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law_enforcementUnited States’ College graduates are finding it increasingly difficult to find careers after graduation. Having a career plan before entering college is crucial to ensure that students don’t spend excess money on their education due to a lack of focus. Entering into law enforcement is a rewarding career for many young graduates who are looking to better themselves and their community. When choosing a major in college that will lend itself well to a career in law enforcement, college students should focus on a degree that will provide knowledge about specific skills that someone in this field might utilize. For this reason, a degree in criminal justice would be the most useful for a college student looking to take this career path.

Education

A Criminal justice education provides extensive knowledge on both legal process and criminal procedure. Knowing the nuances of the legal process and criminal proceedings are essential to anyone looking to enter an area of law enforcement. The United States’ court system is something that a law enforcement officer must become intimately aware of, before entering the career field. As a member of law enforcement, a student might be required to attend court, be a witness, or even be a member of the defense or prosecution teams. Having a clear knowledge of the procedures involved in the justice system will allow for success in these situations more so than for someone who does not have any prior knowledge of the procedures in this type of environment. The US Bill of Rights provides for many iron clad stipulations that law enforcement officers must follow, and having an extensive knowledge of these procedures before entering the field is also crucial to success.

One of the most favorable aspects of a degree in criminal justice is the flexibility that a student has in regards to where and how they choose to obtain this education. Most accredited colleges and universities offer a degree in this program, as do many reputable online institutions. Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees are all available for criminal justice majors depending on the extent of education they wish to receive. For example, an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice would take approximately two years to complete while a Bachelor’s Degree in the same area of concentration would take approximately four years. There are benefits to each type of program, and a student should choose the option that best fits his or her schedule, finances, and academic aptitude.

Outlook

Law Enforcement can be a rewarding career field with many opportunities for growth and advancement as an employee gains time and experience with an institution. Students who know they want to enter this field should pursue higher education with a criminal justice degree in mind. Criminal justice offers a student knowledge about the legal process, criminal procedures, as well as knowledge about useful topics such as public speaking. The degree is one that is offered at most colleges and universities and also has a strong presence in the online learning community. Finally, a degree in criminal justice allows for multiple levels of education from an Associate’s Degree through a Master’s Degree in the subject. Learning the intricacies of the law enforcement profession prior to stepping onto the field will result in much more success as a new employee and a greater understanding of the rigors and responsibilities of the job.