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Do You Need Criminal Justice Degree Police Officer

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Enables Officers To Better Relate To The Community

How To Become A Police Officer, Lesson 1. Introduction To The Criminal Justice System

Higher education has been shown to enhance the technical training that police get in the academy or on the job.

For instance, as college students, aspiring or current police officers participate in internships, do community service or study abroad. All of these things have been shown to increase critical thinking, moral reasoning and openness to diversity. College also leads to more intercultural awareness. Taken together, all of these skills are essential for successful policework.

Research has also shown that police officers themselves recognize the value of a college degree. Among other things, they say a college education improves ethical decision-making skills, knowledge and understanding of the law and the courts, openness to diversity, and communication skills. In one study, officers with criminal justice degrees said their education helped them gain managerial skills.

What Jobs Can You Get With A Masters Degree In Criminal Justice

By earning a Criminal Justice degree, youll be preparing yourself for the kinds of rewarding, challenging careers that most people only ever see on TV. Theyre also stable careers, with plenty of opportunity for advancement. As you work toward your degree, you wont just gain a deeper understanding of the world we live in youll learn exactly where you want to direct your professional focus. Here are just a few of the criminal justice job opportunities available to you with a masters degree:

Criminal Justice Careers For Those Who Dont Want To Be Police Officers

By on 11/02/2020

You were fascinated by superheroes as a kid. Time after time, heroes and heroines would swoop in to save the day, and good would always triumph over evil. Your childhood dream of being a superhero when you grew up may have changed, but that doesnt mean you cant still work in a field that allows you to make the world a better place.

Criminal justice careers are home to real-life superheroes who spend their days protecting citizens and ensuring that justice is served. Many people automatically think of police officers when they think of criminal justice, but there are many criminal justice jobs that dont require the police academy.

We rounded up seven worthwhile criminal justice careers that might be right for you, even if becoming a police officer isnt up your alley. Take a lookone of these could just be your next job title.

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Additional Resources For Students Pursuing A Criminal Justice Degree

Working in the criminal justice field can be exciting, exhausting, and highly rewarding. Although many criminal justice careers carry a great deal of responsibility and stress, few other jobs offer the kind of gratification that comes with ensuring that victims are supported, communities are protected, and criminals are served with justice. If youre interested in pursuing a degree in criminal justice, consider these additional resources as you take the next steps in your career.

Complete Coursework & Field Training

Do You Need a Bachelor

The coursework involved in a program that leads to work as a police officer can vary depending upon the institution and the degree level. For instance, those in a training academy will dive right into the nitty-gritty of everyday police work and not touch on general education requirements, such as you would find in an associate degree program. In both the associate and the bachelors program, students will encounter not only general education courses and several possible electives, but they will also focus on the core courses for police officers, such as those in criminal justice, ethics, corrections systems, communication, and more. Heres a good idea of courses you might encounter, either in the core curriculum of the degree program or at the police academy:

  • Patrol Procedures
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Cybersecurity Vs Criminal Justice: Is A Degree In Cyber Security Better Than Criminal Justice Degree

There is no better degree between cybersecurity and criminal justice. Both degrees offer promising careers. They also have some similar career paths that can be explored with both degrees.

For individuals with a bachelors degree in criminal justice, transitioning to the field of cybersecurity may be as simple as earning an industry certification in cybersecurity.

The Information Systems Security Association has created a Cyber Security Career Life-cycle, which cycles through the stages of security careers, for those considering the profession.

What Skills Does A Police Officer Need

Learning how to become a police officer requires the development of specific skills. According to the BLS, these include the following:

Communication. Officers should be able to speak with and record data from colleagues and community members, as well as express information effectively both verbally and in writing. Empathy. Officers should understand the diverse perspectives and needs of the communities in their jurisdictions while enforcing the law and assisting the public. Judgment. Officers should use common sense and relevant knowledge to address problems and resolve issues appropriately. Leadership. Officers should be comfortable with guiding, correcting, and directing community members as needed. Fitness. Officers should have enough strength and stamina to perform the challenging physical aspects of their responsibilities.

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Career Paths For Criminal Justice Degrees

While police officers account for the largest number of professionals working in the field of law enforcement, there are potentially hundreds of job opportunities in both the pubic and private sector for graduates with a criminal justice degree. As a student, you will establish a strong foundation in principles of the criminal justice system, criminal behavior and investigation, the American court system, the U.S. correctional system, law enforcement, and research methods, which opens a lot of doors for you professionally. Here we provide descriptions of a few of the most popular career paths for criminal justice majors.

Police Officer

A police officer is sworn to protect and serve their community by upholding the law. They carry a firearm and have the power to arrest criminal suspects and take them into custody for questioning. They enforce traffic laws, patrol high-crime areas, respond to crisis situations, and investigate complaints. Officers may also perform basic crime scene investigation, including securing and protecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and contacting crime scene technicians.

