Criminal Justice Degrees

Academics equals Advancement

Author: Chris Cox

We all know McGruff the crime fighting dog. A lovable character whose done *his* share to "fight" crime and bring the bad guys to justice. Whether McGruff's bark is bigger than his bite remains an unsolved public service announcement, but if you're planning a career in criminal justice, TrustedMessenger is here to help you pick-up where McGruff leaves off...and then some.

Fighting crime - on any professional level is no laughing matter - it's real life and as a career choice, it's one thousands of young men and women are charging into. A charge best-begun with a degree in criminal justice.

What Kind of Degree?

Earning a degree from an accredited college or university - will advance a career and provide a faster route to greater goals. Criminal Justice is no exception. A Criminal Justice degree is for those seeking a broad foundation in all aspects of the criminal justice system.

Out of the gate is an Associates degree - sure to kick-start anyone's career in this exciting, in-demand field. A Bachelors degree opens up more doors, offering greater advancement and more lucrative pay scales. Go-for-the-Gold and you're talking Masters - the fast-track-express to running a department, taking-on big league challenges...and enjoying six figure incomes.

What Kind of Opportunity?

Criminal Justice is wide-open. Earn a degree and gain access to these specialties:

*Law Enforcement *Corrections *Probation * Immigration *Security Services *Homeland Security *Forensics *Medical Examiners *Arson Investigation *Homicide Investigation *Cyber Security a variety of work venues including: *Federal *State *Local *Forensic Labs *Insurance Companies *Universities

At the Federal level, FBI, U.S. Marshall, Postal Inspectors, and even CIA careers are top of mind for leading students. It's adventure, intrigue and high pay wrapped-into one. State jobs include similar opportunities found at upper levels of state law enforcement and investigation agencies.

The Forensic Science specialty is also bursting with opportunity...occupying a leading edge in high-tech computing and analysis. Salaries average $62,000 nationally. It's a law enforcement area that knows no boundaries and will continue to be a top, in-demand career track.

The same could be said for Cyber Security. It's equally wide-open with an upside as big as cyberspace. As business and government shift control of essential processes to networked computing, demand for cyber experts has exploded. While cyber-opps grow, so to, do salaries - averaging $58,000 annually.

Average yearly salaries for other criminal justice majors include:

Arson Investigators - $55,000 / Homeland Security - $54,000 / Medical Examiners - $52,000 Homicide Investigator - $50,000 / Law Enforcement - $45,000

Good Old Fashioned Police Work

Wanna be a cop? A great calling and one in constant demand. While positions are more difficult to come by, with more candidates than jobs are available. And while having a "connection" can never hurt, neither does an advanced degree. For entry level positions, many police forces require a high-school diploma and some course-work in law enforcement. More and more the jobs are going to the most qualified. Get a Bachelors degree and the chances of putting on the ole blue uniform, increase exponentially.

Police work doesn't stop at the edge of town. Opportunities to uphold the law and protect citizenry extend to sheriff departments, airport security offices, fish and game wardens and park rangers.

Get the Degree and Get the Job

It's crunch time. The moment of truth. Everything you wanted to know about a career in Criminal Justice, but were afraid to ask. OK, perhaps the latter is a bit of a stretch, but if you truly desire great choices in this exciting field, then a college degree is a must.

With the exception of some entry-level law enforcement positions, earning an Associate, Bachelor, or Masters degree is required. Plenty of jobs exist for Associates and Bachelor degree holders and will for years to come. Or shoot for the stars and earn a Masters. A good rule of thumb: The higher the degree, the higher the position.

Whatever level of education desired, students can "attend" class on campus or do it from the comfort of a laptop computer. Online class-work is popular, especially for busy, working adults, and meets the requirements of the most demanding employers.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Ask any student what his or her biggest obstacle to attending school is and chances are the topic of money, affordability and cost, come-up. The good news is that financial aid and scholarships are available.

More than $100 billion a year allocated in government grants, loans, and work-study assistance - including Pell Grants, Graduate PLUS Loans, and undergrad Federal Stafford Loans.

Almost all Universities employ full-time financial aid professionals. These fund-finders work tirelessly to maximize a student's eligibility and opportunity. Go to for more information on Criminal Justice schools and programs.

And speaking of schools, TrustedMessenger wants to take you to the head of the class.

Get the jump on your career by clicking on our Quick School Search and College Resource Guide. Spend a few minutes, respond to some key fact-finders and we'll provide a range of schools, degrees and financial aid programs, aimed at putting you on the fast track to a degree in Criminal Justice.

Your Criminal Justice career starts now. So go ahead...and take a bite out of crime.

In Brief


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