If you have a passion for helping and protecting others in terms of the law, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree may be an excellent fit for you. When searching for a career in criminal justice, a bachelor’s degree is likely a requirement for consideration. However, entry-level positions may be available and could accentuate your resume after you graduate from a four-year degree program.
What Can You do With a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Degree?
Students attending a bachelor’s degree program for criminal justice will learn all aspects of the criminal justice system, while also working on leadership and conflict resolution skills. Here are some common occupations available to graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree.
- Police Officer or Detective- Police officers and detectives work to keep their communities safe from harm that includes criminal activity. Police officers generally serve the public by protecting citizens and preventing crimes. On the contrary, detectives typically work closely with forensic departments to find evidence, solve crimes and protect victims of crimes.
- Forensic Technician- Forensic science technicians work closely with law enforcement to solve crimes, typically in a laboratory setting. These professionals generally have a strong background in chemistry and biological sciences. Forensic technicians analyze DNA and evidence to solve crimes and protect crime victims.
- Probation Officer- A probation officer generally works closely with recent law offenders. After serving jail time, it is a likely requirement that law offenders work with probation officers to successfully transition back into society. General duties of a probation officer include maintaining case files, testing for drug or other substance abuse, and connecting parolees with local community services.
How to Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice
Many universities offer four-year criminal justice degree programs. Typically, a bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice will require 120 credit hours. Program specifications vary by institution. General requirements include a high school diploma or GED, ACT or SAT scores, transcripts, and a letter of recommendation. Prerequisite requirements for these programs include general education courses with a focus on mathematics, science, and humanities. To check a specific program’s prerequisite requirements, simply tour the criminal justice program on their official school website.
For students who wish to attend an off-campus bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice, there are many online institutions available. Before applying to an online institution, be mindful to check the program’s accreditation. Online degree programs should hold either a regional or national accreditation. Additionally, accreditation should be recognized by the US Department of Education.
Careers in criminal justice can be incredibly rewarding. However, you must possess strong moral qualities to work for the justice system. A Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree can lead to numerous career opportunities. After graduating from a four-year degree program, you will be eligible for entry-level positions in law enforcement. Although, some students may want to continue their education for more career advancement opportunities. If you are passionate about helping people in your community and working to prevent crime, a career in criminal justice will be perfect for you.