Private Investigator

Loss Prevention Manager

U.S. Marshal

Crime Analyst

FBI Agent

State Trooper

Private Security

Correctional Officer

Probation Officer

Comparing Popular Criminal Justice Jobs

POLICE: Education Requirements

Careers in criminal justice generally fall into three main branches: law enforcement, courts, and corrections/rehabilitation. Each of these branches features similarities and differences regarding job duties, salary expectations, required education/experience, and work conditions.

With so many options available, aspiring criminal justice professionals often find it difficult to decide which path to pursue. Use the tables below to compare key details across nine common criminal justice jobs.

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Career Outlook For Police Officers

Police officers are expected to experience job growth of five percent between 2018 and 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics . Although the need for qualified police officers to provide public safety will continue to grow, how many are actually hired is often dependent on local and state budgets.

As of May 2018, police officers nationwide earned an average annual wage of $65,400, but their wages ranged from $35,750 to $101,620. The average hourly wage for police officers across the nation was $31.44. Police officers earned the highest wages in the states of California, Alaska, New Jersey, Washington and Illinois.

Working as a police officer can be extremely rewarding but can also be stressful and dangerous. While earning a degree in criminal justice may not be necessary to become a police officer, it can be beneficial and can also help the police officer advance to leadership positions in the field.

Maxim Sorokopud

How To Become A Police Officer: Your Step

By on 02/10/2020

There are plenty of Hollywood movies out there that detail the rigorous physical training involved in becoming a cop. You might even be able to picture the obstacle courses, shooting ranges and tactical scenario training rooms. These are all important elements of police officer trainingbut they only make up one portion of the process.

Given the high level of responsibility and trust afforded to law enforcement, the standards for becoming a police officer are higher than what youll likely find in many careers. The specific standards and process will vary slightly based on the state, county or town youre applying to work in, but there are a few universal requirements to become a police officer you should be familiar with.

If youre wondering how to become a police officer, youre in the right place. Keep reading for a high-level breakdown of the path to pursuing a career in law enforcement.

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How Does Police Academy Training Work

No matter which program you choose, before beginning work at a police department, you will have to enter a police academy for formal training. This training will consist of various elements that prepare you for life as a police officer, including training it the classroom, field training that walks you through the rigors of the day-to-day work, and in-service training that allows you to begin working with the public on a probationary basis. Heres more about police academy training:

Classroom education

The classroom curriculum will focus on a variety of subjects, ranging from the law itself to administrative and department procedures. Cadets will also learn not just what the law is, but how to apply it in the real world. For example, a police officer may know that probable cause is required for a warrant to conduct a search, but what about the exceptions where a warrant isnt needed? Or what should the officer do or say if an individual contests the validity of the warrant? Much of this classroom training will be necessary before field training can take place or to put the hands-on skills into context.

Field training

In-service training

How Do I Become A Police Officer

Why Become a Police Officer? 5 Reasons You Can

The journey to become a police officer can vary greatly between different jurisdictions. It is important to research the county or state where one wishes to become a police officer first. This is quickest way to find a list of physical, educational and skill-related requirements.

ResearchHiring requirements vary between different police departments. In addition, police officer salary ranges can also differ. Getting some background information first is a great way to get an idea about future job requirements and salary ranges. Some police departments require a high school diploma or equivalent. Higher paying departments in larger cities often require at least some college education. Knowing what one needs in order to get hired can save a candidate a lot of time and money.

EducationMany police departments require candidates to have at least some college coursework completed. There are a lot of departments that are now requiring four-year degrees. It rarely matters what a candidate studied in college. A background in criminology or criminal justice does look nice on an application though. Students who study criminology are going to have a great foundation for their future careers. They will often study corrections, police science and criminal law. Majoring in criminology and criminal justice is a great idea for anybody who is considering a career in law enforcement.

1. Physical Training

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A Career In Criminal Justicehow Much Education Is Required

How Much Education is Too Much?Criminal Justice Careers fo High School Graduatescorrections officerCriminal Justice Jobs Requiring an Associate DegreeCriminal Justice Jobs Requiring a Bachelor’s DegreeCriminal Justice Jobs Requiring a Master’s DegreecriminologistCriminal Justice Jobs that Require a Doctorate DegreeA Word of Advice

How Do I Become A Swat Officer

SWAT officers are a part of highly trained teams within police departments that handle difficult criminal situations, such as counter-terrorism efforts, hostage situations, and the pursuit of highly dangerous criminals. These teams are exclusive parts of police departments, and to become a member there are specific requirements.

Education and Other RequirementsA minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent and passing a thorough criminal background check area required to become both a police officer and a SWAT officer. Also, candidates must usually be U.S. citizens and at least 21 years old. Generally, law enforcement agencies require individuals to pass physical examinations that assess hearing and vision, physical strength, and agility. Many law enforcement organizations prefer candidates with a college degree in criminal justice or related area. Many departments require law enforcement personnel to pass physical and mental examinations prior to beginning their career.

