Choosing to pursue a degree in criminal justice and security can offer a student many different career fields. The criminal justice field deals with the upholding of laws and protecting citizens. While the three main areas of criminal justice

are law enforcement, corrections related and legal, a criminal justice degree can lead to a career as a law enforcement officer, probation officer, private investigator, forensics security professional, criminologist and many others. Many federal agencies such as the CIA, Homeland Security, Border Patrol, Coast Guard and others routinely hire criminal justice graduates to staff their agencies in various areas.

With the current focus on protecting our nation from both domestic and foreign threats, criminal justice and security careers are expected to experience good rates of growth. Students of this field have an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of their fellow citizens as they protect and defend our nation.

Admissions Requirements

While each individual school will have specific requirements for admission, some general standards for acceptance into an undergraduate criminal justice and security degree program may include the following:

  • Baccalaureate degree from a properly accredited school.
  • Grade Point Average of 3.0 or higher
  • Resume
  • A personal statement describing applicant's goals, education and previous experience.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities abound for the successful criminal justice degree holder. For the adventurous, careers in public service such as law enforcement and corrections officers are readily available.  Criminal justice Homeland Security careers are a growing segment, as well.

Criminal justice and security careers also include working for government agencies,  doing detective work, public and private security guards, and many others. Criminal justice and security careers also include working for government agencies,  doing detective work, public and private security guards, and many others.

Teaching makes up a significant portion of criminal justice careers, as degree holders teach criminal justice at the college level, or as training for other criminal justice fields such as corrections and police officers.

Salary Information

Per information from the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, criminal justice and security professionals who hold a bachelor's degree and are working as probation and corrections officers can expect an annual median salary of $47,200. Expected growth rate for this job is 18%, or 4 % greater than the average growth rate. Police officers and detectives rank slightly higher with a $55,010  annual median salary, but have a slightly lower average growth rate at just 7%.

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