The Benefits of Getting an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice

The field of criminal justice is exploding with career opportunities. This was brought about by the events of September 11, 2001. The explosion has led a lot of people to be interested in the various careers in the profession. What these people find out after they start exploring for career opportunities in the field is that some form of education is required to get some of the jobs in the profession.

One of the degrees anyone interested in a career in criminal justice can get is associate degree in criminal justice. This degree will help a career seeker in criminal justice fulfill the education requirements needed to get a job in the profession. Therefore, in this article, I will explain the benefits of getting an associate degree in criminal justice.

In no particular order, they are:

1. An associate degree in criminal justice will help you get an entry level job in the profession. While it is not an absolute necessity that you get this degree, there is no doubt that it will give you a leg up on your competition.

Let’s say you are interested in joining the police department in your town. Who do you think will be given preference in the hiring process, a high school graduate or somebody with an associate degree in criminal justice? I think there can be no doubt that somebody who made the commitment to study criminal justice will most likely get hired over the high school graduate.


The reason is obvious. While both candidates will go through the police academy training, the one with the associate degree is better equipped to succeed in such training. This is because the courses taught in the associate degree program will cover some if not most of what will be taught in the training.

2. Somebody with associate degree in criminal justice will command more salary than somebody with high school diploma. People with associate degree make about $40,000 per year while high school diploma holders make $26, 000 per year. This is a difference of $14,000 per year. So getting your associate degree in criminal justice does pay.

3. An associate degree in criminal justice takes fewer years to complete than a bachelors degree in criminal justice. An associate degree will take you about 2 years to complete compared to a bachelor’s degree that will take you 4 years to complete.

I can hear you say but the bachelor degree holder will make more money than the person with an associate degree. This is indeed true. But, an associate degree is perfect for those that do not have 4 years before they can start earning a pay. And as I said above, it can get you in the door of a criminal justice career faster than a high school diploma. It is a good degree to start a career.

I have covered just a few of the benefits of earning an associate degree in criminal justice. There are other benefits to getting this degree. Covering all of them is beyond what I can do in this short article. I encourage you to continue to expand your knowledge of the benefits of getting associate degree in criminal justice. You can do this by visiting websites that deal with the subject in more detail.

Note: You are free to reprint or republish this article. The only condition is that the Resource Box should be included and the links are live links.

Choosing a Criminal Justice School

If you are keen on being part of the law enforcers, you would need to get yourself a criminal justice degree. This degree is offered by criminal justice schools that will prepare you well for a career in this field. There are several considerations you should make in order to find the best school for yourself.

The most important thing to decide on would be the type of criminal justice program. There should be a number of programs available, but you should choose an area of major that most interests you so that you can narrow your options to find the schools with the best ones around. Furthermore, this will help you decide on what type of electives you may need to take later, so you can plan them ahead of time.

It is also important that you find a school that is accredited, as their programs are credible and up to par. Alongside with that, you could look for quality and reputable ones as they are usually the best ones around to aid you throughout the years studying. Apart from that, you can take into considerations of the school’s size, location, teaching style and environment, student services and activities, job placement programs, or anything at all that can affect your decision.

The overall fee and approximate expenditure should be a deciding factor. If cost is an issue, you could look for less expensive ones, or apply for scholarship or student loans. The tuition fee does not exactly dictate the quality of the lessons, just the access to things, so do not worry too much about attending schools with cheaper tuition.

All in all, there are many good schools, but matching your personal preferences and needs to them will find you the best one for yourself. Do not succumb to pressure when deciding or you might find yourself with difficulties later on. Criminal justice program can be a breeze if you find the right one.

Criminal Justice is a Hot Career Category

It is a sign of our times that there is a heightened interest in careers in criminal justice that coincides with a growing need for criminal justice professionals. The unfortunate events of September 11, 2001 has resulted in much greater awareness of our vulnerability as a free society while television shows such as “Forensics Files” and “CSI” have presented new insights into the science of solving crimes. Both of these factors are prompting individuals to explore career possibilities in criminal justice and the necessary educational requirements to launch a successful career.

