Criminal Justice is a diverse and exciting field, and with the Homeland Security Act and other legislation dealing with terrorism prevention, there is an increasing need for security officials and other people working in the criminal justice field. A criminal justice degree can enable one to become a police officer, a social worker, a security guard, a private detective or a paralegal. Many of those who pursue a criminal justice degree are initially interested because of seeing detectives and forensic experts on television shows, although a lot of work goes into getting a criminal justice degree, and many more people work “behind the scenes” rather than as star detectives.
The criminal justice degree program you will require depends on the kind of work you want to do. Associates degrees usually focus on one area, and take much less time to earn than a bachelors degree. A Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice is a popular Criminal Justice Degree which takes students into the psychology of crime and victims, and may involve internships and active study in case work, depending on the type of degree. Some criminal justice degrees focus on juvenile crime, and train student to become counselors and social workers. Many of those who obtain a criminal justice degree become paralegals and use their research skills in actual cases. There are also opportunities to earn a Masters or Doctorate Criminal Justice Degree and to specialize in one particular area.
Those who want to pursue a criminal justice degree program should have the same qualifications as any other kind of degree: a BS requires a certain GPA, a variety of courses and an SAT exam. Advanced degrees require prior degrees in a similar field. There are options today to earn a criminal justice degree online for those who are working and do not want to take time off to earn a degree.