Masters Degrees in Criminal Justice
If you have an interest in criminal justice as a career, you might be surprised to learn just how much is involved in criminal justice. Criminal justice involves patrolling the streets, investigating crimes, identifying suspects, and overseeing those who have been convicted of crimes. So if you want to understand the legal and correction systems in the United States, the philosophy of punishment and deterrence of crimes, and the ethical codes of behavior with which to make use of this knowledge, a masters degree in criminal justice is a great way to go. A masters degree in criminal justice is a two to three-year graduate degree that qualifies you for an advanced position in criminal justice or can be used as a steppingstone to a doctorate degree in a related field. No special license is required for most criminal justice professions, yet special training and coursework is required to become a police officer or a federal agent, among others. Correctional officers and security guards who work as guards at state and federal prisons typically do not need a college degree unless the job involves a supervisory position. If you are interested in pursuing a career in research, you can obtain a Ph.D. and become a college professor.
Masters Degree in Criminal Justice Success Factors
Earning masters degree in criminal justice requires that you are calm under pressure, very analytical and mathematically-minded, are able to take abuse without reacting, can manage many tasks at once, can work well alone and make good team players, communicate effectively and are willing to invest yourself wholly in your work.
Masters Degree in Criminal Justice Specializations
When you earn a masters degree in criminal justice, you can specialize in a particular area of criminal justice to match your career aspirations, including forensic science, law, social work, probation and parole, corrections, police work, and private security. Your area of specialization should match your career aspirations.
Masters Degree in Criminal Justice Curriculum
In addition to advanced coursework in the field of criminal justice, you may be required to complete a masters thesis and/or a comprehensive examination, also known as comps. A masters thesis in criminal justice is an extensive research paper on a significant topic in the field of criminal justice, while comps involve extensive testing of all the subjects pertinent to the field of criminal justice. The courses you take while earning a masters degree in criminal justice include crime scene forensics, computer forensics, criminal law, social work, corrections facilities management, and police work, along with courses in math, science, and humanities.
Masters Degree in Criminal Justice Jobs
A masters degree in criminal justice is an advanced educational credential that will qualify you for most careers in the field of criminal justice. A masters degree in criminal justice will qualify you for jobs on police forces, court systems, correctional facilities, or in related agencies. There are nearly 850,000 police and detective jobs in the United States. Other Masters Degree in Criminal Justice jobs include paralegal, pre-trial service investigator, child support agency worker, child welfare caseworker, community service coordinator, juvenile court counselor, substance abuse counselor, victim service specialist, youth advocate, parole officer, penologist, probation officer, corrections facilities manager, prison guard, warden, computer forensic expert, forensic specialist, court administrator, court clerk, district attorney, law clerk, law librarian, lawyer, litigation manager, airport security officer, border patrol agent, deportation officer, drug enforcement agent, fish and game warden, park ranger, sheriff, body guard, detective, industrial security specialist, private investigator, CIA agent, coroner, criminal investigator, criminologist, FBI agent, fingerprint specialist, military officer, naval investigator, public security officer, secret service agent, Postal Service investigator, customs agent, and U.S. marshal.
Featured Criminal Justice Schools
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