So You Want a Criminal Justice Career?

There are very few careers in today’s economy that offer as much employment security as law enforcement. A criminal justice degree creates an excellent foundation for anyone who is seriously considering a career in the industry. Many states require its officers to have a minimum of an associate degree, often offered at the community college level.

Criminal justice degrees are also well established at most traditional four-year universities. Major universities do not operate as criminal justice schools per se, but most colleges have a criminal justice program as a subset of the Sociology department. Always remember that criminal justice originates from a social need, as opposed to a legal need. This validates the broad application of criminal justice degrees, as many of the individuals working in the myriad government agencies have begun or upgraded their employment paths in this manner.

The curriculum in the bachelor degree programs tend to be more comprehensive and will often supply a better understanding of the process and the underlying social compact theories that impact the need for the combination of enforcement agencies. This is not to imply that many individuals have not been very successful by combining two-year criminal justice degrees with previous experience in the industry.

With the explosion of the internet, we have also seen an increase in the number of online schools that deal specifically with the academic area and may offer a better “hands on” training than the purely academic universities. For the student who is intent on this type of career, the streamlined programs may be more appropriate.

Another consideration for online criminal justice training is the opportunity to study at home, within the limits of the student’s personal time. Many students also work while “attending” classes and the latitude to study at home without the distractions that formal schools present can be a very important feature. The students are often already working in the criminal justice field at the entry level and doing professional upgrade to establish a better opportunity for advancement. Normally, promotions in this arena are done within the rank and file of the particular agency, though that is not always the rule.

For an individual to begin their criminal justice career in a managerial position they are normally only considered if they have at least a bachelor’s degree. But, that is not always the case. This area of education is commonly filled with non-traditional students. A non-traditional student is someone who does not enter college immediately upon high school graduation. There has been a general and steady increase in non-traditional education since the implementation of the NAFTA treaty, normally due to the current bleak employment landscape.

This scenario is also another reason for anyone to pursue this endeavor. Regardless of the national employment climate, there is a pressing need for workers in the law enforcement field. Many people do not want the pressure or danger that may be associated with this type of career, which lessens the competitive nature of any discipline. Every established community in America, regardless of size, has a need for trained individuals who understand the law in terms of authority and the rights and liberties of every citizen.

For the individual who has already been trained in legal protocol through the agency in which they work, like a local police department requiring each of its ranking officers to have a basic training certificate, a criminal justice degree serves to enhance the capability of the individual. It helps to establish a proven track record, along with the proof of an individual’s personal drive and seriousness. The ability to complete a long-term project simply for the improvement of personal qualification is often the most impressive accomplishment of any student.

Employment in the criminal justice system is regularly considered to be a government occupation, though that may not always be the case. There are many private corporations around the world who hire special company agents specifically for the purpose of internal control. Private sector specialists are prized employment opportunities and generally stem from previous experience in the field.

Regardless of public or private sector, there are few careers more noble or exciting.

Criminal Justice Schools Admissions Information

Earning or attaining a degree in the criminal justice is one of the best and most appropriate ways to get into law enforcement. The important factor to consider is that in the field of justice, there are a number of degree paths that one can pursue, like a certificate, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. Adding to this, the advanced or master’s degrees in justice are generally not available in all the justice schools. However, one may not deny the fact that the initial and actual step toward getting a justice degree starts from the training and education that you receive from the justice school. Enrolling yourself in the justice program can aid you fulfill your dream of working in the law enforcement or even the FBI. Though there are few important things and information regarding the admission procedure that you need to be aware of. No doubt, a degree in justice puts you on the fast track to an exciting and rewarding career, but there is some important information you must know before you enroll or get into a particular justice school.

Criminal Justice Admissions Process for Two-year programs: If you are looking forward to work as a forensic technician or even as a paralegal, you can easily enroll into the two-year associate degree level. Now to have an admission or get into justice school for two year program, you may normally require a GED or high school diploma. Adding to this, all you will require is to enroll and declare a criminal justice major. Recognize that at times there are waiting lists for popular programs, so if your name does not appear in the first list try to have patience and wait for the next list.

Criminal Justice Admissions Process for Four-year programs: The admission process of getting into a college justice program for a four year program can be more competitive. Though a high school or community college GPA plays a big role getting into criminal justice school, but it’s not the only factor that matters in your application for a four year program. To get into a justice school for a four year program you may also require to take the SAT or ACT. Adding to this, you may even require writing an admission essay. In this admission essay, you may require to describe your interest in criminal justice. Adding to this, you may also require submitting the letters of recommendation. Moreover, the next key elements that can easily draw attention to your application are the proper and authenticate evidence of extracurricular involvement. If it’s possible for you, try to attach those evidence that can demonstrate your community mindedness, and responsibility. These are traits that can attest to your readiness to be a criminal justice major.

Criminal Justice Admissions Process for Graduate programs: Graduate programs are very discipline and specific, and especially vital if you aim to apply for a doctoral degree. Here you may require the comprehensive letter of recommendation that speaks a lot about you regarding your skills or potential as a graduate student in criminal justice. Apart from this, depending upon the program, at times you may require take or appear for the GRE and try to score high. Try to score high, if you aimed to get admission at competitive target schools.

Moreover, while you write your statement of purpose, be very focused and specific in describing what you wish to study as a graduate criminal justice major. This statement of purpose is very important, because every admission committee member reviews every candidate through this statement. It helps in determining whether the interests of a student actually fit into the strengths of a program or not. Make sure you don’t leaves your statement to the last minute. Besides this, also give attention to your letters of recommendation and the personal statement.

Today though, the admission process in justice school generally takes time than many of us think, but a proper effort following proper procedure can help you get into the right education platform.

How to Research Financial Aid and Scholarships For Criminal Justice School

Are you one of those who are looking forward to getting an admission into one of the best criminal justice schools but thinking more about the tuition and admission fees then its time to say bye to your worries. To get into the best justice school you don’t always requires having huge bank balance. Today with the easy availability of various options like financial aids and scholarships you can effortlessly apply for justice school. Usually, scholarships are fundamentally free money from public or private sources that you may not require to repay. Though at times, they require you to meet certain set of definite eligibility criteria. So, if you are thinking about getting a criminal justice scholarship then it is not at all as tricky as it may appear.

As with any discipline, the foremost step to start your criminal justice financial aid and scholarship research is to find an organization that generally offers scholarship, college grants or loans to young aspirants in the criminal justice area of study. The best and feasible way you can find the organization is by browsing through the internet and emphasizing on various keywords like the scholarships and financial aids for criminal justice degrees or funding for justice schools. These days, there are numerous sites available that you can easily browse and know what each organization requires from the applicant. This small yet essential step can help you a lot in saving a great deal from the refusal.

Once you surf different websites, you may easily find different scholarships and financial aid options out there. However, it is never that easy to keep yourself always up to date with the dates or norms of all of them. Consequently, the best possible way to achieve this is by preparing a calendar of scholarship/award applications and deadlines. This yet another easy and effective measure may further help you in ensuring that you never miss the deadline and streamline your research work. Apart from this, the next vital step for your research could be taking the note of the qualification criteria that are generally meant to be read before you apply for the financial aid. Make sure and investigate whether the scholarship or financial aid is designed for a particular program or all other specialized programs available in the field of justice.

Nevertheless, if during your scholarship research, you are promised to have a scholarship after paying some type of fee then never go for such sort of false promise. It is very important to note that no one can guarantee to award you any such type of scholarship.

Do not let yourself down. If you have a dream to make a career in the field of justice just go for it. Never think of applying scholarships or financial aids as you are begging for an aid. Today Criminal justice scholarships and financial aid are easily available! It’s up to you to take the initiative, research and find them.

