Ready to study criminal justice online?

Ready to study criminal justice online?

When people think about criminal justice careers, many often think of TV shows like CSI or Law & Order first. A career in criminal justice is unlikely to look like that: probably not so dramatic, but definitely still an important job. People with criminal justice training can apply their skills in many different government, justice, or protection opportunities. Still intrigued? Here are some things to think about before enrolling in a program.

Key Skills

Criminal justice programs typically involve a lot of analytical, scientific, and regulatory skills. Whether you’re looking for a career in the field or something behind the scenes, criminal justice jobs require a high attention to detail and consistent adherence to processes and procedures. Courses may also cover the justice system, ethics, crime scene management, public speaking and communications, and terrorism.

Program Lengths

Like many postsecondary programs, getting an online education in criminal justice takes about two years for either an associate degree or a master’s degree, and four years for a bachelor’s degree. Some schools offer accelerated programs, and many online programs allow you to set your own pace so that you can work ahead when you have some extra free time, or to slow down when your job is extra busy or you have additional demands on your time at home.

Benefits of Online

One of the greatest benefits of choosing an online program instead of an on-campus education is the flexibility to control your schedule. While a traditional classroom program will require that you be in class at very specific times, online classes mean that you set your own hours! Complete a reading assignment before taking your kids to school in the morning, knock out a quiz during your lunch break at work, or study for that upcoming exam before you go to bed at night.

With an online program, you can also take advantage of constant communication platforms to ask questions, share information, or collaborate with peers 24/7. Online education also allows you to revisit course materials when you want to brush up on a certain topic or go back to a section to answer questions: you can re-read or re-watch the materials as many times as you need to master the subject.

Possible Career Paths

With a criminal justice degree, you can pursue careers with police departments, justice departments, crime labs, private investigation companies, or even in academic settings. Criminal justice jobs often require the ability to remain analytical even in the face of tough situations or unpleasant scenes—honing those skills can prepare you for a successful career in difficult industries.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for forensic science technicians is expected to grow by 17% between 2016 and 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Similarly, private detective and investigator positions are expected to grow by 11% between 2016 and 2026. Employment for police officers, detectives, probation officers, and correctional treatment specialists is projected to grow about as fast as the average in the same timeframe.

Does criminal justice sound like the right path for you? The Imagine America Foundation has partnered with many online schools - that can help you get started on your online criminal justice program! IAF also offers scholarship and award programs: 



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