Criminal Justice Education Requirement Considerations
The amount of time that it takes to start your career in criminal justice generally varies from less than a year to over a decade, depending on the type of career that you want to pursue. For example, if you want to become a police officer, it only takes around six months of police academy training. However, there are a lot of police departments that would rather have applicants who have an associate's degree, which is something that takes two years to earn. For those who want to have a legal career, being a lawyer or paralegal is generally a good option and requires around three years of law school after you have earned your bachelor's degree. Paralegals and related positions can start their careers after around two to four years of study.
If you want to become a judge, you can expect that you will need to have extensive preparation. Judges are usually elected by the public or by government officials that are in the area. Judges have to develop strong reputations and practicing lawyers before they can even be considered for the role of becoming a judge. This usually takes around five years at the very least.
You can earn your criminal justice degree at the undergraduate and graduate level. This is a major that is open to associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. It is also possible to earn certificates on the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some people opt for certificates because they are easier to earn, take a smaller amount of time to complete, and are much more affordable in comparison to degree programs. However, there are many careers within this field which require a degree, so it's a good idea to research your options and learn about what type of education you need in order to begin pursuing your career. Contacting the college of your choice and communicating with a counselor about your needs or concerns will provide you with more insight into this position and what it is able to offer. They may be able to also direct you to someone who works within your field of interest so that you can ask them questions about what to expect and what kind of experience is necessary to be able to start working the entry level options that are available.
Almost all of these positions are able to help other people in some way, which make them a great contribution to the community and an ideal option for those who are interested in ensuring that other people can live safely and comfortably. For more information about a criminal justice major, it's a good idea to get in contact with a counselor from a local college or university. They will be able to answer any questions that you may have about criminal justice, provide you with information about programs that are available, and give you more insight into the types of employment options that are available for those who are interested in working within this field.