Why Should I Go Into Criminal Justice?
The more you learn about the field of criminal justice, the more complex it becomes. With dozens of job titles ensconced in this large industry, criminal justice has career paths for different skills, interests, and education levels.
If you've been looking for a way to further your education while preparing for a meaningful career, a Maryland criminal justice Associate degree may be an excellent way to get started.
Whether you plan on studying and working in a major city, suburban community, or rural area, you may find a variety of education options in Maryland. Maryland officials make regular changes to keep criminal justice fair and evidence-based. State legislators are currently involved in reshaping the criminal justice system (Baltimore Sun, 2016).
The government has invested millions of dollars in crime prevention while aiming to reduce the prison population by at least 1,000 people. The Justice Reinvestment Act ensures that funds are used appropriately and in ways that benefit the people of Maryland.
Learn more about how you can take your education to the next level by contacting Maryland criminal justice schools.
Criminal Justice Associate's Programs in Maryland
To become a skilled justice professional, you have to have a broad understanding of various academic subjects and a core knowledge of your field. An Associate's in criminal justice can help you reach these standards. This degree combines general education and criminal justice.
technical school and community college sets its own credit requirements and expenses. Maryland averages for earning an associates in criminal justice are listed below:
- Timeframe: 4 to 6 semesters
- Credits: 60 to 70 credits
- Average tuition cost per year: $4,274 (College Board, 2016)
An Associate's degree is not only a stepping stone to several possible career options; it can be the first step to a Bachelor's degree program. The relatively low cost of most Associate's degree programs can help many students save money and gradually take steps to an undergraduate education.
In addition to lower tuition costs, many Associate's programs have financial aid options. You may apply for aid through local organizations and associations to offset some of your educational expenses. The Maryland Chiefs of Police Association has several scholarship programs for aspiring police officers.
To get the most out of your education, you should select a program with compatible coursework and learning goals. You may benefit from a program that focuses on one area of criminal justice. Program options in Maryland include forensic studies, homeland security management, juvenile justice, law enforcement, and cyber crime.
Available courses are determined by the learning outcomes of each program. As a forensic science student, you may take courses like:
- History of Homicide
- Clinical Forensics
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Evidence and Procedure
- Investigation and Criminalistics
- Criminal Justice Ethics
You can also explore practical experience requirements as you compare schools. Schools with recommended or required internship programs can be advantageous to your overall educational experience and your future career.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in Maryland?
Upon earning your AA criminal justice degree, you may be ready to take on exciting positions in corrections, policing, the courtroom, and the community. In many cases, Maryland average salaries are higher than national averages.
Maryland bailiffs currently bring in an average salary of $45,260 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Those who work as transportation security screeners report a mean income of $40,010 annually (BLS, 2016). Police patrol officers earn, on average, $61,610 per year (BLS, 2016).
The criminal justice industry is relatively stable in Maryland, a trend that may continue for years to come. From 2012 through 2022, demand for bailiffs may swell 4% (O*Net, 2016). The job outlook for transportation security screeners is not expected to change significantly (O*Net, 2016). A 4% increase in patrol officer job openings is predicted through 2022 (O*Net, 2016).
Finding the right criminal justice school may be the first step in your chosen career. A school that aligns with your learning style and needs can help you get more out of your training. Consider earning an in-person degree or completing your criminal justice Associate's degree online.
Contact the schools listed below for more information on local programs.
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