Which Criminal Justice Degree is Best for Non-Traditional Students?

Non-traditional students are almost always those who are already employed and are seeking higher education to climb up the corporate ladder. Their main problem is how to get a degree of one’s choice without having to disrupt one’s existing situation. Usually that boils down to a single question: how to get a degree without having to give up one’s job and without having to relocate?

Previously, before the age of distant learning and online education had come upon us, answering this question satisfactorily almost always depended on one’s luck. If you were lucky you could get admission into one of the night schools or evening schools in your locality, continue with your education and still maintain your job and without relocating.
But there was yet another luck factor involved – whether the particular degree you were looking for was being offered in night or evening schools in your locality or not. If not, bad luck. If yes, well you were lucky!

Today that situation has changed dramatically. With distant learning and online education becoming more of a norm rather than an exception, almost anybody can get college degrees today without too much of a hassle. Of course, work and study you still have to do but getting the opportunity to do so is not such an issue anymore. All you have to do is to get admitted into one of the many online degree programs that are now available in almost any discipline you want -. from astronomy to zoology with criminal justice very much there in-between.

Online degrees now enable employed people – people who have to continue with their jobs to maintain home and hearth – to try and become more qualified without disrupting the rest of their lives in any significant way.

Today, online degrees are available for almost every single field within the broad field of criminal justice. These online degrees are best suited to meet the educational needs of non-traditional students, allowing them to continue part-time or full-time work. No on-campus visits are required.

Participants in such online programs can learn about crime causation, criminal justice issues, forensic science, juvenile justice, law enforcement, courts, corrections, homeland security, law – you name it, you get it. And if you are careful about choosing the right online program, you can rest assured that the online degree you will get will be in no way inferior to any on-campus degree.

Professional faculty members who are specialists in their own fields conduct online courses over the Internet. Non-traditional students can earn a degree in criminal justice online, from their homes and workplaces, and they can learn and earn valuable college degrees at their own time and at their own pace.

Non-traditional students should, therefore, look at what they are presently doing, what degree can help them rise up the career ladder, which type of degree will enable them to cash in on their on-the-job training and experience to earn credits and reduce the overall time taken to get a college degree, which college or universities offer the best and most cost-effective degree in the subject of their choice, and so on, to take a call on which online degree they should go for.

All that they will need is a computer at home or easy access to a computer, a reliable Internet connection, and the willingness to study and work beyond the basic demands of their jobs.

For non-traditional students, online degrees in criminal justice that have some bearing on their existing professional calling are the best way out!

Requirements to Get a Criminal Justice Degree

The requirements to get a criminal justice degree vary from school to school, but there are some things that remain consistent from one institution to the next, as there are certain standards for accreditation that require a certain level of consistency throughout the programs. Anyone who is considering getting one of these criminal justice degrees should definitely be prepared for the expectations of the program. Not all degree programs are alike, though, so it’s also important to understand the different options.

Justice degree programs tend to be set up in either one of two ways. Some programs are more academic and focus on the many theories that explore the social dimensions of crime. Others are set up to prepare individuals for specific vocations. And with a justice bachelor’s degree, there will also be general education and elective courses required. The justice degree at Villanova University, for example, focuses on the perspective of criminology, with required courses including Introduction to Justice, Criminology, Police and Society, Courts, Penology and Corrections and Criminological Theory.

The requirements to get a justice degree like the one from Villanova will also require a course centered on statistics, but these aren’t just any stats classes that you’d normally take in college. Course options include Research and Statistics, Data Analysis for Social Scientists and Applied Research Methods. Students must also choose from electives such as The Supreme Court, Capital Punishment, White Collar Crime, Victimology, Drugs and Society, Sociology of Deviance, Juvenile Delinquency, Sociology of Law and Race and Ethnic Relations.

Other schools such as the University of Southern Illinois have a very different approach with their justice degrees, which use a much more pragmatic methodology. The required courses for this program include Introduction to Criminal Justice Administration, Policing in America, Analysis in Criminals Justice, Prosecution and Adjudication, Introduction to Private Security, Introduction to Corrections and Victims of Crime. These courses are designed for students who plan on entering vocations in the criminal justice field as soon as they graduate. Both of these programs, however, will require some standard justice courses as well as general education courses.

Why an Online Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice Is Essential Today

Be it any field of study the bachelors program is a stepping stone for every person towards future educational and professional progress. Likewise the online bachelors degree in criminal justice is a source through which many people are able to get a grip if of their career goals keeping in check their other commitments.

Why Earn an Online Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice

An effective and performing justice system is an essential need of every developed society. Education in this field has a nominal growth but due to finance, time and work issues many people usually drop the idea of continuing with their higher education in this field.

With the help of the establishment of effective online schools, many of the before faced problems have been solved. Due to the affordability and flexibility this format of education offers people many have turned to the online bachelors degree in criminal justice offering schools to complete their higher education and step into different careers

What Does this Degree Consist Of?

The bachelor program usually studies about the behavior and outcomes of criminals, kinds of crimes etc. This degree also consists of some specialized courses which focus on certain aspects of the justice system.

Also there are certain important courses which form the foundation and conceptual structure of this degree program:

  • Crime and criminology
  • Introduction to policing
  • Criminal law
  • Criminal justice administration
  • Social psychology
  • Juvenile justice system
  • Corrections facilities
  • Judicial process

Educational Prerequisites

Yes there are certain qualifications you need to have before applying for this program. For instance the person needs to have high school diploma in hand with a high GED score. Along with this you need to complete certain general education courses beforehand.

