Graduate Degrees in Criminal Justice
November 23, 2009
If you have a passion for law enforcement and want to look out for the greater well-being of others, you may find a graduate degree in criminal justice intriguing. A criminal justice worker may have to put his or her life on the line to protect citizens, while others may do more behind-the-scenes work. Either area of work you choose, a graduate degree in criminal justice will be beneficial for your career. The most convenient way to earn a graduate degree in criminal justice is to complete the program online. There are a variety of graduate degrees you can earn online, such as a master’s and Ph.D., in a range of topics, including criminal justice, law, forensic sciences, homeland security and public safety. You can get a Master of Science in Criminal Justice, a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology, a Ph.D. in Public Safety and many more unique and exciting degrees online.
There are many rewarding careers in criminal justice and having a graduate degree will help you get the best jobs. Depending on what you want to do, criminal justice jobs are rather abundant and come with great benefits and incentives. Graduates in criminal justice may be interested in federal agent jobs, such as U.S. Customs agents, DEA agents or FBI agents. Agent work typically involves top-secret matters like national security and international investigations. Customs agents investigate money laundering, customs fraud, narcotics smuggling, luggage inspections and much more. Their responsibilities have grown over the years, due to terrorism surveillance and immigration policies. Customs agents can make about $28,000 to $45,000 a year, depending on his or her assigned level. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents implement and enforce illegal drug laws, including growth and distribution of drugs and drug businesses in other countries. DEA agents can make anywhere from $35,000 to $50,000 a year. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents investigate domestic criminals who are involved in white collar crime, organized crime, fraud, corruption, terrorism and more. FBI agents work in dangerous, intense situations because they are a part of surveying, arresting, conducting raids, interviewing witnesses and suspects and traveling to other countries on assignments. FBI agents make about $51,000, while in training programs, and typically receive a raise when they start official field work. Another criminal justice job of interest is being an officer. From a police officer to a probation officer, these workers serve and protect citizens on a daily basis. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a probation officer oversees two types of individuals: offenders sentenced to probation, or parolees who were released from prison and must serve parole-ordered sentences. Both criminal cases require the probation officer to investigate and evaluate the client’s background and progression, in order to give judges essential information before sentencing the criminal. The average salary of probation officers is about $40,000, and it varies depending on the type of clients they have, the court system and the city or region they work in.
Earning a graduate degree in criminal justice will help you advance positions to supervisor or leading agent one day. Most criminal justice careers are employed by the federal government, which provides great security and long-term benefits for employers. To find a federal job in criminal justice, visit USA Jobs, the official job site of the US federal government.