United States Online Criminal Justice Masters Degree Programs
Busy working students interested in public policy, the law, and law enforcement, might find that an Online Criminal Justice Masters Program may provide interesting career options in the field. Criminal justice is the system of practices and institutions that are responsible for upholding social control, preventing, and mitigating crimes, and sanctioning violators of the laws in place. Earning an Online Criminal Justice Masters Degree is a learning format that may be more convenient to students with other obligations or geographical restrictions.
Is an Online Criminal Justice Masters Degree Necessary?
Both Campus and Online Criminal Justice Masters programs go above and beyond the scope of undergraduate learning. These graduate programs combine the fundamental beliefs of law and psychology to prepare students to potentially manage criminals, work in criminal investigations, and understand the inner mechanisms of the justice system.
Whereas undergraduate study may be generalized, students in an online Master of Criminal Justice program may choose to pursue a general track without a concentration or select from different concentration options. Some of these might include:
- Analysis of Criminal Behavior
- Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention (local police and government-level such as FBI)
- Corrections and Offender Rehabilitation
- Terrorism/counter terrorism
- Information security
- Homeland Security
Potential Benefits to Online Criminal Justice Programs
Distance-learning in general is either asynchronous or synchronous. Asynchronous online programs allow students to log into their courses at their own convenience, while synchronous learning means that your courses are live-streaming. In either case, many of the best criminal justice graduate schools with traditional campus programs have also developed online
Criminal Justice Masters program so that students get the benefit of a quality education, and often the same professors even if they cannot commute or relocate.
This means that earning an Online Criminal Justice Masters Degree may be a flexible way for you to achieve a graduate education, as you really can study from anywhere you have a computer and reliable Internet. While one would think that studying online might be isolating, these programs often include support from tech teams, as well as various methods of interacting digitally with classmates and faculty.
Sound interesting? If you do learn well independently, and like the idea of researching online, using web cams, emails, webchats, online group discussion boards and such, initiate a search on GradSchools.com to find programs such as Online Criminal Justice M.S., Online Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Online MBA Criminal Justice, Online Master of Science in Financial Crime and Compliance Management, or Master of Public Administration – Criminal Justice online.
What Types of Online Criminal Justice Masters Degrees are there?
Depending on the college or university, students may obtain an online Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ), an online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ), an online Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) degree, or online Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Criminal Justice degree.
Choosing a degree should reflect not only your interests, but also, students should research the educational path required to be able to work in their chosen career.
For instance, if you are interested in studying the larger context of crime and understanding the concept of justice and its applications, the online MACJ might be the right fit.
If you are interested in emergency response, disaster planning, or public administration, an MBA or MSJC might be the right fit. The Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration (MSCJ) is designed primarily for practitioners in the field of criminal justice interested in developing and/or enhancing their administrative skills. These programs may also support the needs of students who will continue with doctoral or law studies.
FUN FACT: Employers of information security analysts sometimes prefer applicants who have a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems[i].
Potential Careers in Criminal Justice
Professionals with a Criminal Justice Master degree may have the choice of entering different kinds of law enforcement, criminal investigation, and crime prevention occupations, such as:
- Probation and Correctional Officers
- U.S. Marshals
- Correctional Treatment Specialists and Rehabilitation Counselors
- Emergency Management Directors
- First-line Supervisors of Police Officers and Detectives
- Financial Investigators
- Homeland Security
Ready to Pursue an Online Masters Degree in Criminal Justice?
Online Criminal Justice Masters Programs offer a variety of potentially exciting and challenging career paths. Whether you are interested in public safety, corrections, global issues in criminal justice such as terrorism and cyber crimes, law, or leadership and executive management, earning an online masters degree in Criminal Justice may be a viable alternative to studying on-campus. Whether you are looking to begin or advance your education and career path, start your search for an accredited online criminal justice masters degree now!
[i] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm | other sources: ls.gov/ooh/management/emergency-management-directors.htm | onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9161.00 | bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm | bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm | bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm | bls.gov/careeroutlook/2006/summer/art01.pdf | bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/private-detectives-and-investigators.htm
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