Coursework in criminal justice associate's degree programs often provides hands-on training in computers and other technologies as well as computer literacy and technology skills. These programs prepare graduates to start entry-level careers with local law enforcement agencies. Applicants to these 2-year programs need a high school diploma or equivalent.
Associate in Criminal Justice - Cybercrime
Within criminal justice associate's degree programs, students examine legal ethics, police procedures and the inner workings of the justice system. Programs that focus on cybercrimes explore criminal evidence, operating systems and computer security. Other courses found in cybercrime programs may include:
- Cyber law
- Computer forensics
- Criminal law
- Evidence gathering
- Investigations procedures
Popular Career Options
Earning associate's degrees in criminal justice with a focus in cybercrime can prepare students for law enforcement positions dealing with technology-based crimes, such as identity theft or computer hacking. Since criminals conduct cybercrimes on local and global scales, nearly every branch of law enforcement has some sort of department dedicated to working these types of cases. Associate's degree holders are prepared for entry-level careers in areas such as:
- Criminal investigations
- Computer forensics
- Cybercrime prevention
Career Prospects and Earning Potential
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the number of jobs for police officers and detectives to increase 4% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The median salary for police and sheriff's patrol officers was $58,320 in 2015, and the median salary for detectives and criminal investigators was $77,210 that same year, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
To enter into law enforcement positions at the local or state levels can require completing police academy training. Information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that federal law enforcement positions generally require that applicants hold bachelor's degrees within their fields of specialty (www.bls.gov).
Since technology changes constantly, law enforcement professionals specializing in cybercrimes will need to take continued education coursework frequently just to stay current. Individual courses or certificate programs in computer forensics can provide some adequate training. Additionally, students wishing to further their education in the field may complete a bachelor's degree program in criminal justice or cyber security.
An associate's degree in criminal justice that focuses on cybercrime gives students the necessary computer and investigation skills for entry-level jobs in law enforcement. Graduates will need to stay up to date on current technology through continued education and may choose to pursue advanced degrees or police academy training.