Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Georgia
An associate degree in criminal justice can be the ideal way to get started in one of the most essential fields in modern society. An associate degree can prepare you for many exciting careers that give you hands-on experience in criminal justice.
Furthermore, they can lay the foundation for further undergraduate study in criminal justice or a related field.
One of the defining features of the criminal justice industry is constant change. If you compare today’s laws, theories, and research to what was standard five or 10 years ago, you may find that it is an entirely different system today.
For example, Georgia is on its fifth set of criminal justice reform expansion laws. This expansion aims to implement charter schools in correctional facilities, change school discipline procedures to minimize juvenile justice issues, and prevent licensing boards from denying licenses based on criminal history (WABE, 2016).
With changes like these, it is important for the industry to have a strong base of highly trained professionals who are willing to change their work in line with research.
Are you ready to learn more about earning a criminal justice associate degree? Georgia schools are listed below—contact programs that interest you to find out more about your options.
Criminal Justice Associate Programs in Georgia
As a new student, it can be overwhelming to compare associate degree options and find one that complements your career goals. In terms of cost, degree duration, and credit requirements, Georgia schools tend to be fairly similar.
State averages for earning your criminal justice associate degree are listed below:
- Timeframe: 2 to 3 years
- Credits: 60 to 72
- Average tuition cost per year: $3,647 (College Board, 2016)
Although schools may be similar in several areas, there are many differences in terms of degree offerings. Across Georgia, you may find associate programs in law enforcement, criminal justice technology, corrections, homeland security, and emergency management.
If you opt for a general criminal justice degree, your curriculum may include courses like:
- Principles of Law Enforcement
- Criminal Law for Criminal Justice
- Ethics and Cultural Perspectives for Criminal Justice
- Constitutional Law for Criminal Justice
- Criminal Procedure
- Juvenile Justice
If you work inflexible hours, consider earning an online criminal justice associate degree. This option may permit you to complete the vast majority of your criminal justice coursework online, allowing you to work with your work schedule each semester. By communicating with other students in a class chatroom or forum, you can still get the interaction that can help you learn more quickly and collaborate with others in your field.
If you choose an in-person school, keep in mind that an internship can be a great way to jump-start your networking efforts and apply your newly gained knowledge to a real work setting. To get a good internship placement, it’s important to perform well in your courses and prove to professors that you can represent your school well.
Once you have enrolled in a criminal justice program, you can begin the financial aid application process. The Community Foundation of Central Georgia awards the Shield Club Scholarship, which is awarded to criminal justice students each year.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in Georgia?
Throughout your career, you may use your criminal justice degree in a variety of ways. However, as a new graduate, you can start looking into entry-level positions that put you in contact with the community, suspects, and victims. Many of these positions require on-call work, weekend hours, and holiday hours, so flexibility is crucial.
The criminal justice industry of Georgia is relatively stable and is expected to remain so through at least 2026. Job openings for fire inspectors may swell 11% during this time (CareerOneStop, 2016). Demand for patrol officers may increase 8% between 2016 and 2026, while job openings for police detectives may see an 8% boost (CareerOneStop, 2016).
As a general rule, Georgia salaries are in line with salaries in other Southern states. Fire inspectors earn an average annual income of $50,850 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). The average salary for a police patrol officer is $39,510 (BLS, 2016). An average income of $62,480 annually is reported for police detectives (BLS, 2016).
The future of criminal justice is determined by those who put in the hours and work needed to protect Georgia residents.
Find out how you can do your part and contact Georgia schools below for more information on associate in criminal justice programs.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia