Criminal Justice/Police Science

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What will I do?

Criminal justice programs prepare you to work as a security guard, or in jails, prisons, or law enforcement.

Robert Hickerson

What classes will I take?

You will take basic classes in law and policing.

What skills do I need to start school?

You will need to be able to pass a physical exam and physical fitness test. You will need a driver’s license.

What can I do with a certificate?

At most schools, the certificate program prepares you to enter the police academy. At other schools, you can enroll in the certificate program while you are in the police academy.

How long does it take to complete a certificate?

The certificate program is usually two semesters. The police academy may take longer.

What are the next steps in a pathway?

You can apply to enter the police academy.

What can I do with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice?

You can work in law enforcement, as a corrections officer, or as a parole or probation officer.

What can I do with Bachelor’s Degree?

Increasing your education and experience make you eligible for promotions working in the criminal justice field. You can also apply to work for the FBI.

What are some challenges?

This can be very hard, physically demanding work. Police officers often work long shifts. When you are first hired, you will probably have to work undesirable shifts, such as overnights, weekends, and holidays.

How easy will it be to get a job?

Employment of police and detectives is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Many urban areas are struggling to recruit and hire qualified police officers.