Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in New Jersey
When you opt to work in the field of criminal justice, you become part of an industry that is directly relevant to everyone’s lives and that is always growing. This is good news regardless of whether you work in corrections, policing, the courtroom, or security.
As you further your education and your career, you can benefit from new technology and research.
New Jersey has been a big part of criminal justice advancement in many ways. Researchers develop technology that makes it easier and less expensive to catch criminals. Recently, the state began testing a new type of software that can be used in police departments and correctional facilities (Computer Weekly, 2016). This software takes a range of information on inmates and creates a risk profile that outlines how likely they are to skip bail or reoffend.
An associate in criminal justice may be an excellent way to get into various justice specialties or a way to lay the foundation for Bachelor’s degree coursework.
Criminal Justice Associate Programs in New Jersey
For many people, an associate degree is the ideal way to start working toward your career goals. This degree is considerably shorter than Bachelor’s degree programs, so you may be able to start working and gaining experience more quickly.
Furthermore, it provides exposure to a number of specialized areas of study in criminal justice, giving you the skills needed in many different entry-level careers.
Average tuition costs and degree completion expectations are listed here for your convenience:
- Timeframe: Up to 3 years
- Credits: 60 to 75 credits
- Average tuition cost per year: $4,596 (College Board, 2016)
One of the easiest ways to compare New Jersey criminal justice associate degree programs is comparing curricula. Even between similar schools, there are slight differences in required courses and available electives. By researching course requirements, you may more easily find a program whose goals are in line with your own.
The courses listed below are commonly required in New Jersey criminal justice programs:
- Criminal Law
- Constitutional Liberties and Rights
- Principles of Sociology
- Race and Ethnic Relations
Beyond the standard criminal justice degree, many New Jersey schools have more specialized degree options. Areas of focus in this field include paralegal studies, corrections, forensic science, forensic technology, and law enforcement.
You may qualify for several scholarship programs in New Jersey, based on your financial status, your degree choice, and your career goals. Through the Ronnie Williams Foundation, aspiring law enforcement professionals may apply for the Master Corporal Ronald G. Williams Jr. Law Enforcement Scholarship. Use our list of criminal justice scholarships to find those open to associate degree students.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in New Jersey?
When you are earning your degree, it’s important to take advantage of networking opportunities, field experience courses, and internship openings. The job outlook for most criminal justice jobs in New Jersey is stable, so the application process may be competitive in certain career paths.
By 2022, job openings for transportation security specialists may swell 2% (O*Net, 2016). Police patrol officers may see an average of 700 new job openings per year between 2012 and 2022 (O*Net, 2016). The demand for New Jersey bailiffs is not expected to change substantially during this timeframe (O*Net, 2016).
One major benefit of applying for criminal justice associate degree jobs in New Jersey is the fact that New Jersey salaries are often higher than national averages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average income of $41,920 per year for transportation security specialists (2016). Police patrol officers in New Jersey claim a mean income of $89,160 annually (BLS, 2016). For bailiffs, the statewide average income is $35,350 per year (BLS, 2016).
When you earn an associate degree in criminal justice, you could positively influence your community, the field of criminal justice as a whole, and your own career fulfillment.
Make your move now by contacting New Jersey criminal justice schools today.
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