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.

Top 10 Industry Associations in Criminal Justice

Individuals working in the criminal justice field have many organizations they can turn to for assistance, information, professional guidance, networking and many other purposes. Whether you have gone through school and received your degree already or not, it’s important to network with various associations in the justice field. These associations range from student groups you can join in school to industry organizations you can become a part of once you have your degree. The following are considered the top 10 industry associations in justice field:

  1. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences: This international association has been fostering professional and scholarly activities in the field since 1963.
  2. American Criminal Justice Association (Lambda Alpha Epsilon): Students who are still in school and practicing professionals can join this association. It exposes new justice policies, procedures, technology, training, and education programs.
  3. American Board of Criminalistics: This is a collection of regional and national associations representing forensic scientists. E association has member representatives that can provide information about the board, certification examinations, proficiency testing, and more.
  4. International Association for Counterterrorism and Security Professionals: This association is concerned with tackling the challenges facing the free world and supporting professional ethics in these fields.
  5. International Association of Professional Security Consultants: The IAPSC is a consulting association with strict member guidelines. This means clients who select a consultant from this group know they are working with the best of the best.
  6. International Association for the Study of Organized Crime: Criminologists, researchers, working professionals, teachers, and students make up this information-driven association.
  7. National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice: This nonprofit justice association is a multi-ethnic and non-partisan group that is concerned with promoting positive changes and increased opportunities in the field.
  8. National Criminal Justice Association: The NCJA is a special interest group standing up for the issues of crime control and public safety for every state. This association also offers support with justice and public safety issues for the National Governors’ Association.
  9. United States Department of Justice: The Department of Justice enforces the law and defends the interests of the United States in order to protect public safety and homeland security.
  10. American Bar Association- CJ Section: This member-based organization is responsible for the ABA’s efforts to solve criminal, legal, and administrative problems in the justice field.