Majoring In Criminal Justice At Community College – Where It Could Take You

by A Guest Author

Criminal justice is quickly becoming one of the hottest career paths in the United States, thanks in part to several television shows and films, including “CSI”, “Law and Order” and the multitude of cinematic crime dramas that have flooded the market. If you have a passion for justice and helping others, but don’t want to necessarily work in many of the gory or dangerous positions in this field, a degree in criminal justice administration might be the route for you.

Before you assume that as an administrator you’ll remain tied to a desk pushing papers while everyone around you is hitting the streets and making a difference, learn about the several facets of criminal justice administration and what you’ll encounter both in and out of school.

What to Expect While Earning Your Degree

First off, it’s important to realize your future goals before entering any criminal justice administration degree program. It’s possible to earn an associate’s degree in the field, which only requires two to three years of schooling and prepares you for a variety of entry-level positions. Earning a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Administration will consume at least four years of your time, although many employers require this advanced degree to obtain a variety of entry and mid-level positions in several fields, including corrections and law enforcement.

You’ll encounter many of the same core classes if you decide to earn either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration. Here is a sampling of the course you might be expected to pass before earning your degree:

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Criminology
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Management Principles
  • Computer Applications
  • Criminal Investigation

Seeking a Bachelor’s degree allows students to specialize and explore a variety of courses that you simply don’t have the time to cover in a two-year associate’s degree program. Several universities expect their degree candidates to enroll in many of the following classes:

  • Criminal Justice Ethics
  • Managing Criminal Justice Organizations
  • Risk Management
  • Psychology for Law Enforcement
  • Criminal Justice Management Theory
  • Human Resources Development
  • Foundations of Criminal Evidence
  • Criminal Justice Administration

After completing the necessary coursework, it’s possible to dive directly into the job market and seek employment in the field. Once again, be aware that several employers will require prospective candidates possess at least a bachelor’s degree.

What to Expect After You Leave College

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts favorable job growth in the field of Criminal Justice Administration. This is due in part to a projected increase in America’s population and the continued need for well-educated professionals willing to uphold the law and protect their fellow citizens. When it comes time to actually find a job, many that possess a Criminal Justice Administration degree often focus on either the law enforcement or administrative aspects of their degree.

Basically, you can either choose to seek a career specifically in law enforcement, or focus your efforts on landing a position that utilize your administrative expertise. Usually this involves working as a social worker, corrections officer, parole or probation officer or in any number of government agencies. You’ll find that although many times you’re not directly in the proverbial line of fire, your career in criminal justice administration is fraught is potential risk, as you’re working with offenders or individuals recently released from prison. Keep this fact in mind when making any final determinations about obtaining your degree, or seeking employment in the field.

Earning Your Master’s Degree

No matter if you’re seeking a Masters in Criminal Justice, Master of Health Administration or a degree in any number of other related fields, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of earning your Master’s in Criminal Justice Administration before making this potentially costly financial investment. Healthcare administration and criminal justice are two of the hottest university majors, mostly because the job prospects and potential salaries are both highly favorable. This also means competition to secure the most lucrative positions is extremely fierce, which is where earning an advanced degree will give you a needed leg up on the competition.

Keep in mind that earning your degree is only one piece of the puzzle, especially when there are several other highly qualified candidates that possess the same credentials. It’s equally crucial to volunteer, accept an internship or gain employment experience to create a better-rounded resume.

This article was written by Alex Phelps who holds his degree in Special Education and is currently studying to become a board certified behavior analyst. Inspired by his brother and hero Jeff, it is Alex’s dream to work with children dealing with autism.

This post was written by A Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author byline.

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