Why Should I Study Criminal Justice Online?
Criminal justice degrees are available online through a number of institutions. These are rigorous, demanding online programs but not every program is perfect for every student. If you’ve been out of school for some time and you're used to working every day, and you're accustomed to the internet and navigating and interacting with people in a virtual environment then a criminal justice, if the subject interests you, is something you should consider. If you’ve never studied, and are worried about adjusting to a full time on-campus program, then an online degree in criminal justice is also a very good option. An online criminal justice degree from an accredited school will carry the same weight and qualify you for just as many employment opportunities as any offline degree but with a much more flexible study schedule.
What do I do with an online degree in Criminal Justice?
Most people assume that an online criminal justice degree qualifies you to be a cop. In fact a criminal justice degree is not always required to work at your county, city or municipal level. An online degree in criminal justice will help get your foot in the door and it will vastly increase your potential for job advancement. Most police departments have a more or less military-style hierarchy starting at the officer or corporal level and moving up to sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and finally the chief of police. Detectives are then employed in a parallel department and still larger departments will offer further areas of specialization like local patrols, SWAT or canine patrols and gang and narcotics enforcement areas. But advancing from any of these levels to the next one up requires a lot of work and an online criminal justice bachelors or master’s degree is a big step in the right direction.
Depending on the size of your locality or where you want to work, local criminal justice is only the beginning. Every state in the US employs troopers who may enforce traffic laws on state or interstate highways and they are trained to respond to emergencies and to assist local departments and there are again areas of specialization like security and investigation at higher levels.
At the federal level, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the U.S. Customs Service all employ criminal justice graduates. Many of them are now within the US Department of Homeland Security.
Earning your online criminal justice degree introduces you to crime prevention, law enforcement and senior and junior public offenders’ rehabilitation. Students of criminal justice are often presented with an option to train as localized security specialists with a view to moving into homeland security and those who complete a degree in criminal justice can expect a wide range of career choices with local, state and federal agencies or within the legal system.
An online criminal justice study program will typically include courses such as the following:
- Criminal Procedures
- Forensic Science
- Juvenile Justice
- Community Policing
- Hate Crimes & Groups
- Sex Crimes
- Law Enforcement Reporting & Recording
- Probation and Parole
- Ethics, Law, Psychology & the Justice System
All online criminal justice programs provide students with an informed perspective on the workings and components of the justice system at the local, state and federal levels. And whether you’re ultimate goal is an entry level job or to advance a career you’ve already begun, an online degree in criminal justice now makes studying and pursuing that career more possible and more convenient than ever before.
Written by James Tomon - Degree Jungle Staff Writer © Degree Jungle 2010
- Why Choose an Online Study Program? - Exploring Online Education Oct 05
- Choosing a MBA Program that's Perfect for your Career Goals - Exploring Online Education Nov 09
- Getting the Most from your Online Coursework - Exploring Online Education Jun 20
- Guide to Online Degrees in Nursing - Exploring Online Education May 03
- Get your Advanced IT Degree through Online Study - Exploring Online Education Jun 13