Blake Lafond answers your questions about pursuing a criminal justice degree and picking the right school. See what other prospective criminal justice students have asked or contact us with your own questions.
Getting into the top colleges does not need to be a nerve-wracking experience. There are different requirements for admission into universities for every type of certificate and degree, but you should expect to supply your transcripts and letters of recommendation with each application.
A top degree will prepare you to help prevent crime and to deal with it when it does occur. You can earn a traditional or online degree at every level of education.
Although traditional and online programs do not need to be accredited, you need to find a program that will place you in an internship while you are completing your coursework. The best program will also provide you with career resources to help you find a job when you graduate.
Choosing the best schools will depend on your area of interest and career goals. But no matter your interests, remember that you should only attend accredited online schools or accredited brick-and-mortar programs that provide you with a chance to practice hands-on skills.
If you are restricted by time or location, you might consider taking some of your classes online. The best classes teach you a combination of knowledge and skills that you can apply in a number of different careers.
A certificate is shorter and less expensive than a full degree program. But even the best certificate programs will not qualify you for a job in the field on their own, so you should be prepared to earn more education if you want a criminal justice job.
Although it will not prepare you for many jobs, an accredited associate degree will introduce you to the most important ideas in the field. You can earn a traditional degree from a brick-and-mortar school or earn an online associates degree.
If you want to gain a broad education in the field, consider earning a traditional or online bachelor degree. Online study isn’t for everyone, but if you choose this option, remember that the best bachelors degree online programs offer internships so you can learn practical skills along with criminal justice theory.
If you want to advance your career, 1 of the best things you can do is earn a higher degree from the top graduate programs in the nation. Make sure that you know what you are getting into when you apply for accredited graduate schools, because you will be facing a major change in your lifestyle if you go to grad school.
Although a masters degree is not necessary to find a job in this field, you may be able to advance your career by earning a higher degree. If you decide to pursue this option, remember that attending a traditional brick-and-mortar school is preferable to even the best online masters programs.
The highest level of education available in this field is a doctorate. Since this degree is intended for people who want to teach and conduct academic research, the best PhD programs are from brick-and-mortar institutions that allow you to practice teaching undergraduates as you earn your PhD.
Many jobs are available for trained applicants. However, your degree doesn’t have to be in criminal justice, because you can qualify for criminal justice careers with education in other subjects as well.
Although you can get many jobs in this field without them, certifications can enhance your resume and help you to get a promotion. Before you pursue a certification, you need to understand the differences between professional certification, state licensing and academic certificates.
Giving a figure like the average salary can be very misleading because of the range of careers that fall under this general term. It is best to look at salaries as they relate to the specific career that you are interested in rather than across the entire discipline.