Necessary SkillsAspiring SWAT officers must have great critical thinking and interpersonal communication abilities. They must also demonstrate excellent physical fitness and marksmanship. SWAT officers must demonstrate empathy, and have emotional stability to deal with unpleasant and dangerous situations. They must be quick on their feet, and have the ability to make good decisions in stressful situations. Many departments require candidates to have a recommendation from a high-rank officer.

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Do You Need A College Degree To Become A Police Officer

You are typically not required to earn a degree to enroll in police academy and work as a police officer. A high school diploma is often the minimal required formal education, with a required background check. Some agencies may require a bachelors degree or a certain number of credit hours, especially at the federal level.

According to a 2017 study from the National Police Foundation, about one third of police officers in the U.S. hold a four-year college degree. Just over half hold a two-year degree, and 5.4 percent hold a graduate degree.

While you may not need a degree for your first entry-level job as a police officer, if you plan to continue advancing your career in criminal justice, earning an associate or bachelors degree is a good idea.

Learn more about the Herzing Criminal Justice program

Get Accepted & Paying Your Way

What can you do with Criminal Justice Degree?

Admission requirements can vary widely depending on the type of program and institution offering it. Another consideration is how to pay for this education and training. During your application process, keep the following pointers in the back of your mind to help you get into the best program to meet your needs and goals as a future police officer.

Entrance requirements

Entry into various degree programs in law enforcement will all require some general points, such as completing an application, paying an application fee and presenting proof of high school graduation.

The associate degree program might require:

  • A personal statement
  • Transcripts from any other college courses taken

The bachelors degree might require additional information:

  • An essay
  • Transcripts from associate degree work
  • Completion of certain prerequisites
  • A resume of related experience

Application process & fees

Paying for Your Program

How much a training or educational program costs depends greatly upon the degree level you want to obtain. For instance, obtaining an associate degree will cost much less than a bachelors degree will. To learn more about financial aid options and how those will affect your financial bottom line, visit our online financial aid handbook:

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Attain Important Knowledge With A Criminal Justice Degree

Whether you obtain a Bachelors or an Associate degree in Criminal Justice, the knowledge you acquire during your program will help you understand the big picture of the criminal justice system. It will also teach you the role police officers play and how you could make a difference. Other ways a Criminal Justice degree can help get you closer to your dream of becoming a police officer include:

  • Get the edge you need over academy candidates who do not have a degree.
  • Become eligible for federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration that require a college degree.
  • Learn about a wide range of possible law enforcement career paths such as:
  • Community policing
  • State trooper
  • Detective
  • Learn about the study of criminology, forensics, homeland security, private security, and juvenile justice, and more.
  • Advance your opportunity for promotion. Even if youre already on the job, you may have to complete additional college credits to be considered for promotion into higher positions.
  • Learn investigative skills, problem-solving skills, and organizational tools that allow large amounts of information to be collected, evaluated, and processed.
  • Develop better speaking and writing skills, as well as all-important computer skills.
  • Take classes in a foreign language, as many cities are looking for officers who speak Spanish or other languages.
  • What Can You Do With A Degree In Criminal Justice

    Choosing a career in criminal justice means choosing a life filled with purpose. Its about doing whats just doing whats right.

    Justice means keeping people and communities safe. Its about righting wrongs. Its about living up to the promise that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. For all those reasons and more, a career in criminal justice is a fulfilling one. Its also a stable one.

    Whether you’re interested in working on the local, state, or federal level, there is always a need for skilled professionals in the field. When you pursue a career in criminal justice, you can rest easy knowing that youve made a difference in peoples lives. And you can rest easy knowing that the career youve chosen has enormous potential for growth. Read on to find out more about the kinds of jobs you can get with a degree in Criminal Justice.

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    What Does A Criminal Investigator Do

    The primary role of detectives and other types of criminal investigators focuses on solving unusual or specialized criminal cases. These might range from robbery to homicide to white collar crimes like fraud or tax evasion. Criminal investigators may work for local or state law enforcement agencies these are the police detectives that were most familiar with, thanks to TV and the movies. But criminal investigators also work for federal government agencies such as the FBI, the Treasury Department, and even the Department of Defense. Criminal investigators may also work in the private sector.

    The answer to the question what does a criminal investigator do? is a bit different than what you might see on a TV drama. The early days of a criminal investigators career typically involve tasks such as examining written records, providing court testimony about gathered evidence, and investigating misdemeanor and felony crimes. Depending on the nature of the case, a criminal investigator may also be asked to help prepare evidence for trial.

    In some cases, criminal investigators work on behalf of crime victims in others, they may work for private law firms that represent people who have been accused of a crime. Criminal investigators may be asked to testify in court.

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