Students in a bachelor's degree program in criminal justice administration will learn about many different aspects of the criminal justice field. Graduates are normally capable of analyzing evidence, following potential leads and solving crimes. They may also learn how to work in tandem with community members and how to talk with potential witnesses and comfort victims. To enter into these programs, applicants must generally have earned the equivalent of a high school diploma and possess a clear criminal record. Some careers in the criminal justice administration field, such as police work, will require additional training beyond a degree.
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Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice Administration
Criminal justice administration B.S. programs may use an interdisciplinary approach with a wide range of topics, including civil service, policing strategies, communication, technology and security. Courses within these programs may include:
- Criminal law and procedures
- Criminal justice systems
- Deviant behavior sociology
- Correctional systems
- Juvenile delinquency
Popular Career Options
Graduates interested in law enforcement possess skills for working with state and federal agencies. They are also prepared for administrative careers in courtrooms. Employers in the private sector hire graduates for private security careers. Possible job titles to consider may include:
- FBI agent
- Private detective
- Police officer
- Probation officer
Salary Information and Job Outlook
The salary website PayScale.com indicated a median yearly salary of $63,595 for FBI agents in June 2016. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that in 2015, private detectives earned a median annual wage of $52,840, while police officers' median income was $45,610 per year. The median annual salary for probation officers in 2015 was $49,360, reports the BLS.
The BLS expects that job growth for police officers, including FBI agents, will reach a level of 4% between 2014 and 2024. During the same decade, the BLS projects that employment of private detectives will rise 5%, while that of probation officers should rise by 4%.
Continuing Education Information
Although bachelor's degrees programs fulfill education requirements for many law enforcement careers, additional training may be required for various positions, such as police academy or federal law enforcement training. Furthermore, law enforcement professionals are often expected to participate in continued education training throughout their careers. Continued education topics for this career field may include crowd control, self-defense, prisoner containment, firearms and new law enforcement technologies.
Graduates can continue to study at the graduate level through master's degree programs in criminal justice. These programs can include courses in criminology, research methods and victimology, as well as elective options in terrorism and forensic analysis. These programs commonly culminate in the completion of a master's thesis.
A B.S. in Criminal Justice can lead to a wide range of careers in law enforcement. Programs often use an interdisciplinary approach with a wide range of course offerings.