Associate of Criminal Justice Technology: Degree Overview
Pursuing a career in criminal justice could appeal to someone that enjoys helping others and possesses problem-solving and analytical skills. Earning an associate's degree in criminal justice technology can lead to various entry-level positions in the field or could prepare students to continue their education at 4-year universities.
Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice Technology
These programs can be designed to train students to use computer software programs and devices that aid in crime scene investigations, missing person searches and solving crimes. They can obtain the skills to be effective criminal investigators, law enforcement professionals and administrative workers.
These 2-year programs can also focus on database management, firearm use and safety, self-defense techniques and computer forensic techniques. Candidates also develop oral and written communication skills needed in this profession. An applicant must typically have a high school diploma or GED for admission.
In addition to coursework, students learn from lectures, fieldwork, internships and co-op work experiences. Participants are required to complete a variety of courses related to criminal investigations, law enforcement and technology. These courses might include:
- Corrections and law enforcement
- Crime and delinquency
- Organizational behavior
- Juvenile justice
- Civil liability
- Court procedures and evidence
- Argument-based research
Popular Career Options
A criminal justice technology graduate can choose to join a police department, seek government employment, specialize in computer technology or work in a police lab, among other possibilities. Popular career titles include:
- Police officer
- Fish and game wardens
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, police and sheriff's patrol officers earned a mean annual wage of $57,770 in May 2012. The projected job growth for these workers is six percent from 2012-2022.
Continuing Education Info
Graduates may find good job prospects and chances for career advancement, whether they pursue immediate employment or choose to further their education. Individuals interested in becoming police officers may be required to complete additional training, typically at academies, before they can begin police work. Aspiring correctional specialists and probation officers may pursue bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice or related fields.
Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) requires that their agents have at least a bachelor's degree and work experience (www.bls.gov). Police officers are typically required to complete annual training to keep up with law enforcement skills and any advancements in law enforcement equipment.
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