November 18, 2019

FAQs for Future Criminal Justice Majors

Q. What kind of career can I have in criminal justice?

A. Criminal justice is a broad field to go into with many different kinds of jobs to pursue. In Wisconsin, police officers are required to have an associate's degree along with a few other requirements. Becoming a paralegal is also another option with an associate's degree. 

You can also start with an associate degree and move on to pursue a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. Then you'll have additional opportunities to work in law enforcement, the court system or within corrections. If you wish to become a lawyer or judge, an advanced degree will be required. 

Q. What does a degree in Criminal Justice look like?

A. A degree in criminal justice is geared towards making you an informed and ethical person of the law. People in this field hold a lot of responsibility in their community whether that be keeping people safe or making difficult decisions that impact others. To get started, consider earning a legal studies certificate. You will take courses such as Sociology 246: Juvenile Delinquency, Psychology 309: Abnormal Psychology and Political Science 120: Politics of Crime and Punishment to get you ready for this important field.  

Q. Is there job growth in this field?

A. There will always be a need for careers in law enforcement, the court system and corrections. From now to 2026 the need for police officers and detectives will remain at a steady 7% growth rate. Paralegals have a faster rate of job growth with 15% in the next decade which is faster than the national average. Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find out about the job outlooks for other criminal justice careers. 

Q. What is an anticipated salary of someone with a degree in criminal justice?

A. The national average salary for police officers is usually between $49,105-$57,316 annually. Of course, this varies with education level and experience. As of 2016, paralegals across the United States made $49,500 on average. As you pursue a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and beyond, you can anticipate your salary to increase depending on your career path. 

Q. How can UW Colleges Online help me get there?

A. One way to start your career in criminal justice is to earn an associate’s degree first. Through UW Colleges Online, you can earn credits that can later be transferred to a 4-year school. Through our guaranteed transfer program, you’ll be able to transfer to another UW System institution as a junior. There, you will be able to finish your bachelor’s degree and go on to a career in criminal justice. 

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Get started on your criminal justice career with an associate's degree with a legal studies certificate can be a smart choice. To learn more about UW Colleges Online's courses, speak to an advisor and apply!