Earn Your Criminal Justice Degree with Online Study

Criminal justice careers are one of the more recent career fields to become available through online study; it is now possible to earn even a Ph.D. in criminal justice online, something that was once reserved for those with lots of money for graduate study and time to fulfill a college residency requirement.

Like the medical field, criminal justice has seen an explosion of specializations ranging from police work to homeland security. Depending on the specific job and the level of education, careers in criminal justice could range from about $24,000 per year to over 6 figures.

You can find a job in a criminal justice field with any level of college education beginning with an associate degree—a paralegal, for example. However, most criminal justice majors have at least a bachelor’s degree, and those who want the higher salaries go on for masters’ and doctoral degrees. read more »

Browse all Schools offering an online degree in Criminal Justice

Ideas for Criminal Justice Careers

You may be wondering just what you could do with a criminal justice degree—other than becoming a police officer, lawyer or judge. It may surprise you to know that many politicians have degrees in criminal justice; since serving in a political arena requires an understanding of laws and how they are administered, developed and passed, the criminal justice degree makes an ideal springboard for getting into politics.

A concentration in law enforcement could allow you to become an insurance fraud investigator, an immigration officer, or a crime scene investigator. You could be a probation officer, a forensic psychologist, or even a CIA agent. The following list provides additional ideas for making use of a degree in criminal justice.

Program of Study

The actual courses you will take will depend on the university you choose and the particular area of specialization. Assuming, however, that you will at least complete a bachelor’s degree, any criminal justice degree program will require courses in U.S. law enforcement, criminology, criminal investigation, and community relations. You will also take psychology classes in which you will study behavior that leads to criminal activity. You will study criminal justice theories, administration, and operations, practices and processes with regard to legal standards. Many programs require you to attend actual courtroom proceedings and write follow up reports. You will also write analytical essays and may have the opportunity to engage in online, interactive debates about past and current legal issues.

Criminal justice is a vast field with almost as many possibilities as a business career, so it is impossible to determine exactly what you will be doing and what salary you will make. However, those with bachelor and advanced degrees make very attractive salaries. A high level paralegal, for example, can make $80,000 while a mediator might make well over $100,000 per year.

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