Types of Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Photo courtesy of Sean Tyler via Flickr

9/18/10 by Anthony Lin

An online criminal justice degree prepares students for positions in law enforcement, security services, immigration, homeland security, forensics, and other exciting fields that uphold law and justice in our society.  Although there are some opportunities for people to train on the job, an online Criminal Justice Degree gives job applicants a competitive advantage.  The following are the different types of online criminal justice degree programs available:

Associate Online Criminal Justice Degree

An associate’s degree in criminal justice typically requires 60 semester credit hours and takes two years to complete.  This degree program prepares students for entry-level positions in the criminal justice field.  After pursuing an associate’s degree and getting some experience on the job, people are often promoted into mid-management or supervisory positions.   To become more competitive candidates for managerial positions, many people with associate’s degrees in criminal justice pursue advanced degrees.

Bachelor Online Criminal Justice Degree

A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice provides graduates with a broad understanding of the criminal justice system as well as extensive knowledge of the social sciences.  For many positions in the criminal justice field, a bachelor’s degree has become the minimum requirement.  There are bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice that are designed for people who have already earned an associate’s degree in the field in addition to four year programs for high school graduates.  Graduates of bachelor online criminal justice degree programs can work in a variety of different environments, including prisons, law offices, law enforcement offices, policy agencies, and social welfare offices.

Master Online Criminal Justice Degree

A master’s degree in criminal justice prepares graduates for managerial, research, and advanced administrative positions in the criminal justice field.  Most master’s programs take two years to complete and provide graduates with advanced, specialized knowledge in a particular field of criminal justice.

Professionals who have several years of experience working in the criminal justice field often choose to pursue a master online criminal justice degree program to advance their careers.  With a master’s degree under your belt, you can move into a managerial position or go onto work in higher level criminal justice departments, such as those at the state or federal level.

Certificate in Criminal Justice

An online certificate program in criminal justice enables students to pursue coursework in specialized areas of criminal justice.  Most certificate programs require students to do an internship in order to get some experience working in the field.  Certificates in criminal justice prepare you to advance into investigative positions.  A certificate program is generally considered a supplemental program that students pursue while working towards an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, but it can also be pursued by itself and serve as a springboard for future studies in the field.

Are you considering a career in the criminal justice field?  Criminal justice graduates are qualified to work in a variety of exciting and rewarding positions that serve the greater good.  If you are interested in pursuing an online criminal justice degree, but you aren’t sure which program is suitable for your needs and career goals, stay tuned because we’ll be reviewing several different online criminal justice degree programs right here on IWantanEducation.com!

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