What Subjects Are Needed To Become A Criminal Lawyer – As long as there is society, there will be crime. Wherever there is crime, there are jobs for police officers, prison officers, forensic scientists and other law enforcement professionals.
The criminal justice system is more than SWAT teams and undercover agents. The system wouldn’t work without the behind-the-scenes staff like prison guards, administrators and court reporters who help keep things running smoothly.
What Subjects Are Needed To Become A Criminal Lawyer
Criminal justice and law have always been good career paths – society will always need people who work to keep us safe and represent our interests in the justice system. But in our very safe post-9/11 world, there are more career paths in this field than ever before. Not only are traditional options like police and lawyers as secure as ever, but the addition of DHS means new jobs (like cybersecurity) and increased requirements (like Border Patrol).
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Of course, you can’t just walk down the street and become a lawyer, police officer, judge or court clerk. A solid education is a requirement for almost any career in the justice field. There are jobs at all levels of education, but like any profession, a higher education is a path to higher status and pay.
You may be wondering, “Is a criminal justice degree worth it?” or “Is a degree in criminology useful?” Although law enforcement jobs do not require a degree, there are plenty of jobs out there. A degree in criminal justice or criminology offers dozens of career options for those who want to protect the innocent from murderers, thieves, and other lawbreakers.
Even if the career you’re looking for doesn’t require a degree, you may find a criminal justice degree valuable because of the difference in pay. To encourage college education, many police departments offer educational bonuses to officers with college degrees.
Additionally, a criminal justice degree can benefit job seekers by giving them a competitive edge over other applicants. Employers often prefer candidates with a university degree, even if a degree is not required for the position. A degree in criminal justice or criminology is beneficial because it offers the opportunity for a high-paying career, such as a position with the DEA or FBI.
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Even a criminal justice certificate is better than no criminal justice education. If you have a degree in another field, a criminal justice certificate will give you an overview of the field and help you understand how your degree relates to criminal justice.
So why study criminal law? Because if you care about law and order, a criminal justice degree can benefit you by increasing the number and type of opportunities available to you and increasing your lifetime earning potential.
The importance of accreditation at a college of criminology and criminal justice, or any college, cannot be overstated. The accreditation process ensures certain minimum quality standards for schools. This ensures that students will receive a quality education when they pursue a degree in criminal justice or a degree in criminology.
When it comes to criminal records, the type of certificate is important. First, schools should have regional accreditation, not just national accreditation. This is not a deal. If you need to transfer to another school, it is much easier to get credit transfer approval from a regionally accredited school. Additionally, if you graduated from a non-regionally accredited school, your options may be limited if you want to pursue a master’s degree after graduation.
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The best criminal justice schools are not only regionally accredited, but also have specialized criminal justice accreditation. The Academy of Criminal Justice (ACJS) provides accreditation at the Academy of Criminal Justice program level. While this certification is nice, it is not necessary. There are many excellent schools that offer degrees in criminal justice or criminology that are regionally accredited, but are not accredited by ACJS.
Students often save a lot of money by going to school closer to home. However, the best criminal justice schools are regionally accredited and some that are not accredited are scams. Whether you want to earn a degree in criminology or a certificate in criminal justice, protect yourself by choosing a regionally accredited criminology and criminal justice college.
AS: An associate degree can be earned in about two years at a community college or college. Employees can open doors to a number of career paths, including police, prison officers, paralegals or evidence technicians.
BS: A Bachelor of Science is a 4-year degree earned at a college or university. Many municipalities require police and probation officers to have a bachelor’s degree, and most technical roles, such as crime scene investigators, require at least a bachelor’s degree.
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MS: Any job in criminal justice will pay more and have more responsibility with a master’s degree—it’s usually a two-year program, although one-year accelerated programs have become more common in recent years. Government agencies like the FBI, CIA, NSA, etc. Master’s degree in agent preferred.
JD: To become a lawyer, you need a Juris Doctor (JD) degree. A JD is what people mean when they say they have a law degree – it’s the only one. A Juris Doctor usually requires three years of graduate study, but you must also pass the bar exam to become a lawyer.
An associate degree in criminal justice usually takes two years and is often the least expensive criminal justice degree. Many local colleges offer associate degree programs in criminal justice. Earning an associate degree from a local community college is often much less expensive than attending a 4-year college or university, but keep in mind that the cheapest criminal justice degree is not necessarily the best.
The biggest downside to earning an associate degree in criminal justice through a community college is that it can sometimes be difficult to transfer credits from the community college if you later decide to pursue a degree. According to Lumerit Unbound, students lose an average of 40 percent of their credits when they transfer to college because they didn’t take the right courses at a community college.
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This problem can be avoided by finding community or junior colleges that have partnerships with four-year colleges or universities. Often, smaller regional colleges will partner with larger colleges to ensure compatibility of their programs and ease the transition from a junior college subprogram to a larger 4-year college or university undergraduate program.
Jobs that criminal justice assistants can do include assistant asset protection managers, anti-money laundering investigators, court operations assistants, and forensic lab technicians.
A criminal justice degree usually takes four years. However, accelerated programs such as Purdue Global’s online criminal justice degree are available. These programs are often designed to appeal to mature students who are trying to balance school, career and family life.
A degree in criminal justice opens up more career opportunities, as many police departments and organizations such as the FBI require at least a bachelor’s degree. An online criminal justice degree meets this requirement like a traditional on-campus degree, but allows you to take criminal justice courses online.
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Employment opportunities for those with a criminal justice degree include CIA Attorney General, Criminal Investigator, SMI Case Manager, Criminal Justice Specialist, CDCA Case Worker, Criminal Justice System Specialist, Prison Mental Health and Criminal Justice Services Manager, Legal of Assistant, Probation/Probation Officers. , substance use disorder case managers, and juvenile justice professionals.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in criminal justice can help you take your career to the next level. While a master’s degree typically takes two years, there are some accelerated options, especially if you can take criminal justice courses online.
Some jobs that require a master’s degree in criminal justice include substance abuse therapists, reentry program managers, criminal justice mental health liaisons, and criminal justice aides.
Obtaining a doctorate opens up more career opportunities and thus the possibility of a higher salary. Jobs available to those with a doctorate in criminal justice include research assistants, civil rights investigators, adjunct professors of criminal justice or criminology, and assistant directors of youth facilities.
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Online criminal justice degrees are plentiful because most careers in this field are clerical. You can easily and relatively easily earn a criminal justice degree online and immediately prepare for a job as a paralegal or clerk while earning an online degree to advance your career. It is also an easy way to start a career as a police officer, parole officer or prison officer, but it is only the first step as further training is required.
Some criminal justice careers, such as general crime scene investigation, can benefit housing projects.