Online Criminal Justice Degree & Careers

Criminal Justice degree

Do you have strong feelings about truth and justice, and do you want to turn those passions into a rewarding career? If so, you may want to research the benefits of pursuing an online degree in criminal justice, which could help you pursue a job as a police officer, detective or other professional in the field of law enforcement.

With online criminal justice schools, you have the ability to attend flexible classes that may fit into your busy schedule. Moreover, this may acquaint you with many of the technologies and skills necessary to bringing criminals to justice and protecting innocent citizens. In the modern age, many criminals rely on cutting edge technology and innovative methods to break the law and jeopardize people's safety. With online criminal justice programs, you may explore how to combat these threats without compromising your other responsibilities.

 
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Is an Online Criminal Justice Degree for You?

Here are some things to consider when choosing an online criminal justice program:

  • Make sure the school offers classes designed to help you pass your intended agency's training academy, if you plan to join a specific program in criminal justice.
  • Many agencies and some police departments require college coursework or a degree. Find out if your prospective agency will accept an online degree in criminal justice from the school.
  • Many agencies require some level of experience - including cadet  or recruit training - before attaining a promotion to detective or to similar positions. Find out how an online degree may relate to this.

Criminal Justice Careers and Potential Salaries

When voyaging into the large world of criminal justice careers, you're bound to find an enormous variety of paths you may choose to pursue. Whether you're interested in becoming a specialist in narcotics, a detective in violent crimes or a police officer that works with citizens and the community face-to-face regularly, there may be careers in criminal justice that fit whatever passion you have. Here are some salary and job growth figures for nursing careers and specialties that will help you make your decision:

Police and Detectives[i]

These criminal justice professionals are likely the first ones you think of when imagining your future in the field. Their mission is to protect and serve innocent people and to maintain safety for people's lives and property.

  • See the BLS for median annual salary information
  • Job growth through 2022: 5% (slower than average)
  •  Entry-level education: High school diploma or equivalent

Private detectives and investigators[ii]

Private detectives and investigators work for particular clients. They analyze information, research particular people and help in legal, financial and personal matters. They are employed for everything from finding missing persons to investigating cybercrimes.

  • See the BLS for median annual salary information
  • Job growth through 2022: 11% (as fast as average)
  • Entry-level education: High school diploma or equivalent

Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists[iii]

Whereas private detectives and police officers may work to put criminals behind bars, probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work with these people after the fact to make sure they don't continue to commit crimes upon release.

  • See the BLS for median annual salary information
  • Job growth through 2022: -1% (little or no change)
  • Entry-level education: bachelor's degree

[i] bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm#tab-1

[ii] bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/private-detectives-and-investigators.htm

[iii] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm