How to Get a Masters in Criminal Justice Degree

For working adults returning to school to obtain a graduate level education in order to improve career options, the field of criminal justice is particularly suited to the online education format. There are many accredited degree programs to choose from and several of them are offered by top flight schools of criminology and criminal justice. The Masters in CriminalJustice is also an excellent academic choice for security professionals who are considering a career change from the public to the private sector or from a local agency to the federal ranks. There is a multitude of law enforcement agencies under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security and the best of them require a college degree. Virtually all of them prefer a graduate level degree for a management position.

Keiser University makes the Master of Arts in CriminalJustice available on its fourteen Florida campuses as well as online. The thirty six credit hour program format is designed in modules that allow flexibility for either full time or part time study. Keiser is one of the online schools that has devoted a great deal of effort to obtaining proper accreditation for all of its academic programs. The criminal justice graduate degree is a thirty six credit course of study that covers all of the critical management components for a criminal justice career: Forensic Psychology, Juvenile Justice, Court Systems, Correctional Systems and Management & Administration in Criminal Justice.

University of Colorado at Denver offers the Master of CriminalJustice degree through its School of Public Affairs, acknowledged as one of the best in the country. For Colorado residents the program can be a blend of online and on campus courses. For distant students the 100% online format has proven to be an effective full time or part time academic option. The core courses are focused on the foundation elements of criminal justice theory and practice. The electives provide opportunities to focus on domestic violence, homeland security, police administration or research. This program has graduated over forty police chiefs in the State of Colorado.

Grand Canyon University is a campus based school in Arizona that has developed an impressive online presence with a wide variety of accredited degree programs. There are two Master of Science in CriminalJustice options offered in this program: emphasis on law enforcement and emphasis in legal studies. The law enforcement option is clearly designed for police personnel or professionals from other security agencies who have found that a graduate degree is the key to further advancement. The program with electives in legal studies is appropriate for those who wish to move into management in the fields of probation, corrections or court administration.

University of Cincinnati has one of the top three criminaljustice programs in the nation, a failsafe choice if you want to obtain your online Masters in Criminal Justice from a top tier academic institution. The distance learning program is structured into sixteen courses offered over the course of eight twelve week quarters, or two full years. This program is an academic challenge but will lead to a gold standard graduate degree in the field. There is also a one year accelerated program for criminal justice professionals who meet the prerequisites for academics and work experience.

South University has four options for specialization in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice offered online. Two of them, Corrections and Public Administration, are clearly for professionals wishing to advance through the traditional channels leading to senior criminal justice management positions. The other two, Cyber Crime and Homeland Security, are options for experienced criminal justice professionals to move into career areas that are relatively recent and still growing.

The Benefits of Getting a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice

It is said that real learning starts at the graduate level of education. At this level, you are required to do more in-depth research and study. Society expects more out of you.

But are there benefits for the individual that embarks on this level of study? The answer is indeed yes. In this article, I discuss the benefits of getting a graduate masters degree in criminal justice.

With no particular importance attached to the order of presentation, they are:

1. A master’s degree in criminal justice prepares you for leadership, administrative, and management positions in the criminal justice system. You will become a leader, administrator, and manager of such criminal justice systems as the courts, correctional facilities, law enforcement organizations, private and public security organizations.

This gives you the power to chart the direction of such organizations. You will set the pace for other criminal justice personnel. You will be looked upon to set ethical standards and develop new methods of tackling criminal justice problems and issues.

This is just reward for attaining this level of education. It is a position and benefit that should not be taken lightly. The right person will use it to become an agent of change for the good of society.

2. It goes without saying that being leader, administrator, and manager of criminal justice organizations comes with the benefit of more money. A master degree holder makes $61,000 per year to start. This is compared to about $58,000 per year for a bachelor degree holder. When you attain the leadership position I discussed above, you stand to make well over $100,000 per year. A master degree in criminal justice does indeed have its rewards.

3. A masters degree in criminal justice gives you the opportunity to specialize in one area of criminal justice. While a bachelor degree program is broad in nature, a master degree program gives you the chance to become an expert in one area of criminal justice.

For example, you can get a masters degree in criminal justice with specialization in corrections. Your research and study will give you the opportunity to do in-depth study and analysis of the correctional system. Needless to say, with this type of in-depth study, you will come to be an expert in corrections.

This will put you in a position to benefit as your opinion is sought in issues relating to corrections. You maybe called to give your expert opinion in legal and legislative issues concerning corrections. You can make money as a consultant in such situations.

There you have it…..the benefits of getting a masters degree in criminal justice. What I have outlined above is by no means exhaustive. There are other benefits to getting this degree. Covering all of them is beyond what I can do in this short article. If you are still interested in finding out more benefits of getting a master degree in criminal justice, I urge you to look into it some more. You can do this by visiting websites that deal with the subject in more detail.

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How to Research the Right Criminal Justice School For You

Do you see yourself in the uniform of a police officer or as a forensic technician? Have you decided to either work as a paralegal or a private detective? Are you daring and passionate about getting into the crime scene and making a change? If the answer to all these questions is “Yes” then you should enroll yourself in a criminal justice training program in one of the best schools. If you want to pursue your career as a criminal justice, you should choose the right justice school and get trained yourself for the course.

The training you will receive from a justice school is really going to help throughout your career in the criminal justice field. However, today deciding the right justice college is not an easy job. Often when you start researching, you may get confused by the sheer number of schools available. So the crucial factor is how to find the right one, since it will shape your whole career. Adding to this, the course you opt from the chosen school will in the end help you achieve your goals. Ultimately, you have to be careful while choosing your criminal justice school. If you are one of those who are still confused regarding where to pursue your career in criminal justice and how to search school, then here are a few options which can help you through-

Organizations and Associations – There are various criminal justice organizations and associations in the United States that may offer guidance to students regarding the various school options available at a certain place. If you as a student want to go for a justice program, you can discuss and place your preference in front of the people of the organizations, who will accordingly give you advice. In the United States, nowadays the university offices also provide lists of schools having specific programs.Therefore you can choose from the lists according to your own eligibility criteria.

