Getting a degree doesn’t come cheap, so you can be forgiven for wanting to know exactly what you are going to get out of your degree and what career options it is going to provide you with before you start the course. When considering getting a degree, it is important that you know what the return on your investment will be, so what better way of assessing the future than looking at your potential job opportunities?
Criminal justice has become an increasingly popular degree choice all over the world, with more people wanting to learn about the criminal proceedings that govern daily life. However, it is important that your decision to enrol in a criminal justice degree is not based solely on your love for CSI and murder mystery shows. It is more important that you are aware of where this qualification may take you.
1. Police Officer
A huge majority of individuals who have completed a criminal justice degree will go into the world of policing, and with the current demand for police officers, this could be a lucrative route to go. Society needs police officers to serve and protect our communities, so what better way to apply your knowledge and skills than by serving those around you. There is expected to be around a seven percent growth in the number of police officers in the next five years with an average annual salary of approximately $63,000.
However, it is important that you are fully aware of the difficult job that police officers have and that it can sometimes be a hazardous occupation. Therefore, it is important to weigh the extra expenses by getting a life insurance policy that is tailored to those who work in law enforcement.
2. Probation Officer
If you are interested in helping others but don’t want to be on the front line, then you could consider using your degree to become a probation officer. This is another job role that is expected to grow over the next five years, by around six percent, with an average salary of around $52,000 a year. A probation officer helps to navigate parolees through the corrections system to ensure that they can resettle into everyday life after their jail stay. This is a job where you can really make a difference in the lives of others.
While you would need some additional training and more qualifications if you wanted to specialize in a field of law, having a criminal justice degree is a great stepping-stone to a career in criminal law. It is a great way to apply the knowledge you have learned through your degree to everyday cases of law and order while helping others with their criminal proceedings. By gaining the qualifications required to become a lawyer you can expect to earn a very generous salary.
4. Correctional Officer
Many individuals who have completed a criminal justice degree often go on to become correctional officers who work largely within jails to assist and manage those convicted of crimes. While this is often a difficult job, it offers the opportunity to take a hands-on approach to work within the criminal justice system. You can expect to earn around $45,000 a year as a correctional officer, and even though traditional ‘guarding’ was once the aim of a correctional officer, they are now a lot more often included in the treatment and rehabilitative approach.
No matter what area of law or the criminal justice system that you are interested in, by completing a criminal justice degree, you have the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of others and to do your bit towards the protection and maintenance of society as we know it.
For more great college and career advice, check out the other blogs on College Basics.