Associate of Criminal Justice Technology: Degree Overview

An Associate of Criminal Justice Technology degree can train students to use computer software programs and devices that aid in crime scene investigations and missing persons searches. Programs can also focus on database management, firearm use and safety, self-defense techniques and computer forensic methods.

Essential Information

This associate's degree program lays the groundwork for students interested in a criminology career, whether they enter the field directly or pursue additional studies. Coursework covers a variety of topics, ranging from argument-based research to civil liability, and programs generally provide significant hands-on training.

  • Program Levels in Criminal Justice Technology: Associate of Criminal Justice Technology Degree; Police Academy Training; Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
  • Program Length: 2 years

Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice Technology

Formal coursework forms the backbone of this program. Students learn in lectures, fieldwork, internships and co-op work experiences. They complete a variety of courses in criminal investigations, law enforcement and technology. Typical classes might include:

  • Criminology
  • Corrections and law enforcement
  • Crime and delinquency
  • Organizational behavior
  • Juvenile justice
  • Court procedures and evidence

Popular Career Options

A criminal justice technology associate's degree graduate can choose to join a police department, seek government employment, specialize in computer technology or work in a police lab, among other possibilities. Popular career titles include:

  • Police officer
  • Bailiff
  • Fish and game wardens

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, police and sheriff's patrol officers earned a mean annual wage of $59,560 in May 2014. The projected job growth for police and detectives is 5% from 2012-2022.

Continuing Education Info

Graduates may find good job prospects and chances for career advancement, whether they pursue immediate employment or choose to further their education. Individuals interested in becoming police officers may be required to complete additional training, typically at academies, before they can begin police work. Aspiring correctional specialists and probation officers may pursue bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice or related fields.

Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) requires their agents to have at least a bachelor's degree and work experience (www.bls.gov). Police officers are typically required to complete annual training to maintain law enforcement skills and stay abreast of advancements in law enforcement equipment.

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