Associate Degree in Criminal Justice - Take a stand against crime

Obtaining an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice prepares the graduate to enter the workforce in several different career fields. Graduates can enter law enforcement, emergency dispatch, probation, corrections, government and private security, and more. The courses provide the students with a basic understanding of criminal behavior, legal and police jargon, ethics, interpersonal communications and public policy.

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According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations Uniform Crime Reports, from 1997 to 2006 the violent crime rate decreased by 22.5% and the property crime rate decreased by 22.7%. This substantial decrease in crimes can be attributed to an increase in the number of policing agencies and criminal justice employees within the United States. As crimes increased in specific areas, security and police agencies hired more people to saturate troubled areas in order to decrease the ability of offenders to commit crimes. One of the most effective means of deterring criminal activities is to make a strong police/security presence known. The need for larger police forces has made the demand for criminal justice graduates rise.

Many state police forces now require a minimum of a two year degree in order to apply for the State Police/Trooper force. Obtaining a associate degree in Criminal Justice should be a must for anyone wishing to enter either a local, state or government level of law enforcement. Having advanced knowledge of criminal justice will put the graduate ahead of other applicants that do not possess a degree.

There are so many opportunities for employment available to the criminal justice graduate. If police work is not your focus, then you can pursue a career with a number of other possible employers. There are many security forces out there that need employees, or perhaps a career as a correctional officer at a local, state or federal level would better suit you. Another avenue is working for insurance companies as a claims and/or fraud investigator.

Many people do not enter this field to “get rich.” People join the field of criminal justice because they love the work. In the past, this field has not been known for its great pay scale, but today’s criminal justice careers can provide a comfortable living for graduates. According to graduates can expect to earn the following national median salaries for these careers:

  • Police or Sheriffs Patrol Officer: $45,146
  • Probation Officer or Correctional Treatment Specialist: $35,610
  • Director, Security (Physical, Personnel, grounds): $60,984
  • Operations Manager: $49,264
  • Security Manager: $53,502
  • Claims Adjuster/Examiner/Investigator: $44,026
  • Detective or Criminal Investigator: $63,671

Already have a career but need a change? Can’t afford to stop working to pursue an education? With the advent of online classes, most colleges now offer degrees via online studies. The student can attend class from their own home, when it is convenient for them. Students can now maintain full-time employment while pursing their degrees because they no longer have to attempt to work around a campus based class schedule. A student can now earn an associate degree in Criminal Justice through the benefits of online education.

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