Online College Courses in Criminal Justice
If you’re interested in using your degree for a career in law enforcement, security, or public service, you’ll take courses focused on criminal justice. These courses encompass a wide variety of topics that explain the mechanics of the American criminal justice system and how authority figures should enforce and protect the laws. For those earning their criminal justice degrees online, there is a host of accredited online universities that offer online college courses in criminal justice, which work to equip students with the background education necessary for a successful career in the field. Courses ranging from counterterrorism intelligence to criminal law cover the basic principles that pertain to all professions in criminal justice. Students who earn their criminal justice degree online will work through rigorous academics that will prove instrumental to their careers, whether they’re abiding the laws as a private investigator or patrolling the streets as a police officer.
People who know which specific career path in criminal justice that they want to pursue will need to take online courses in criminal justice that specialize in that occupation. For instance, if you're interested in law enforcement, you would need to take online criminal justice courses in criminal procedures to understand the process behind booking and processing violators or constitutional law pertaining to criminal’s rights. If you want to specialize in Web-based crimes, you might take classes on the laws and history of cybercrime to grasp the scope of offenses committed on the Internet and the various legal gray areas surrounding illicit Internet usage.
But regardless of your specific interests in criminal justice, be sure to confirm that you’re taking online college courses for a criminal justice degree from an accredited university. If your university is accredited, then you can rest assured that you’re receiving a high-quality education that will be accepted by most schools and employers. Visit U.S. Department of Education's database to see if your university is on the list of accredited institutions before you enroll in classes.
Criminal Justice and Your Career
Online courses in criminal justice will help your career in the field by preparing students for hazardous scenarios on the job. Classes in deviant behavior will help aspiring law enforcement officers discern dangerous characters from harmless ones, whereas classes in white-collar crime will help criminal justice personnel understand that criminals exist in all socioeconomic settings. Criminal justice courses will also help people who want to expand on an already nascent career in the field. For instance, a veteran of the armed services might have some classes and experience necessary for a career as a private investigator, but still falls short of the credits required for certification. That person might take the courses in forensic sciences online, thereby meeting the criteria necessary to complete their certification.
And there’s no shortage of career opportunities in criminal justice. In fact, private investigators are experiencing one of the fastest growing career paths, and the occupational information network (O*NET) reports that the as an occupation, private investigators rank as one of their “Bright Outlook” career opportunities, with a projected job growth much higher than the average.
Free Online Criminal Justice Courses:
- DNA Fingerprinting, Genetics and Crime: DNA Testing and the Courtroom – The University of Michigan
- Reading Seminar in Social Science: Race, Crime, and Citizenship in American Law – MIT OpenCourseWare
- Violence, Human Rights, and Justice – MIT OpenCourseWare