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Bachelor Degrees in Criminal Justice & Legal

Criminal justice and legal professionals focus on public safety and justice. If you're interested pursuing in a career in those areas, then a bachelor's degree program in criminal justice may be right for you. Completing a degree program in criminal justice may set you on the path for a job with a title like as police officer, detective, probation officer, paralegal, or administrator.

Criminal Justice Coursework

So what types of subjects might you expect to study if you enroll in a criminal justice or paralegal bachelor's degree program? Courses in criminal justice typically include:

  • Ethics
  • Criminal investigation
  • Criminal procedure
  • Juvenile justice

Become a Part of the Legal System with a Criminal Justice Degree

Criminal justice is a fast-paced and exciting field that may lead to interesting job opportunities. From law enforcement to private investigators to paralegals, you may find graduates with criminal justice degrees in many aspects of contemporary society. How do you go about getting one of these jobs?

The usual first step toward getting a job in the legal field is to go through an education program. While many people will only think of land-based schools, an online bachelor's degree in criminal justice may be just as good as any campus-based school. Online schools offer flexibility and convenience that can't be found at traditional universities, and they may also enable people to continue with work or family commitments while they're pursuing their degree. Because a bachelor's degree pursued from an online university may sometimes be earned in under four years, the costs of getting an education may be less than getting a conventional degree. But do the math -- be sure to calculate your costs before enrolling in a program. And whether you choose a campus-based program or an online university, be sure to check that the school has appropriate credentials.

Secondly, it's vital that you choose the right online bachelor's degree program for your desired career. Those looking to become police officers should look at one of the more generic degree options, such as public safety, due to the fact that officers must know basic legal processes and other general knowledge. If you'd like to help attorneys draft documents and perform other preparation for their legal duties, then a paralegal degree might be right for you. For those aiming at higher-level administrative roles, perhaps within federal or state investigation units, an online bachelor's degree in paralegal studies may suit your education needs.

Once you complete your bachelor's degree in criminal justice how much might you expect to earn in your chosen field? While salaries for criminal justice professionals vary by job and location, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics cites these annual mean wages for 2014:

  • $59,530 for police officers
  • $84,260 for detective supervisors
  • $53,360 for probation officers
  • $51,840 for paralegals

Are you ready to start pursuing your degree? Check out some of the online bachelor's degrees we offer below to see how they can help you achieve your dream career in criminal justice!

Source: May 2014 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,  http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm

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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
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