Why Should I Go Into Criminal Justice?
Kansas, as a state, has significantly benefited from criminal justice reform on a federal level and on a statewide level. As a result, laws and standards are based more heavily in evidence and research, which should make residents feel better protected in their homes and in the community.
However, the work isn't done yet. In fact, there are still many areas where Kansas could improve or strengthen its criminal justice system. After two years of decreasing murder rates in Kansas City, 2016 saw a huge spike in the homicide rate of Kansas City (Kansas City Star, 2016).
In fact, Kansas City is the ninth worst city in the entire country for homicides, a statistic that shocks those who see Kansas as a friendly Midwestern state.
If you are considering an Associate's degree, criminal justice could be the field of study for you. It may put you in a position to work in corrections, policing, security, or evidence collection.
You can find out more about local education options by reaching out to criminal justice Associate's degree Kansas schools.
Criminal Justice Associate's Programs in Kansas
Whenever you compare schools, it's crucial to look at what each school offers and how much those options are going to cost you. To be considered an Associate's degree program, a program must include at least 60 credits of coursework. However, many Kansas schools require more credits to meet the training expectations of each program.
State standards and averages for criminal justice degrees are listed below:
- Timeframe: 2 to 3 years
- Credits: 63 to 69 credits
- Average tuition cost per year: $2,793 (College Board, 2016)
While the factors listed above are important in a school decision, your quality of education is perhaps the most important factor in school choice. Not only should you get plenty of experience and theory training, you should learn skills that are useful in your chosen career path.
That may mean switching from a general criminal justice program to a more specialized option. Depending on the area of Kansas you live in, you may be able to choose from programs like law enforcement, administration of justice, corrections, forensic science, and police science.
Curriculum guides are a great tool for school comparison.
Kansas law enforcement programs may include the courses listed below or courses similar to them:
- Introduction to Criminal Justice
- Introduction to Law Enforcement
- Criminal Procedures
- Criminal Investigations
- Criminal Law
- Ethics in Criminal Justice
You may want to consider practical experience options as you narrow down your list of schools. Some schools do not require an internship, but that doesn't mean it is unnecessary. In fact, an internship is a great way to get experience, start building connections with potential employers, and clearly define your career goals.
In most areas, there are local organizations and associations that offer scholarships to promising criminal justice students. The Kansas Sheriffs Association is a good resource for those who want to work in law enforcement or policing. You can find more opportunities with our list of scholarships.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in Kansas?
One of the benefits of an Associate's in criminal justice is the freedom it gives you to change career paths and find the one that best suits your skills and personality. If you would like to work in a courtroom setting, consider becoming a bailiff. Job openings for bailiffs may jump 6% by 2022 (O*Net, 2016). Currently, the average salary for a Kansas bailiff is $39,070 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).
Transportation security screeners may work at train stations, busing facilities, or airports. They claim an average salary of $37,410 annually (BLS, 2016). O*Net anticipates a 14% increase in job openings through 2022 (2016). Police patrol officers may experience a 6% boost in job openings through 2022 (O*Net, 2016). Their average income is $45,390 per year (BLS, 2016).
It's important to weigh the benefits of different types of criminal justice jobs before you graduate. However, the nature of this job means that professionals are needed around the clock. Being available for nights, weekends, and holidays can give you a significant advantage in the job search.
Clearly, a criminal justice Associate's degree can offer the flexibility that many professionals want.
Learn more about job paths, degree options, and financial aid programs by contacting Kansas schools today.
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