A career in criminal justice can be gratifying. It is ideal for people who want to help others and improve society. However, many roles require a bachelor’s degree. So, is it worth the time and effort to earn one? Here are some factors to consider.
Benefits of an Online Criminal Justice Degree
Online criminal justice degrees allow students to pursue a degree while maintaining a work and family life. Students in these programs can access lectures, study materials, and assignments using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. This accessibility can make it easier to study and keep up with course material, allowing students to finish their degrees more quickly than those on traditional campuses. An online criminal justice bachelors degree can help students prepare for careers and improve their employment opportunities. It can also provide a foundation for graduate studies in the field. Some online criminal justice programs offer specializations in law enforcement and homeland security. Others allow students to select courses based on their interests.
Moreover, some programs offer credit for previous work experience or military service. Additionally, online programs often operate on an accelerated schedule, with classes meeting less frequently than those offered at traditional colleges. It can help students complete their degrees more quickly.
You can progress your career in law enforcement, social work, criminal justice, domestic security, or corrections with a degree in criminal justice. It also provides the foundation to pursue post-bachelor’s education in related fields. Whether you choose an online bachelor’s degree or an on-campus program, you can expect to spend about $20,000 for your studies, including tuition and fees, textbooks, and other materials. The cost can vary by college, so compare rates and programs to find the best fit. Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s criminal justice program offers an immersive, career-focused curriculum that explores the different ideas of justice and the impact of crime on society. Students learn to apply their research, analytical, and communication skills to make a difference in communities.
An online criminal justice bachelor’s degree can lead to various satisfying careers. Students can pursue law enforcement, crime prevention, corrections, or private investigation jobs. Many of these career paths also offer competitive salaries and benefits. Many schools require first-year students to submit standardized test scores like the SAT or ACT. Still, many take a holistic approach to admissions and consider factors such as GPA, community college credits, volunteer work, and internships. Some colleges also use the Common Application, which streamlines the application process for multiple schools.
An online criminal justice degree can be completed in four years on average, depending on the school and course load. Students can complete their degrees faster by enrolling in accelerated programs offered by certain universities. Others provide opportunities for students to gain credit through the Law Enforcement Advanced Standing Program, which evaluates police academy training and other prior experience as college-level courses.1 Other institutions allow students to transfer up to 75 percent of their required credits.
Online criminal justice programs allow students to complete courses at their own pace. This flexibility makes them a good option for students with hectic work schedules who may need help to commit to classroom-based classes at a set time each week. Many programs also offer accelerated course lengths, which can help students finish their degrees faster. However, students should consider whether they will invest the extra effort needed to master shorter course material.
Some programs require internships or other real-world experiences in addition to class work. It can be a great way to gain experience in the field before entering the workforce and connect with faculty members with real-world expertise. Some schools may also award credit for previous work or military experience. It can accelerate the timeline of earning a degree and reduce tuition costs.