Working in the field of criminal justice is the dream of many who aspire to make a positive difference in their community. The first step to making that dream a reality is to earn a degree in Criminal Justice. However, the advent of a global pandemic has changed the way that students pursue their education. Many have since found that studying online suits their learning style, lifestyle, and even their budget. But can you get a Criminal Justice degree online? If so, what are the benefits to online Criminal Justice programs? Here are the facts you need to know.
What is Criminal Justice?
Criminal Justice is an area of study that covers a variety of disciplines, including law, psychology, sociology, and public administration. In many ways, the study of Criminal Justice is the study of human nature, as students learn about the causes of both crime and deviance. It is also, of course, the study of how the U.S. criminal justice system captures and rehabilitates those who break the law. Those who earn a degree in criminal justice can pursue careers in a variety of fields, though many pursue positions in law enforcement, whether as police officers or federal intelligence specialists. They may also pursue further education in order to become a lawyer or a victims advocate.
Earning a degree in Criminal Justice can be done in one of two ways: through an in-person, traditional four year program, or an online bachelor of science degree.
Online Criminal Justice Coursework
An online criminal justice degree provides students with a strong foundation of general education credits. Additionally, students also complete career-focused coursework that is core to the major. Online Criminal Justice courses include, but aren’t limited to:
- Human Security
- Criminal Investigations
- Research Methods
- American Government
- Homeland Security and Terrorism
Students in online programs, much like traditional, on-campus programs, often have the opportunity to focus on one area of Criminal Justice, such as Human Security, Comparative Justice, or Criminology. Although classes are taken online, students can also pursue an internship at a number of locations, including legal firms, law enforcement agencies, or non-profit organizations.
An online degree in Criminal Justice provides students with a well-rounded education, in addition to internship opportunities, while allowing for flexibility. Employers will value an online degree in Criminal Justice in the same way they’d value on-campus coursework. With a Criminal Justice degree online, you can qualify for many career opportunities in this vastly in-demand field.
What Can You Do With an Online Criminal Justice Degree?
If you’re considering the pursuit of a Criminal Justice degree, you may find yourself wondering whether an online degree is truly versatile. Luckily, there are a number of careers you can pursue after completing your online coursework. Here are just a few careers that a graduate of an online Criminal Justice program may consider:
- Corrections Officer: Corrections officers work for state, federal, and local jurisdictions to oversee arrested individuals. They may work as bailiffs or jailers, in courthouses, prisons, or local jails.
- Police Officer: Police officers respond to emergency calls, conduct traffic stops, record criminal activity, testify in court, and patrol neighborhoods. They must understand local, state, and federal laws and work to uphold them.
- S. Marshal: U.S. marshals safeguard federal witnesses, transport federal prisoners, protect judges, and oversee the transfer of assets that are seized from criminals. They may also be asked to arrest fugitives, both in the United States and abroad.
- Victims’ Rights Advocate: Victim advocates provide emotional support and guidance to the victims of crimes. They may provide victims with counseling or problem-solving skills.
- Forensic Scientist: Forensic science technicians work to collect evidence at crime scenes. They work with other law enforcement professionals to analyze pieces of evidence in order to connect them to persons of interest. They may run chemical tests, analyze DNA from blood or fluids, and determine ballistics matches. Their work is crucial to the solving of crimes by police detectives.
Advantages of Earning a Criminal Justice Degree Online
No longer is it absolutely necessary for students to learn in a classroom. In fact, pursuing a Criminal Justice degree online provides students with a number of advantages.
- Flexibility: At University of Bridgeport, the online Criminal Justice degree offers students the option of 6 different start dates, meaning you can begin your studies at a time that best suits your schedule. Additionally, the 7-week, accelerated online semester format gives you the opportunity to continue working or caring for your family, all while pursuing your degree.
- Affordability: Online programs typically offer students a more affordable option for their studies. With no facility fees, parking fees, or dorm expenses, your overall cost of study will be significantly less than a traditional, in-person program.
- Quality: As discussed, the online degree provides students with a well-rounded education, heavily grounded in the traditional bachelor’s degree requirements. Students in the online program are afforded the opportunity to pursue areas of concentration that will make them all the more employable after graduation. Additionally, the online nature of the degree program in no way hampers students’ ability to pursue internship opportunities. In fact, the flexibility of the program may make it easier to commit time to an internship, opening doors to future career opportunities.
An online bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice prepares graduates to enter a number of career paths, and even graduate programs. An online program offers students flexibility, affordability, versatility, and opportunity. Whether a job in corrections, policing, or human services is of interest to you, an online degree can prepare you for the rigors and excitement of a career in Criminal Justice.
If you’re interested in University of Bridgeport’s criminal justice degree programs, ask for more information here!