree programs vary in coursework and load. You can finish certain degree programs in as little as 15 months! Then you will be ready for your big career in criminal justice!
Deciding if a Criminal Justice Online Degree is for You
You want a career change, but you’re not sure what you want to do. You’ve researched criminal justice jobs and they interest you. But you want to be sure the field is right before you lay down the cash. How can you know?
* Do you watch multiple crime or law related television shows?
* Are you logical and rational?
* Do you enjoy science and math?
* Do you want to know how things work?
* Do you love gory movies (blood doesn’t bother you)?
* Do you enjoy reading legal documents and articles?
* Do you enjoy helping people?
If your answer to these questions was “yes,” then a career in criminal justice probably is right for you.
Learning is Fun
There are dozens of online criminal justice degree programs and one of them is just right for you. Even if you aren’t sure exactly what career path you want to take at this point, you will have a better idea after taking courses in forensics, law, psychology and law enforcement. By the end of your education, you will probably know more than you ever wanted to about criminal justice!
You have an exciting future ahead of you. With as little as two years of online courses, you will have your criminal justice degree and be ready for the world!
Criminal Justice: Looking for a Well Rounded Background
So you are interested in a career in criminal justice and want to get your degree online, but you have zero experience in the field. Do you find something else to do? NO! Your background and knowledge could actually complement your criminal justice degree.
Criminal justice degrees will teach you a specific skill set revolving around law, criminal prosecution, ethics and forensics. But it is also handy to have other types of skills or knowledge:
* Computer Security
If you are interested in technology and IT, you are likely analytical and logical. These are great skills for CSI, detective, CIA and police jobs, as well as any other position that requires heavy computer use.
* Finance / Accounting
A strong background in finance or accounting can help you land a job in just about any law enforcement or criminal justice office. After all, police officers have paychecks and expenses too!
* Crime Scene Investigation / Science
If science is your strong suit, you will find forensics and CSI interesting. Crime scene investigations might peak your interest as collecting and analyzing data is very scientific.
* Forensic Psychology
If psychology and law interest you, forensic psychology might be your calling. You could help attorneys pick juries or you may treat mentally ill criminals. Of course, this field also allows you to analyze a criminal’s mind and their intent.
In the Field and the Office: Criminal Justice Jobs
Criminal justice offers a wide range of career paths to choose from. Depending on which you choose, you may be working outside, in a car or in an office. No matter where you work, you’re guaranteed to have an interesting job.
The Great Outdoors
If cubicles bore you, jobs like Border Patrol and police work will get you out of the chair and into the streets (or the wilderness). You will need to be physically fit for these types of positions and you shouldn’t mind a little rain falling on your head.
As you would imagine, Border Patrol agents patrol the borders! Some literally walk up and down the fence that divides the U.S. from Mexico. Police officers may be in the outdoors while writing traffic tickets or attending car accidents, or if they are involved in a manhunt, they may spend time in the woods.
Rolling, Rolling, Rolling
If you love driving, consider becoming a police officer or detective. You may cruise highways, keeping your eye out for stranded travelers or you may be involved in a stakeout where you have to sit in a car for hours waiting for a drug deal to go down. You might even have a high speed chase!
You should naturally have solid driving skills and a keen awareness of what’s going on around you.
If the other alternatives don’t appeal to you and you would be happiest behind a desk, you should look at becoming an FBI or CIA agent (not all are world traveling daredevils). While you may spend some time in the field, you will spend most of your time indoors and at your desk.
The Reality of Criminal Justice Careers
Careers in criminal justice are not for the faint of heart. In your line of work, you may see deaths, trauma, violence and blood. You will be required to work long hours. But if all of that does not scare you away, you may find criminal justice the most rewarding career you have ever had.
The Job That Never Sleeps
Because a police station doesn’t close at 5 p.m. like other businesses, you may have odd hour shifts, like night or weekends, especially early in your career. You may be called when off duty to provide your services to a situation. You will be paid overtime for any work over 40 hours per week.
If you are a Federal agent, with the CIA or DEA, you may be required to travel impromptu, and may be required to relocate several times over your career.
It All Pays Off
It’s important to remember that salaries differ depending on location and size of a department. However, police and sheriff’s patrol officers can expect to earn approximately $45,000, while police and detective supervisors typically receive salaries near $65,000. Detectives and criminal investigators can expect to take home approximately $54,000 a year. Keep in mind: you won’t be making this as soon as you start your criminal justice career. It will take time to increase your salary, so do a good job, and you will get raises!
The Future of Criminal Justice Jobs
While the criminal justice field is not due to grow in leaps in bounds over the next few years (that would have to mean crime was on the rise!), it is a popular career choice: there currently are more applicants than open positions nationwide.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were 842,000 police and detectives employed in 2004. They were employed by:
* Local Governments
* State Police Agencies
* Various Federal Agencies
The majority of local government police and detectives work in cities with more than 25,000 citizens. The size of the police force varies in each city, depending on financial resources and crime levels.
The Department of Labor estimates that employment of police and detectives will grow at a rate of 9 to 17 percent each year through 2014, due to the increasing security consciousness of our society as well as concern about drug-related crimes. Job opportunities will be better in local and special police departments, and if you are willing to start out your law enforcement job with a low salary or in an urban community with a high crime rate, you will increase your chance of obtaining employment.
Additionally, if you have a degree in criminal justice or related field, you will increase your employment options.