Friday, January 13, 2012

Dealing with a Criminal Justice Degree

The thing about a criminal justice degree is that it comes in various forms. When it comes to this, you can start off with the certificate degree. A certificate is handed to people who are able to last for the entire duration of the training course in a related field.

Usually, for certificate programs in criminal justice, what students learn about are the basic elements of the criminal justice field. There are some people who use these certificates to get jobs and then there are those who enroll in higher level degrees after getting their certificates. Apart from skills improvement, it is also possible to utilize these certificates if you want to get into a new field.

There was a time when all that was required for a career in law enforcement was a diploma in high school but this is no longer the case for police groups are now looking for applicants that have an associate’s degree in criminal justice. Complexities in the criminal justice system are responsible for this requirement. Basically, employers want the people on their team to be familiar with the topic that they are dealing with.

An associate’s degree takes two years to complete. Aside from exposing students to criminology, sociology, and psychology, this program will also help them develop their skills when it comes to criminal justice. The criminal justice system has technical aspects that have to be addressed and some associate’s degree programs focus on these.

Employers like the kind of dedication that applicants with bachelor's degrees have and this particular type of degree is the most basic one that can land you a job in the field of criminal justice. When it comes to law enforcement positions, roles as investigators or private detectives are really popular these days and if you have a degree, you can be an investigator or detective yourself. Many private investigators work with individuals or companies, solving mysteries or issues for clients, from crime cases to suspicious injury claims from workers.

Bachelor’s degree holders can work in a variety of criminal justice jobs such as FBI agents, probation or parole officer and even in administration positions in the judicial sector. The coursework of this degree program usually covers the same topics of the associate’s degree, such as court systems, crime control policies and law enforcement, but the bachelor’s level discusses these subjects in depth. This is the reason degree graduates can assume more complex job roles in the field.

The thing about a bachelor’s degree is that it takes 4 years to complete. There are several criminal justice programs that are offered by educational facilities like the John Jay College for Criminal Justice and some of these are deviant behavior, criminology, criminal justice, forensic psychology, and forensic science. If work is what you are interested in, you can get an entry level job the minute you get a bachelor’s degree but if you want to enroll in a high level degree in the same field, this can also be done.

Corrective and administrative positions in the judicial sector are available for students that have gained an expertise through their masters in criminal justice degrees. From jobs in social case working to those related with court officiating, such positions will be open to holders of masters in criminal justice degrees. Usually, criminal justice graduates work in social work and use their degree to advance in their careers.

When it comes to criminal justice, as a doctorate graduate, you can teach criminal justice in college. Much tougher than a masteral program in the same field is a doctoral degree in criminal justice. You have to submit a dissertation when it comes to this and apart from passing several exams and completing difficult course work, your writing and speaking skills will be graded as well.

Armed with a criminal justice degree, you can easily find work in the criminal justice system. You may join the sheriff, local police force or gang task force at the local level while at state level you can work for a crime lab, a prison, a state police department or in the courts. It is also possible for you to work privately for insurance agencies or security companies.

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