Criminal justice degree programs at top online colleges provide students with a fundamental and academic overview of crime, law enforcement, corrections, criminal law, and the judiciary system. Degree program curriculum will include the study of individual courts, theories of the causes of crime, and crime control policy. Students will also develop management, critical thinking, and communication skills as well. The best online colleges will offer electives so that students can select and focus on subjects directly related to their professional career goals.
Majoring in criminal justice is an excellent way for an undergraduate to prepare for graduate or law school, while a mid-career professional may pursue a master's degree with a criminal justice specialization to help advance his or her career. Criminal justice online degree programs will prepare students for a variety of professional careers in protective services, law enforcement and corrections, and crime-related prevention programs, including shelters for abused women and children and drug and alcohol treatment facilities. Graduates can pursue professional opportunities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, and municipal and state police departments.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists is predicted to grow as mandatory sentencing guidelines are being reconsidered across the country, resulting in less prison time and more community-based service for lower risk offenders. Students interested in pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree in criminal justice should consider fully accredited top online colleges with high retention, graduation, and job placement numbers.