Criminal justice is a broad, exciting field that attracts a range of students from those interested in working in corrections (i.e., jails and prisons) to those who may someday want to pursue law degrees. The educational requirements for criminal justice careers vary from agency to agency and from state to state, but earning a certificate or degree in criminal justice is a great way you can set yourself on an excellent career path. Here are some top reasons to go to criminal justice school.
Set yourself apart from other job candidates
If you look at the descriptions for different jobs in the criminal justice field, you will see that many don’t require a degree, but most agencies and employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed at least some post-secondary education in the field. Going to school and earning a diploma, certificate, or degree, or even just taking a few courses, is a great way you can set yourself apart from other candidates who may not have the same educational background.
Get practical experience needed for the job
A lot of the training for criminal justice professionals takes place on the job, but most employers are still looking for applicants who have at least a few years of experience, for example, as a security guard. Trade and technical schools, which offer career-focused programs, often have courses that focus on developing job skills and they may even have practicums or other types of programs where students have the opportunity to get hands-on experience.
Prepare for a variety of careers
Police officer may be the most popular job in the criminal justice field, but it certainly isn’t the only one. In addition to corrections careers, criminal justice professionals work in law, counseling, public policy, forensic science, and more. Going to criminal justice school is a great way to learn more about all of these fields and earning a certificate or a degree will give you the most flexibility for your future career. In addition, for many jobs, having a post-secondary education is required for advancement to a supervisory or leadership position.
Earn more money
There is a direct relationship between the amount of education you have and your lifetime earnings. The more education you get, the more you earn—it’s that simple. Even if you choose to take your classes at night or online while you are working full-time, education is always a worthwhile investment.
Going to school is one of the best ways you can prepare for the future. Criminal justice schools offer a variety of courses, certificates, and degrees, so whatever your career goals, you will be able to find a program of study that meets your needs. Explore your options today.