Is a Job in Criminal Justice Right For You?

You may find yourself glued to the television set when shows like CSI:  Miami come on, yet you still question whether pursuing a career in criminal justice is right for you. What should you consider before choosing an online criminal justice degree program and diving into the field?

Start by answering this pop quiz:

  • Are you intrigued by science and math?
  • Do you find yourself trying to discover how things work?
  • Are you detail-oriented?
  • Is communicating well with others second nature to you?
  • Are you able to watch movies with lots of bloody scenes without feeling queasy?
  • Do others tell you that you are cool headed and rational?

If you answered “yes” to the above questions, then a career in criminal justice may be the right fit for you.

Online Criminal Justice Degrees
Of course, you could earn your degree at a traditional college, but why not consider a flexible, online degree program that could permit you to work, without the stress of trying to juggle rigid class schedules? There are numerous online, criminal justice degree options and a variety of degree types such as an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s or even a PhD degree. Let EarnMyDegree help you make the right school connection.

Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs
Don’t feel overwhelmed by the possibilities when it comes to selecting an online, criminal justice degree program. Just take a quick look at a few options:

Criminology—study of crime, criminals, and the penal system as a social phenomenon[i]
Corrections—treatment and rehabilitation of offenders via a program of parole, government custody, and probation[ii]
Probation—suspending the sentence of a convicted offender and giving the offender freedom during good behavior under supervision[iii]

Types of Criminal Justice Careers
Here are some potential career paths you may consider when narrowing down your career focus and before choosing a college major:

  • Prison Guar
  • Secret Service
  • Drug Enforcement Officer
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Police Officer
  • Homeland Security
  • Sheriff
  • FBI
  • U.S. Marshall

Sample Coursework
If you decide to jumpstart your career in criminal justice by earning your online degree in the field, you could take a variety of courses like these:

  • Legal Foundations of Criminal Evidence[iv]
  • Juvenile Delinquency[v]
  • Introduction to Homeland Security[vi]
  • Criminal Investigation[vii]
  • Principles of Policing and Law Enforcement[viii]

It Pays Off
Depending on factors like the type of department you are employed in, the location of the department, the department size, and the job you are hired to do, the pay scale varies within the criminal justice field. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, police and detectives earned an average salary of $55,010 in 2010[ix] while probation and correctional treatment specialists earned $47,200[x]. Forensic scientists made around $51,570 per year[xi].

You may already know that certain careers in criminal justice don’t follow traditional 9-5 days. As a detective, you could be called into work in the late night/early morning hours or you may be summoned when you are off duty (yes, there is typically overtime pay). However, if you are passionate about your career and enjoy what you do, the criminal justice field might be a great match for you. If you have any questions about possible degree programs or online schools, contact EarnMyDegree and let them help you navigate through the world of online higher education.