Why Pursue a Criminal Justice Degree?

Mar 22, 2012

Criminal justice is an exciting field with a large number of career opportunities upon graduation. Colorado Christian University offers an Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice and a criminal justice certificate. If you are currently employed or have family responsibilities that would prevent you from being able to attend classes on campus, CCU offers online degrees, which allow you to create your own study schedule and complete your coursework when you have the time to do so.

The specific advantages of criminal justice careers depend in part upon the job you do. Police officers, police detectives, forensic scientists, correctional officers, jail/prison wardens and probation officers normally work for the state or federal government, which means these people get relatively good benefits like health insurance and government pensions. They also enjoy the benefit of being able to participate in keeping the streets safe and making society a better place for everyone. Paralegals earn a good salary and also contribute to the betterment of society by assisting lawyers in putting the "bad guys" away and helping people who suffered an injustice such as medical malpractice or whose life was forever altered through no fault of their own.

Some criminal justice careers carry a great deal of stress and many positions in the criminal justice field are dangerous. Many criminal justice careers require that you work with the public on a daily basis, going into crime scenes and interacting with criminals on a regular basis. While this provides a great deal of excitement, it also puts you in a great deal of danger. However, there are criminal justice careers that do not put you in direct danger every day you report to work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics collects information to estimate job growth and expected salaries in different industries. Here are some facts from a recent BLS report:

  • Police officers: Median salary is $51,410, and the highest paid police officers earn over $79,000 annually. Jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 10% through 2018.
  • Police detectives: Average salary of $75,409 and the highest paid police detectives may earn close to $100,000. Jobs are also expected to grow at a rate of 10% through 2018.
  • Correctional officers: Average salary of $38,380 and the highest paid earn $64,000 or higher. Jobs in this field are expected to grow at a rate of 19% through 2018.
  • Paralegals: Average salary is $46,000 and the top ten percent earn around $73,000 or even higher. Paralegal jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 28% through 2018.

If you would like to pursue a criminal justice degree and explore criminal justice careers, CCU criminal justice program has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

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