Why Should I Go Into Criminal Justice?
With so many diverse career paths in the field of criminal justice, every professional has their own reason for choosing this industry. Perhaps you would like to protect the rights of victims or suspects as they go through the system.
Maybe you are passionate about policing and the opportunity to keep communities safe. Regardless of what your motivation is, a degree in criminal justice may lay the groundwork for a long, rewarding career in a meaningful field.
With Indiana going through a huge overhaul of its criminal justice system, this is an excellent time to start your education and learn about laws and statutes in Indiana. The state received a grant from the National Institute of Corrections to test out the Evidence-Based Decision-Making approach (The Indiana Lawyer, 2016).
Currently, a few counties are taking part as pilot counties. The program may spread to the rest of Indiana in short order.
If you're trying to find the right degree for you, keep reading to learn more about the benefits of an Associate's in criminal justice.
Criminal Justice Associate's Programs in Indiana
An Associate's degree in criminal justice aims to prepare you for your new career with a combination of general education courses and criminal justice courses. Each school has slightly different curricular requirements.
To compare your options, you can look at sample curricula and examine learning outcomes. This may help you find out the strengths of a particular program and areas in which it may not fit your goals.
Another factor that influences your required courses is the area of concentration you choose. There are numerous options in Indiana, from general criminal justice degrees to those that analyze techniques and issues in specific work settings and populations.
Some of the programs offered at Indiana schools include criminology, forensic science, court reporting, and public safety.
If you opt for a general criminal justice degree, you may find that your curriculum includes courses like:
- Criminal Justice Systems
- Law Enforcement
- Criminal Law
- Ethics in Criminal Justice
- Research Methods in Criminal Justice
- Court Systems
- Correctional Systems
The more time you spend looking into Indiana schools, the more diversity you'll find in required classes, tuition costs, and required credit hours.
Statewide averages for Associate's degree in Criminal Justice are listed here:
- Timeframe: 2 to 2.5 years
- Credits: 60 to 66 credits
- Average tuition cost per year: $4,324 (College Board, 2016)
The earlier you research financial aid, the more options you may have open to you. Scholarships and grant programs close at various times throughout the year, which is why it is crucial to apply as early as possible.
With our list of scholarships for criminal justice students, you can quickly narrow down your options and start applying. Take advantage of local programs as well; the Indiana Sheriffs' Association has multiple scholarship programs.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in Indiana?
All in all, the criminal justice industry of Indiana is strong. Speak with career advisors and instructors at your institution to find out how you can use your criminal justice Associate's degree. Indiana has a growing demand for many criminal justice professionals.
O*Net predicts a 10% boost in fire inspector jobs through 2022 (2016). Job openings for police patrol officers may jump 6% during this time (O*Net, 2016). Demand for police detectives is expected to increase 4% (O*Net, 2016).
Average salary statistics in Indiana are on par with Midwest averages and national salaries. The mean income for a fire inspector in Indiana is $50,100 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Indiana patrol officers earn, on average, $48,990 per year (BLS, 2016). The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average salary of $63,670 for police detectives (2016).
Getting established in a new industry can take some time, but you can shorten your learning curve in several ways. First, take advantage of an internship opportunity in your student years. An internship may help you find job openings in your field, put you in contact with local employers, and give you practical skills that give you an advantage over other job applicants.
Furthermore, look into local certifications and training programs that may be of use. Not only do certification programs expand potential job options, they allow you to interact with professionals in your industry.
Whether you want to earn your criminal justice Associate's degree online or in person, Indiana schools may have the support you need to succeed.
Make your move now by contacting the schools listed below.
Online programs may not be available in all areas
Featured Schools Accepting Students from Across the US:
Online programs may not be available in all areas
Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Associate of Arts in Homeland Security
Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies
Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology
Associate of Applied Science in Legal Support and Services
Associate of Applied Science in Public Safety and Security