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Start a Career In Criminal Justice: Police, FBI, Forensics, and More

4 minute read

By natadm

Need a career change? A job in the criminal justice system could be just what you’re looking for.

To enter the exciting world of criminal justice, you’ll need a degree. Fortunately, online associate programs allow you to earn your degree in just two years, U.S. News1 reports. An online criminal justice degree opens so many opportunities, including more high-paying careers in criminology than are available to those without this degree.

Here’s why you should consider joining the field.

It Provides a Pathway to a Wide Variety of Careers

Once you earn a criminal justice degree, you’ll be qualified for an incredible array of careers. You’ll have the knowledge and the skill necessary to embark on a whole host of exciting job options. If you think criminal justice only includes jobs on the police force, you’re missing out. Some of the interesting and engaging jobs open to those who earn criminal justice degrees include:

Private Investigator: Private investigators can work both sides of justice to defend the innocent and serve justice on the guilty. You could investigate all types of crimes from a company’s financial irregularities to looking for missing persons.

FBI Agent: FBI agents work for the Department of Justice to investigate federal crimes. From crime sprees to financial crimes to murders, you could investigate crimes both small and local as well as national cases. In collaborative investigations, FBI agents usually take the lead on the case.

Fraud Analyst: Fraud analysts work in many environments such as banks, corporations, and government offices to uncover fraud. As a fraud analyst, you’ll work to solve problems, investigate crimes, and learn about aspects of the law.

Wildlife Warden: Wildlife wardens and conservation officers patrol parks, forests, lakes, national recreation areas, and other areas to prevent illegal hunting, abuse of animals, and damage to the environment.

Digital Forensic Analyst: These investigators gather computer data to investigate computer crimes, a rapidly growing area of criminal justice. Computer crimes include identity theft, fraud, computer hacking and other crimes where computers play an important role.

These are only a few of the job possibilities that you can explore once you earn a criminal justice degree. Other jobs in the criminal justice system include correction officers, prison staff, forensic artists, postal inspectors, customs and border protection officers, probation and parole officers, and secret service agents.

Jobs in Criminal Justice Get Great Benefits

Although many people assume working for the government means a smaller paycheck, that isn’t the case when you have a criminal justice degree. Criminal justice jobs in the public sector almost always offer better benefits than those in the private sector. The Congressional Budget Office, U.S. News² reports, conducted a study that found federal employees earn 16 percent more than comparable jobs in the private sector.

But your pay won’t be the only perk. Criminal justice specialists working within the public sector are also given generous benefits, like good health insurance, solid retirement benefits, and life insurance. Jobs in the public sector often also include paid training and education for those looking to advance their career, paid holidays and sick leave, and childcare discounts or allowances. When you’re ready to retire, you’ll continue to benefit from your criminal justice career too – according to The Economist³, those who retire from jobs in the public sector continue to earn anywhere from 60 percent to 100 percent of their salary for decades to come.

You’ll Have Job Security

Job security isn’t a worry in most criminal justice jobs because crime isn’t going to end. The rise in digital technology has also opened an entire new class of criminal activity. Computer crimes generate dozens of new careers for those who earn a criminal justice degree.

While new types of crime will keep you busy in the criminal justice field, the growing crime rates will also increase the need for criminal justice professionals – especially those with degrees. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics⁴ reports that demand for criminal justice employees will grow 7 percent in the next 8 years alone. Once you’ve found the right job for you, you can expect to hold onto it. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics5 points out that there’s little turnover in the criminal justice field. Once people earn a job, they stay for decades and progress through the ranks.

Make a Difference and Enjoy Greater Job Satisfaction

If you want to make a difference that you can see in your career, consider criminal justice. All you need to get started is to earn a degree in the field – which you can easily do online thanks to the increasing availability of online classes and college programs.

Criminal justice careers are wide open when you earn a college degree, and an undergraduate degree in criminal justice can be earned online, which makes it more affordable and flexible. You can start making a real difference in the world or your community today by pursuing a degree in criminal justice at any accredited online college.