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Bachelor Degrees T - Z

Criminal Justice Degree Facts

criminal justice
May 16th, 2014

Older generations have played at cops and robbers, while many of today’s generation were honed on video games trying to get rid of bad guys. But if you want to take the entire concept of justice seriously, you may want to consider getting a Criminal Justice degree. Essentially, this program helps graduates learn more about how to understand and fight crime.
The major fields of criminal justice include:

  1. Law enforcement
  2. Juvenile justice
  3. Homeland security
  4. Private security
  5. Forensic science
  6. Corrections
  7. Judiciary

You will learn all about crime, and all about the criminals who commit these acts. You will know how these criminals behave, and why they commit the crimes. You will also learn about various investigative techniques, such as conducting interviews and interrogations, as well as technical forensic methods for gathering evidence.
You will also learn quite a bit about the law itself, of course. This is one reason while a significant number of criminal justice graduates go on to law school. You will also learn about how to handle people and the media properly, especially when issues such as race, religion, and gender are involved.
What Can You Do with a Criminal Justice Degree?
Essentially, you can enter the criminal justice system and work to combat crime in a wide variety of ways. Your career path will depend greatly on what you specialized in.
Your options include:

  • You can be a law enforcement officer, such as deputy, sheriff, police officer, State Police, US Customs agent, or FBI agent. The US has a lot of law enforcement institutions, and you can apply to any one of them.
  • You can work as a social worker, a probation officer, or as a parole officer.
  • You can work in private security. You can help protect private homes and commercial buildings, or work as a private investigator.
  • You can work in the courts, as a bailiff or as a law librarian.
  • You can be part of the Corrections department, as a prison guard or supervisor.
  • You can work in the forensic department, using technology to help catch criminals.

With the knowledge you have gained as a criminal justice graduate, you can be a journalist focusing on crime or a teacher.
What are the Best Schools to Get a Criminal Justice Degree?
Many schools in the US offer criminal justice degrees. Your employability may then rely partly on the prestige of the college you graduated from. University of Pennsylvania, for example, offers an undergraduate degree in Criminology, and you may find it easier to land a job afterwards because it is an Ivy League school.
But for many experts today, the following is a list of the criminal justice schools with the best reputations:

  1. CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  2. George Washington University
  3. University of California, Irvine
  4. Sam Houston State University
  5. Northeastern University
  6. California State University, Long Beach
  7. American University
  8. Indiana University
  9. George Mason University
  10. Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York

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