For many students planning to start a career in criminal justice, earning a degree online is very appealing option. Taking courses through an accredited online college allows working people to stay in their jobs and continue earning money while they earn their degree. This helps people with families and other responsibilities who might not have the free time or the resources to go back to college full time.
There are many colleges and universities that offer criminal justice degrees online for people just like you. You’ll need to choose the right online program for you, depending on your career goals, state of residence, and other personal needs. The best way to find the right program is to request information from a few and compare your options. Schools are happy to provide information about tuition costs, classes and curriculum, and financial aid. You can use this site to search for online degree programs as well as campus-based schools.
There are 3 main criminal justice degrees that students often pursue. The right degree for you depends on your prior education and career goals.
Online Associate Degree in Criminal Justice
Most law enforcement agencies in the U.S. require that officers hold at least some level of higher education. This makes an associate degree an excellent option for candidates who wish to start working as police officers as quickly as possible. Associates degree can be completed in 2 years at an online or campus school. They provide a great introduction to the workings of the criminal justice and legal systems.
Online Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
For criminal justice professionals that want to pursue further education, a bachelor degree in criminal justice is the next level. Credits from associate degrees can be transferred to bachelor degree programs, allowing students to progress from associate to bachelor in only 2 more years. New undergraduate students usually take 4 years to complete a bachelor degree. Holders of bachelor degrees in criminal justice are eligible to hold many higher ranking positions like warden, secret service agent, and deputy sheriff. Salaries for these jobs average around $70,000 per year.
Online Masters Degree in Criminal Justice
To pursue a masters degree in criminal justice, you need to already have a bachelor degree. Masters degrees usually take 2 years to complete. Holders of these prestigious degrees are eligible to advance to the highest levels of criminal justice administration, to positions like chief of police or FBI agent. Although experience and time on the force are also used to determine promotions, earning a masters degree increases the number of advancement opportunities available.
Here you can see detailed information on individual schools that offer online criminal justice degrees.