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Criminal Justice Degrees Offer Many Career Possibilities

Criminal Justice Degrees Offer Many Career Possibilities

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Start a criminal justice degree at American Military University.

By Dr. Jarrod Sadulski
Faculty Member, Criminal Justice, American Military University

One of the most important decisions that new college students must make is choosing a major course of study. Selecting a major is not something that should be done without careful consideration because all degrees require the completion of specialized courses. The right degree prepares students for a specific career discipline.

One of the most popular degrees in the United States is criminal justice. In partnership with CareerBuilder, CNN conducted a study on the top 10 most popular majors. Criminal justice majors ranked among the top five.

Another study, which was based on the average yearly graduation rates of students in specific college programs, also recognized criminal justice as a popular major. Each year, more than 72,000 criminal justice majors earn their degree.

Criminal Justice Degrees Lead to a Variety of Career Paths

Criminal justice degrees are practical and can open many doors in a variety of professional career fields. One of the most common career paths for criminal justice majors is police work. A candidate for the police academy with a criminal justice degree has an advantage over competitors.

Many agencies, including the FBI, require a bachelor’s degree just to apply for a job. A criminal justice degree puts job applicants in a great position because they can start a job with a practical understanding of criminal law and procedures.

For those who are already employed as officers or currently work in criminal justice, criminal justice degrees might facilitate promotion through the ranks. This degree opens doors to work in other areas of the criminal justice system such as corrections, parole and probation, non-sworn law enforcement staff, and emergency management roles.

In addition, a degree in criminal justice could be helpful if a student wishes to go to law school or pursue a career in the legal field. A foundation in criminal justice gives students a good basic understanding of the law and our Constitution.

A criminal justice major can use the degree to apply for work as an intelligence analyst, a criminal profiler who studies the behaviors of offenders or a victim advocate. These jobs are typically available within court systems or local police departments.

Criminal justice degrees can also be a gateway to job stability with a government career. Employment in law enforcement often offers union membership and protection, such as the Fraternal Order of Police or the Police Benevolent Association. This degree specialization might also help job seekers interested in loss prevention management or private-sector security management.

I know from my own experience that a degree in criminal justice can provide wide-ranging opportunities to work in a variety of professional fields. My bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees are all in criminal justice. Each has been instrumental in helping me to advance in my law enforcement career as well as my ultimate professional objective to teach criminal justice.

Selecting the right school to pursue a criminal justice degree is extremely important. I earned my master’s degree in criminal justice at American Military University (AMU) while I worked full time as a police officer and military reservist. AMU’s Criminal Justice program provided me with quality courses on a flexible schedule.

I also found that my professors were seasoned criminal justice professionals. They were able to provide valuable insight from the field to the classroom.

About the Author

Dr. Jarrod Sadulski has been a member of the Coast Guard since 1997. His expertise includes infrastructure security, maritime security, homeland security contraband interdiction and intelligence gathering. He has received commendations from the Coast Guard. Currently, Jarrod is a supervisor in the Reserve Program and provides leadership to Reserve members who conduct homeland security, search and rescue, and law enforcement missions.

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