A bachelor of criminal justice degree program is typically devoted to developing highly-trained professionals to serve in positions of safety and security. Those interested in applying for this degree must have a high school diploma or GED.
In these four-year programs, students learn to more proactively protect citizens' as well as their rights while gaining more understanding in the function of the justice system and the laws this system thrives upon. Students may be required to complete an internship while in the degree program.
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
This curriculum may cover the specific functions of various roles within the criminal justice field, such as law enforcement, security or corrections positions. Students not currently working in any capacity with homeland security may seek out internships to give them hands-on experience in the field. Coursework may include topics like:
- Criminal law
- Cyber security
- Domestic and International terrorism
- Political aspects of terrorism
- Racial and religious factors
- Police organizations
Popular Career Options and Salary Information
A large variety of positions are available within the field of criminal justice and homeland security. In some cases, law enforcement agencies may prefer their officers to have training in homeland security. Training in this subject area may also have benefits for individuals interested in pursuing options in the worlds of industry or business. Potential job titles for graduates could include:
- Security administrator
- Border patrol agent
- Transportation security officer
- Police officer
- Corrections officer
According to PayScale.com, the median annual salary for a data security administrator was $59,992 as of January 2016, whereas the median salary of border patrol agents was $63,729.
Transportation security screeners, also referred to as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents, earned a median annual wage of $39,310 in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reports employment and earnings data for police and correctional officers. As of 2015, police and sheriff's patrol officers earned a median annual wage of $58,320, whereas correctional officers and jailers earned $40,530.
Upon completion of a bachelor's degree program, students are able to pursue graduate-level education dedicated to criminal justice or homeland security. Master's degree programs can emphasize practical research goals that aim to develop creative solutions to threats of terrorism at home and abroad.
To study homeland security, students need to take up a bachelor's degree program in criminal justice, and specialize in homeland security within the program. Upon completion, graduates will have the option of pursuing a career as TSA agents or as police and correctional officers, as well as furthering their education with a master's degree in homeland security.