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Do I Need a Bachelor’s Degree to Get a Great Job in Criminal Justice?

Shane Stone, Ph.D., Program Director - Criminal Justice

That's an excellent question! Perhaps the key to this question is the word “great.” If the dream is to be a high-ranking official in a large or famous criminal justice agency like the FBI, DEA, or the US Marshals, then yes, a Bachelor's Degree, is a must.

Are there criminal justice organizations that will hire you with a High School diploma or GED?

The answer to that is also, yes. The criminal justice field has long valued a person's character and potential along with relevant professional and life experiences. These qualities can often keep a person on the hunt for a wide variety of entry-level criminal justice positions.

But...better jobs draw greater interest from more candidates. When leaders in a criminal justice agency know they will have many applicants for a position, the law of supply and demand allows them to boost the requirements. Perhaps they will ask for candidates to have five or more years of experience, rather than zero. Maybe they will ask for candidates to have a bachelor's degree rather than an associate degree or high school diploma.

The point is that what makes a job “great” is very subjective. Some of us will be happy earning a lower salary than others, or working in a smaller agency because the job is rewarding. Others will seek positions with a higher salary or better benefits, which may require more education to be competitive.

The criminal justice professors and the staff at CCU want to prepare you for a fulfilling career in your calling.

If you know that you want or need a bachelor’s degree, then dive right into our outstanding Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree. We have great opportunities for you to quickly build on your undergraduate degree and start on your master’s program if you are pursuing a career that requires graduate-level education.

If you honestly don’t know which degree is best for you at the moment, CCU offers a 12-credit hour Certificate in Criminal Justice that can help you get a better taste of what an education and a career in criminal justice might look like for you.

The certificate may be just the thing to help reveal God’s leading toward a certain career field in criminal justice. As the need for formal education increases, the certificate can be rolled into the associate degree program. Hours from the associate degree can be rolled into the bachelor’s degree. You get the point! It all depends on where you are trying to go.

CCU Online wants to prepare you for the right role with the right degree for you. Careers in criminal justice are available for a wide array of educational backgrounds.


Colorado Christian University does not guarantee any job placement as a result of earning this or any other degrees offered by the university.

Find out more information about a career in criminal justice now!

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