Traditionally, when people think of jobs related to criminal justice they think of either a lawyer or a police officer. However, the field includes an incredible range of jobs and includes the most rapidly growing careers in the U.S. economyi. Degrees in these areas are used within the court and prison systems, as well as for insurance investigations, counseling and treatment programs, trade and customs offices, fish and game departments, forensics and technology fraud, to name a few.
The career outlook for Criminal Justice majors is overwhelmingly positive due to the breadth of careers and graduate studies for which this degree prepares students. Individuals with degrees in criminal justice can be employed in a variety of settings including private, state and federal levels, as well as pursue graduate degrees in many areas including psychology, legal studies, political science and criminology. Individuals with these degrees are in high demand because of the complex and changing needs of our criminal justice system.
Some of the career opportunities include:
Criminal Investigator/ Detective Individuals that choose these careers investigate crimes or fraud and gather information to find information to determine the criminals responsible (e.g. police work, insurance investigators) or to help protect individuals from future harm.
Lawyer/ Mediator Lawyers and Mediators advise and represent individuals, companies or government agencies on legal issues, disputes or conflicts.
Teacher/ Professor Individuals with a Criminal Justice degree that go into teaching are able to instruct students on a variety of academic and vocational subjects including criminology, history, civics, and the legal system.
Parole/ Probation Officers/ Corrections Correctional officers oversee individuals in prison/jail or a reformatory, individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial, or individuals who have served their sentence and have received a supervised release.
Counselors/ Treatment Specialists Individuals who choose these careers work with and monitor offenders to prevent them from committing new crimes through supervision and treatment programs.
Customs/ Inspectors/ Compliance Officers These individuals enforce policies, procedures and regulations and advise individuals and programs on these standards.
Some of the settings include:
Local organizations: Sheriff’s Department, Private Investigation, Security Supervisor, Insurance Investigation, Local Court System, School Systems
State organizations: Crime Commission, Attorney General’s Office, Prisons, Court System, Liquor/ Licensing Bureaus, Superior Court System, Post-Secondary Schools
Federal Organizations: FBI, Department of Defense, Immigration, Department of Transportation
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers related to criminal justice such as probation officers and correctional treatment specialists are expected to increase by 18% in the coming years and counselors, social workers and other community and social service specialists are expected to increase by 26% and private detectives and investigators by 21%. All of these areas are growing at a faster rate than the national average of 14%iv.
Incomes in this area are strongly impacted by a post-secondary degree. Frequently, occupations in this area have a ranking structure and advancement is based upon education level, experience and performance. Gaining a bachelor’s degree in this area is an important step toward both advancement and increasing compensation. Further, because degrees in criminal justice lend themselves strongly to graduate studies many of the median incomes for careers related to this field are above the national median income. In fact, many career paths within this field include the opportunity to continue study during employment and often have it paid for by the employer.
Online Criminal Justice Degrees at Drexel University
Drexel University Online Criminal Justice program provides a strong academic foundation enhanced by focused coursework that prepares students for a range of professional occupations or for graduate work. Students are given a strong background in the study of crime and criminal behavior, as well as a knowledge of the historical background, structure, administration, and policies, and procedures of the agencies of crime control and criminal justice, including law enforcement, corrections, and the judiciary.
Additionally, Drexel's Online criminal justice degree draws on the strengths of a range of programs including: sociology, psychology, legal studies, political science, information science, computer science, chemistry, and bioscience/ biotechnology. The online criminal justice degree is for students who want to prepare for careers in criminal justice, private security, legal professions or who are interested in graduate study in criminal justice or associated disciplines, including forensic science, and computer science.