Criminal justice careers are on the rise in the United States and it has become a popular choice for people to study in school. There are plenty of universities and colleges offering criminology degree programs from associate’s degrees to master’s degrees. Certain criminal justice careers require only a certificate or diploma and criminal justice programs to obtain these are also available from some criminal justice schools. A degree in criminal justice provides a wonderful foundation for a number of rewarding and interesting career opportunities. There are a few things to take into consideration before deciding on which criminal justice college will best suit your needs.
What are some Criminal Justice Career Opportunities?
Before researching criminal justice colleges, you should first determine the career path you would like to take. A few of the career opportunities in criminal justice are listed in this article but there are many more careers to choose from. Law enforcement careers include police officers, park rangers, detectives, public safety officers, and conservation officers. Careers in federal law enforcement include DEA agents, FBI agents, immigration officers, capitol police officers, and CIA agents. Correctional careers include parole officers, correctional officers, and probation officers. Forensic science careers include forensic psychologists, forensic artists, forensic nurses, and crime scene investigators. Legal criminal justice careers included judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and paralegals. Criminal justice majors can also choose to enter into private security careers which include private investigators, security officers, and fraud investigators.
What Should I Look for in Criminal Justice Colleges?
Although it is likely you have heard that the ranking or name of the criminal justice school you attend does not matter, it is not true. Criminal justice careers are high in standards and those that attend top criminal justice colleges will be held at a higher value when it comes to applying for a job. Your grade point average also makes a difference in those careers which are sought out the most so it’s also important to do well in school. You should choose colleges with criminal justice majors carefully. Consider your career goals and let that be your guide. Also keep in mind if attending a college campus or whether an online college will best suit your personal needs. Look at the rankings and accreditation of criminal justice schools and compare them to others before enrolling.
Best Criminal Justice Schools – Accreditation
The purpose of an accreditation is to make sure that institutions providing higher education meet the accepted level of quality. Agencies evaluate criteria and assess whether this criteria is met. If the institutions meet the quality standards, they are given an accreditation. The top criminal justice schools will be accredited and students should never attend criminal justice colleges that do not have an accreditation. Some accreditations are not recognized nationally due to accrediting agencies not being run by the government. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Education has published a list of accrediting agencies who have been deemed reliable authorities when it comes to quality education. This is a great resource and will help in your journey to finding the best criminal justice schools.
What are the Top Criminal Justice Schools?
U.S. News & World Report offers rankings on the best criminal justice schools in the United States. The top criminal justice colleges, according to their rankings, include the University of Maryland, the University at Albany, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Missouri, Pennsylvania State University, University of California, Florida State University, Michigan State University, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and CUNY John Jay College rounding out the ten top criminal justice schools. Online colleges with criminal justice majors can also be found. Attending college online can provide you with more flexibility if you have other responsibilities. The top criminal justice colleges online include Colorado Technical University Online, Everest University Online, Keiser University eCampus, U.S. Career Institute, and American Intercontinental University Online. The links below will provide more information on the higher rated criminal justice schools.