Pursuing an online degree will give you the flexibility to complete coursework required for popular criminal justice jobs without commuting to a physical campus.
Online criminal justice programs will give you the practical skills needed to carry out public safety measures that stop criminals in their tracks. Depending on your interest, your online degree could be applied to any of the four main branches of criminal justice: law enforcement, judiciary, corrections, or private security.
As threats for violence continue to grow, there will be a strong demand for criminal justice degree holders to uphold and enforce the laws of our land. The following are four of the most popular jobs you can get with an online criminal justice degree.
Police Officer or Detective
Police officers are perhaps the most visible criminal justice graduates tasked with protecting citizens’ lives and property from harm. In uniform, police officers usually will patrol assigned areas, conduct traffic stops, arrest suspects, respond to emergencies, and prepare detailed reports. Detectives are a step above police officers and predominantly involved in investigating unresolved cases. Detectives use their criminal justice degrees to examine evidence, interview suspects, question witnesses, obtain warrants, and testify in court. Most law enforcement officials are employed by the local, state, or federal government.
An online criminal justice degree can unlock career options as a correctional officer. In prisons and jails across America, correctional officers play a vital role in overseeing the daily activities of offenders who’ve been arrested or are serving their sentence. Correctional officers are responsible for searching for contraband, upholding inmate conduct standards, inspecting jail facilities, supervising meetings with authorized visitors, and escorting prisoners in handcuffs. It’s also possible for criminal justice graduates to focus on the rehabilitation of inmates as correctional treatment specialists or probation officers.
Crime Scene Technician
If you’ve ever watched CSI, then you know crime scene technicians help to solve criminal cases by carefully analyzing physical evidence at the scene. Also called criminalists, crime scene technicians use their training to collect evidence, perform chemical analysis, sketch crime scenes, take photographs, record observations, and reconstruct crimes. Crime scene technicians will usually consult with forensic pathologists, forensic psychologists, investigators, medical examiners, and toxicologists to uncover more details. Criminal justice graduates interested in computer science could also specialize as digital forensics analysts.
Although a degree in paralegal studies is the most common route, criminal justice degree holders are often qualified to work as legal assistants too. Legal assistants work mostly in law firms and government agencies to support the work of lawyers. On a typical workday, legal assistants may be found using their criminal justice knowledge to investigate case facts, research relevant laws, arrange evidence, prepare legal documents, get affidavits, and taking formal statements for use in court. Legal assistants often will specialize their skills in one area, such as criminal law, corporate law, litigation, real estate, or personal injury.
Online criminal justice degree programs offer great preparation for a wide array of in-demand jobs in our legal system. Depending on your unique talents and interests, there’s likely a criminal justice job that aligns perfectly. In addition to the most popular criminal justice jobs, you could consider becoming a security guard, fraud investigator, FBI agent, border patrol officer, U.S. marshal, blood spatter analyst, cyber security specialist, or intelligence analyst.