A Criminal Justice Degree Is Just the Beginning

There are many misconceptions out there about earning a degree in criminal justice and what to do once you’ve earned this degree. Are you interested in a career in law enforcement, homeland security, crime labs, law offices or becoming a paralegal, security patrol officers, private detectives, safety officers, immigration services, or even some of the federal government bureaucracies , you may want to start by doing some research into the kind of degree that you may need. Many of these careers will suggest that graduating from one of the many criminal justice schools out there will be a great start on your way to one of these exciting career choices.

Different Types of Degrees in Criminal Justice

So you are considering a career in criminal justice, but do you know where to start on this new journey? Researching what you will learn through earning a criminal justice degree is a good start. If you choose to start off slow with a certificate program, you may receive training for a specific job in the criminal justice industry such as a crime scene technician. This kind of degree will give you the basics and give you a better idea of whether you will like the career you are choosing. An associate’s degree in criminal justice will take you approximately two years to complete and might give you more technical skills than a certificate degree. If you are thinking about a career as a police officer, an associate’s degree, at minimum, is required in most states. If you are unsure of where you want to start, but know you want some sort of criminal justice degree, an associate’s degree is a good place to start because you will most likely be able to transfer your college credits towards a bachelor’s degree one day.

Embrace the Convenience of an Online Degree

Obtaining a degree from one of the many criminal justice schools is more convenient now than ever before due to the abundance of online colleges and universities out there. It used to be that you had to stop what you were doing with your life, whether it was a full-time job or taking care of a family, in order to go back to school full-time. Maybe people chose to work by day and take classes by night, but between the driving, commuting and potential emergencies that made you miss class, a lot of students didn’t think it was worth the money to go back to school and live that sort of lifestyle. These days, you can get an online degree from a college while working either part- or full-time where you don’t have to worry about missing class or commuting. You can choose when to learn the material and when to take the tests. If you’re choosing an online criminal justice degree, then you can go at your own pace and you have access to resources at your fingertips.

Further your Education, Know the Next Steps

Once you’ve completed your criminal justice degree, you may need to pursue further education. This will all depend on the career of your choice and you will learn what you need to survive once you look into those different careers. Especially if you choose to pursue an associate’s degree, there may be further studies upon completion. Nevertheless, you will be well on your way to a career of your choice whether it be law enforcement, homeland security, a federal investigative agency, or working in law as a paralegal or legal assistant. Make sure to study hard while in taking classes and ask a lot of questions.Your career advancement depends upon your determination.

Sierra Martinez is a Marine Corps wife, mother of one and a writer. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communications and a focus in Public Relations.