Individuals who are interested in becoming private security specialists have the choice of earning associate's, bachelor's, master's or PhD degrees in criminal justice or criminology, which are offered by most 4-year universities. They should research specialization options for criminal justice majors, program flexibility and internships before selecting a school.
Top 10 Schools for Private Security Specialists
These institutions offer criminal justice and/or criminology degree programs.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered|| Undergraduate Tuition
|University of Maryland--College Park||College Park, MD||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state $10,595; Out-of-state $35,216|
|University at Albany--SUNY||Albany, NY||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state $10,011; Out-of-state $26,851|
|University of Cincinnati||Cincinnati, OH||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state $11,000; Out-of-state $27,334|
|University of Missouri--St. Louis||St. Louis, MO||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state $9,792; Out-of-state $26,040|
|Pennsylvania State University--University Park||University Park, PA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state $18,454; Out-of-state $34,858|
|University of California--Irvine||Irvine, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state $13,700; Out-of-state $42,692|
|Florida State University||Tallahassee, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state $5,656; Out-of-state $18,786|
|Michigan State University||East Lansing, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state $14,460; Out-of-state $39,766|
|Rutgers University -- Newark||Newark, NJ||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state $14,409; Out-of-state $30,717|
|CUNY--John Jay College||New York, NY||4-year, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's||In-state $7,270; Out-of-state $14,940|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
School Selection Criteria
There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a program in this field.
- Degree levels can determine job prospects: an associate's is appropriate for general security work, but other positions, such as a corporate investigator, require a bachelor's degree.
- Students interested in specializing, such as in cybersecurity, should ensure that the appropriate coursework is available at a prospective university.
- If flexibility is important, students may want to consider the time it will take to complete the program, the daily schedule for attendance or whether classes are offered online.
- Internships allow students to gain hands-on experience in the field and begin building relationships with potential employers.
Associate Degree in Criminal Justice
Most associate degree programs are 2-year programs, although some can be earned in as little as 18 months. This degree is designed for aspiring private security specialists who wish to work in general security or individuals wanting to transfer into a bachelor's degree program.
Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology
Most corporate investigator jobs require a bachelor's degree. Students can gain hands-on application working in private security through internships.
Those who are interested in becoming private security specialists can consider pursuing a degree in criminal justice or criminology to prepare to enter this career field. It's possible to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree, and also an option to continue graduate studies towards a master's or doctoral degree in either of these disciplines.