Homeland Security

In order for citizens of the United States to remain secure within our own borders, it requires a massive organizational effort that results in homeland security efforts that take place at the national, state and local levels. These efforts do not focus exclusively on terrorist threats but also address the security implications of natural disasters and medical emergencies. Systems and procedures must be in place to respond aggressively and maintain order should an event take place or circumstances develop that threaten the health and safety of our communities. The scope of these efforts has resulted in the need for trained professionals at the level of first responders (police, firefighters, EMTs, etc.) to experts on emergency management to analysts and investigators. Departments within the government that require trained individuals in criminal justice and homeland security include:

o U.S. Department of Homeland Security
o Federal Bureau of Investigations
o Central Intelligence Agency
o U.S. Department of Labor
o U.S. Department of State
o Federal Emergency Management Agency
o U.S. Coast Guard
o U.S. Secret Service

In addition there are many positions within state and local government that require people with special skills and training to support homeland security efforts. These include investigators, analysts, IT specialists, telecommunications experts, biochemists and auditors to name just a few. And this doesn’t even begin to touch on the many positions that exist within corporate and non-profit organizations.

Crime Scene Investigation

Television has a way of compressing timelines and glamorizing every aspect of even the grittiest crime and police dramas. Even the most complicated crimes can be wrapped up in about an hour and most (but not all) of the time the good guys win. But in recent years the emphasis has shifted from the hard-nosed detective and the passionate prosecutor to the men and women who identify, collect and analyze the evidence that is used to build a solid case against criminals. And that evidence is not relegated to just blood spatter and bodily fluids. Criminal evidence can be collected from the hard drive of a computer or the financial records of a defendant as well as a speck of dust or a microscopic fiber. So, as you can see, the education and skills required for CSI positions may be broad at some levels but, for the most part are highly specialized.

There are some common personality traits of a crime scene investigator no matter what level of an investigation they participate in. Most are very focused, highly organized, quite analytical and pay excruciating attention to detail. Training may include psychology courses or ballistics testing depending on the area of interest of the investigator. Some CSI specialists thrive on the human element of the investigation while others are energized by the application of scientific principles to solve a crime. Either way, it takes a team of well-trained experts to put all of the pieces of a crime scene puzzle together to bring criminals to justice.

Education and Training

Institutions of higher learning throughout the nation have added degree programs and courses of study that are structured to assist aspiring and existing members of the criminal justice profession to advance their careers or become more specialized. Programs focused on criminal justice are available at colleges and universities as well as career and technical schools. There are various degree offerings including Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate programs. To accommodate working individuals, many of these schools offer criminal justice degrees online as well as on campus. While certain specialized areas will require lab training and classroom training, many of the courses can be taken at home.

The opportunities are numerous and homeland security and crime scene investigation are just two of the many professional paths within the criminal justice system.

Canadian Criminal Justice Schools

Are you inspired by the role of Crime investigators and feel you have the right traits to solve cases using sound judgment and deductive reasoning abilities? If so, you can go ahead and join a good reputable Canadian criminal justice school to kick start your career as a criminal investigator.

Canada happens to be an ideal educational spot for those who wish to pursue a course in criminal investigation. Due to the active role and funding provided by the state, federal as well the local government to their respective schools and colleges falling their purview, both quality and standard of education are quite high.

As per the Canadian law, education is compulsory for all till the age of 16. This applies to the whole of the land except for New Brunswick and Ontario (here the age limit is 18). Schooling in Canada is done for 190 days out of the 365 calendar days. The session for the New Year usually begins from September and continues till June of the following year. Canada happens to be an abode of innumerable colleges and schools offering a course in crime prevention and criminal justice. Canadian criminal justice schools aim to inculcate sound knowledge of criminal justice procedures and roles performed by respective law enforcement officials to ensure public safety.

If you have made up your mind to go ahead with this prestigious career, Canadian criminal justice schools offer a good platform for criminal justice studies. Given below is a list of the top 3 Canadian Criminal Justice Colleges:

CDI College at Surrey in British Columbia offers numerous courses in Law enforcement

Trios College which has branches all over Ontario Province, provides courses related to Law officers, police and security officers.

Everest College offers Paralegal courses that are recognized by both government agencies as well as law firms.

Besides these colleges, you can also find accredited programs offered in Paralegal courses as well as Legal administration at colleges in Manitoba, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

Since most of the educational policies are subject to change from time to time it is necessary to seek latest updates about the courses, fee structure and recognition of degrees before taking admission into a college. Students not only have the option of taking up regular courses but also can take up distance mode or online programs depending on their needs and priorities. Past records show that graduates from Everest College with a degree in paralegal programs are easily absorbed into the prestigious Canadian Department of Justice, banks, private owned law firms and real estate

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.