Top Online Schools You Can Refer To

Now that you are aware of what the bachelor’s degree consists of, the next move is to select a notable school to pursue your criminal justice degree online from. Mentioned here are few of the accredited schools which offer an online undergraduate degree:

  • Ashford University
  • Everest University
  • Virginia College Online
  • Saint Leo University
  • Colorado Technical University
  • University of Maryland University College


According to the BLS the range of job opportunities for bachelor’s degree holders is quite extensive as the job outlook in the coming years has a projected to be growth by 18%.

The bachelor’s degree is considered to be the entry level program to step into major criminal justice careers, the median annual pay for these degree holders was about $47,200 back in 2010.

Criminal Justice Degrees Online – More Options and More Earning Power

Acquiring a criminal justice degree online can provide many benefits. For instance, you will have the flexibility of an online degree, you will have access to different degree programs, from associate’s to doctorate degrees, and finally, depending on which degree option you choose, you will be able to better determine your earning power.

Obtaining a criminal justice degree online is flexible for many reasons. First off, online schooling is ideal for people who are working and studying at the same time. You will be given the luxury to arrange your classes around your work schedule. Flexibility is especially convenient for working parents who need to rearrange their schedules around their children. With lowered costs than traditional universities, attaining an online criminal justice degree is extremely resourceful.

There are many different degree programs offered for criminal justice and criminology. For example, if you decide to pursue a two year associate degree, you can focus your studies on careers such as: corrections, law enforcement, paralegal, private security and court reporting. If you opt to pursue a four year degree, you can obtain a bachelor degree for the following careers: a probation officer, a correctional treatment specialist and a social worker.

Depending on which degree program you choose, your earning power can vary. The four types of degrees students can pursue are: associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate. Many studies reveal that achieving the next level of a degree results in a higher income. For example, those who earn a PhD in criminal justice will earn $2.2M more than high school graduates in a lifetime and $900,000 more than holders of master’s degrees. To start, an individual who has attained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can receive around $900 per week, whereas an employee with only a high school diploma receives $554 per week.

Once you’ve received your degree, you’ll have the ability to enter into a variety of careers ranging from police officers to paralegals. Individuals have the opportunity to pursue many criminal justice careers on a local, state or federal level, varying from a local social worker to a member of the FBI.

Attaining an online criminology degree is not only beneficial because of its flexibility and reduced costs, but because of its expanding options. With over 100 careers to choose from and several types of certificates and degrees, you will be given the opportunity to expand your career path as well as your salary.

Popular Demand: Criminal Justice Degree Online

Initially, you could think a security guard and an attorney do not have too much in common. But let’s search just a little deeper. You will find some parallels within the kind of career these types of men and women that have chosen a criminal justice degree.

Not surprisingly, not all security guards are created, or paid, equal. Although some guards are content to walk the beat and pass the time, there’s an additional group that bring it to an entire new level. These types of are the educated security guards. These guards are the cream of the crop, so to speak. They also receive a substantial income.

And then you’ve got the lawyers. Once again, not all are created equal. Some college graduates, with no far better option, choose law school is often an appropriate choice. Meanwhile there’s an additional group of students who currently hold a degree in criminal justice and are properly equipped to succeed in their studies and their careers. They’re starting out having a clear edge.

Beyond that, what else do they already have in common? Increasingly, technology is meeting law enforcement. This indicates that a variety of these experts have obtained a criminal justice degree online. Obtainable degrees range all of the way from associate’s to Master’s. Not surprisingly, the higher level education a student chooses will have a very good direct influence on the element in the field in which they are going to work.

It really is not merely the lawyers and security guards. Police officers, court clerks, bailiffs, probation officers, paralegals, detectives, drug enforcement agents, juvenile delinquency case managers and corrections officers across the nation have effectively acquired their criminal justice degrees online. And as soon as they have completed their programs, they’re discovering far more opportunities as well as significantly greater income waiting for them.

Take into account for a moment the New York City Police Department. When assessing new applicants, their own procedure states, “Earning an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree will set you apart from other candidates.” But it is not merely the rookies. Their policy also tends to make it clear that when taking into consideration officers for promotions, that once again “…holding a degree will set an officer apart in the testing for promotional positions.”

The employment outlook for law enforcement specialists is outstanding. Criminal offenses remain a pressing concern because the government and state make an effort to discover effective solutions. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there will likely be a 29% rise in demand by the year 2018 for police officers, FBI agents, detectives, as well as other associated positions. The only feasible remedy would be to maintain staffing trained men and women in each the private and public sectors. It is an uncomplicated case of supply and demand. As our needs as a community increase the same is true for the pay rate of law enforcement specialists.

What is also found to be true is that numerous employers will offer tuition assistance or perhaps complete reimbursement to get a degree online. And seeking this dream will not take time away from work or even family members. An online education enables students the convenience associated with learning when and exactly where they want.

The end result is this: a criminal justice degree online tends to make essentially the most sense for any person interested in making the world a far better place. And that is whether or not they are currently employed within the industry, and seeking to climb up the ladder, or whether or not they are simply just starting off to pursue a career in the field.