Finding the Right Criminal Justice Masters Degree Program

Once you decide that a Criminal Justice Masters Degree program is right for you, the next step is to find a way to earn it. There are two main options available for those who wish to pursue this type of education. First, you can do so by going back to school and obtaining it in the same way you earned your bachelor’s degree program. This requires extensive training as well as being present within the school environment to obtain the degree. You need to attend a brick and mortar school. The second option is to enroll in an online program that offers the same types of courses and training but the benefit of being able to do it all at home rather than in the traditional classroom setting.

To make this decision, consider the benefits of an online program. You do not have to commute to and from the school to get your education. That means you invest less time in the actual learning process. You will get to learn from home, on your time and at your own pace. This means you can continue to do the things you want to do including work and take care of your family while you are earning your masters degree. However, you still have to commit the necessary time to the process. You cannot delay studying or put off taking the lectures because this will end up costing you significantly in actually earning the degree. If online learning is right for you, it may be the easiest option to getting your degree.

The next thing to consider about the Criminal Justice Masters Degree program you plan to take is which school to enroll in to obtain it. You will want to ensure the school is accredited. This means that the school has a curriculum that is recognized by the licensing board and educational board in your area. It means you are learning what you need to learn and you are getting the best possible education in the field. To ensure this, always take the time to learn about the school and select one that specializes in criminal justice programs.

In addition to this, you also need to consider what you will learn if you enroll in the criminal justice program at the masters degree level within the school. What makes this school the best option? It should offer the type of education you need to excel, which should include training in organizational administration, budget planning, professional ethics, media management and theories of crime prevention. At this level of education, you are not learning the basics but you are diving deeper into the elements of managing and working in administrative positions within the criminal justice world. There are new demands and a new type of job that you will need to complete in order to obtain these careers.

For those who are ready to earn their Criminal Justice Masters Degree program, look for a school that has a long history of providing excellent training in this field. Look for a program that offers experts on hand to help you to develop the type of curriculum that is right for you including the pace that fits your lifestyle. You also need to consider the financial aid options and the type of coursework learning available. The more you know about the program, the more effective this type of learning can be. A masters degree in this field can help you to obtain the level of education you need and help you to create the career path that is right for your goals, but you have to start by choosing the right school to get that education from.

Top Schools For Criminal Justice

The top schools for criminal justice should offer programs that are useful in the real world and programs that are appropriate for a variety of students including busy working adults. If you are a working adult, the following are considered by some experts to be the top schools:

  1. American Intercontinental University Online: This is one of the top schools because it offers an accommodating accredited program for AS and BS degrees with administration, forensics, law enforcement and special population specializations.
  2. Colorado Technical University: The criminal justice associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from this school provide excellent perspective on the theory and history of law enforcement, judicial system and human behavior fields.
  3. Everest College: This school offers comprehensive justice programs in 23 states and online, making it a convenient and affordable option.
  4. Heald College: The business administration department at this school offers degrees in criminology and criminal law with focuses on administration, business management and investigations.
  5. LA College International Online: If you want to begin working in the justice field in as little time as possible, this school is an excellent choice with its 18-month associate’s degree and 36-month bachelor of science program.
  6. Liberty University: This Baptist university offers a Bachelor of Science in justice covering constitutional procedure, criminology, ethics and juvenile justice.
  7. Rasmussen College: This East Coast school’s offerings include associate’s and bachelor’s degrees concentrating on correction, crime scene investigation and homeland security.
  8. University of Phoenix: This is one of the most well known online universities and is considered among the top schools for criminal justice with studies in criminal courts, criminology, cyber crime, forensics, juvenile justice, policing practices and more.
  9. Westwood College: You can find Westwood campuses in five states, where you can earn a Bachelor of Science in justice with concentrations on ethics, legal systems and sociology.

There are many other top criminal justice schools with more prestigious names, but these are considered the best for students living and working in the real world.