Criminal justice is devoted to the protection and rehabilitation of the population and property through the system of the police, courts, and corrections. In the past 15 years, the criminal justice field has rapidly expanded, which means that opportunities continue to develop in public safety and global security. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is projecting general employment growth in the criminal justice field to increase between 10-18% by 2022.
Broad Opportunities in the Criminal Justice Field
The need for a more robust criminal justice system is attracting thousands of students who are seeking their bachelor’s degree in this field. An undergraduate degree in criminal justice provides well-paid, service-oriented opportunities in:
- Federal government. Upholding national safety and security is paramount to the mission and goals of federal law enforcement officers. The United States government hires thousands of qualified candidates in agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and the Department of Homeland Security. A four-year degree is usually required, and the positions are well-compensated.
- Local and state government. Law enforcement professionals, including police officers and detectives, earn an average of $57,000 per year. In recent years, police officers are expected to have a four-year degree in order to be considered by local or state agencies or communities.
- Corrections. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists, according to the BLS, have a median pay of more than $48,100 a year. Their jobs involve monitoring criminal offenders and working with them to ensure that they are following an active plan of rehabilitation.
Advantages of Earning an Online Criminal Justice Degree
As job opportunities in criminal justice grow, and the field continues to evolve, a bachelor’s degree is required in addition to specialized law enforcement training. Many people are now choosing the convenience of an online undergraduate criminal justice program to advance their current law enforcement career or to launch their career. The advantages of these online programs include:
- Convenience. An online degree provides you with flexibility. You can learn on your own time while completing projects, discussing coursework with classmates, and taking tests online. Your work schedule and personal life are no longer barriers to receiving your degree, because you now get to choose when you’d like to learn.
- Support. You have the same benefits and learning experiences as traditional, on-campus students do. Online classes at accredited universities are taught by faculty members who have real-world experience and can share their industry knowledge.
- Choice. Excellent online programs offer a wide range of courses and a curriculum developed by experts in the field. Students who are earning an undergraduate criminal justice degree will take challenging required courses and be able to choose from electives that are designed to supplement their education and interests.