Education Counselors – Education counselors are experts and experienced people in any concerned field, be it criminal justice or any other field. They can guide you perfectly through the plethora of justice schools according to how and where you want to study. They have extensive knowledge on the subject of your choice and can help you find and choose the right school.

Local libraries and archives- Local libraries and archives can be the other best place to find the information you need. Since these options are the storehouses of information, therefore they can easily help you in selecting the perfect justice school according to your needs. Libraries containing various books are the storehouse of information and as such have many lists which also give you varied options to choose from.

Internet and websites – Search the net and surf through different educational websites.This will give you an insight into the various justice schools available under the subject of your choice. Educational portals, online directories and various websites are few storehouses of information and may facilitate your research. Once you search the web for various justice schools, you will receive more accurate results and it will give you hundreds of options to choose from.

These above mentioned points can really help you get over your confusion and find the right school to enroll regarding your criminal justice program. These are the best possible and quick ways to achieve your desired results and ultimately start a successful career in the field of justice.

Criminal Justice Colleges

There are numerous criminal justice colleges to select from. They offer different kinds of programs to those who wish to pursue this discipline. You have a wide range of options, so it is definitely worth outlining the criteria you will use to choose the right one.

Choose the right school for you in line with the degree you want to pursue. If you want to earn an associate’s degree, you should look for a community college or another post-secondary education school that offers such programs. If you want to earn a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, you need to focus your attention on the liberal arts colleges and universities.

The next factors to consider are your individual circumstances. Do you have a job that you need to keep? Do you have small children to look after? Can you afford to move to another town to study? There are many criminal justice colleges that offer flexible training courses that can match the requirements of those who need to attend classes when they are free from work and to those who cannot afford to move. You can readily select to have evening or weekend classes instead of going to school full time. You can also consider only educational institutions that offer only online training. This option will allow you to study where you want, when you want and for how long you want.

The teaching quality, the available learning resources and the quality of education in general are also important criteria to base your choice on. It is a good idea to narrow down the range of criminal justice colleges that fit your main criteria and research each one in greater detail. Learn more about the instructors, the qualifications and experience. Find out whether you will have access to a library, to online materials and to different facilities necessary for your training, such as laboratories. It is also recommended to find out more about the graduates of each school. How did they do in comparison to students from other schools? How many of them got a criminal justice job after graduation? What are their positions? How much are they earning?

You need to focus on the actual educational program next. Check whether all fundamental subjects will be covered in the program. These should include criminology, law, psychology, sociology, social studies and political studies. The programs usually include forensics as well. There are many specialization classes to select from, so if you want to specialize in a discipline, such as criminal detention, for instance, you should look for the precise course. Check how much special training you will get and whether it will be sufficient for qualifying for the position that you want.

Last, but not least consider the cost of education in the different criminal justice schools. The tuition fees for a program can be between $10,000 and $30,000 per year. In general, irrespective of the cost of education, you may want to look for financial aid in advance. Grants and scholarships are readily available from the Federal government as well as from local governments and institutions, which are part of the criminal justice system.

Get A Criminal Justice Degree Online For An Exciting Career

Earning a Criminal Justice Degree Online opens a door to a vast array of career choices in what is considered the Criminal Justice field. At its most basic, Criminal Justice is the study of crime prevention and punishment of offenders and utilizes the resources of law enforcement, judiciary, corrections and probation.

Employment as a law enforcement or legal professional usually requires at least a Bachelors Degree in CJ, Psychology or Social Work, or other related field. There are Associates Degrees that may offer an opportunity for employment in some aspect of the Criminal Justice field as well. Working towards a Criminal Justice Degree Online will involve similar course work as a traditional degree program. Some of the areas of specialization are below:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Probation
  • Corrections
  • Forensics
  • Homeland Security
  • Immigration
  • Private Security

The most popular fields within CJ field are easily law enforcement and corrections from the local level all the way to the federal level. Computer Forensic Science is becoming more and more popular and even the legal field is considered part of the CJ system. In fact, an Online Paralegal Degree offers a great way to get a foot in the door to a career in Criminal Justice. That being said, a Criminal Justice Degree online might offer a minor emphasis in paralegal studies or even social work or forensics.

Colleges that offer a Criminal Justice Degree Online range from an Associates Degree program to a Masters Degree program. An Associates Degree might be satisfactory for some careers in CJ but most schools recommend a Bachelors level education. Some of the aspects of Criminal Justice that are taught in an online Criminal Justice program are theory and history, sociological factors and the impact on communities and individuals

The great thing about Online College Degrees in general is the tremendous flexibility afforded to students in regards to homework, class attendance and testing. There are two basic types of online classes, Synchronous and Asynchronous. Synchronous classes mirror actual on-campus classes in respect to class attendance and testing. Asynchronous classes are becoming much more common and do not typically follow a daily schedule of attendance or a specific time to take and complete an examination. Students are usually afforded a period of time to complete any coursework or homework as well as examinations or presentations.

Online degree programs allow students the opportunity to get a college education while at the same time, fulfilling work and family obligations that might otherwise make it impossible to attend college. Often these students are already employed in their field of interest and giving up a job to go to school would certainly be counter productive to long-term career goals.

Earning a Criminal Justice Degree Online gives a graduate numerous avenues of possible specialty emphasis and employment opportunities.