The definition of law is a system of rules which is typically enforced via a set of governing institutions. The purpose of law is to set forth an objective set of rules for maintaining order in a society. If this sounds like something that piques your interest, then a degree in Criminal Justice might be right for you. Criminal Justice degrees, often referred to as degrees in criminology, are designed to prepare students to pursue work in the justice system as well as in various social work positions. These degrees traditionally focus on sociology, law, and psychology. Individuals who hold Criminal Justice degrees typically work in professions which place an emphasis on protecting citizens, upholding laws, and institutionalizing criminals who have been proven guilty in a court of law. Criminal Justice consists of three main areas: legal, law enforcement, and corrections. These areas umbrella multiple careers including corrections officer, court clerk, probation officer, police officer, and more.
As with most degrees, general courses will be necessary to earn a degree in Criminal Justice, this means taking the core classes before reaching the actual Criminal Justice focused classes. These courses will include English, Math, Science, and more for example. Students can expect to take many specialized courses with their Criminal Justice degrees, which can include social psychology, social deviance, critical thinking, speech, and complex organization to name a few. Logic and the application of reason to identify, analyze, and solve problems makes up a huge portion of any Criminal Justice curriculum. Also having the skills for a strong problem-solving skill set is a necessity for any graduate in this field of study.
The number of careers paths available to those who complete a degree in Criminal Justice may be seemingly endless. Professions which could include Customs Agent, ICE Agent, Legal Assistant, Lawyer, and more. Career paths can also be more specialized in the Criminal Justice field as well with furthering one’s career with a higher education. The Criminal Justice field ranges in degree levels which include Diploma or Certificate, all the way up to a Doctorate. There are an endless amount of possibilities and Areas of Study to choose from in the Criminal Justice field.
Criminal Justice degrees truly come in all shapes and sizes. They are available at all degree levels ranging from Certificate to Doctorate; typically, one’s career path will determine what education level is necessary. Professions such as paralegal may only require an Associate's degree, while more advanced professions such as attorney or judge may require a Doctorate.