Why Should I Go Into Criminal Justice?
You may be looking for a career that is challenging, always changing, and meaningful to your community. If that describes you, the field of criminal justice may have everything you need. This industry functions on a state level and a national level, providing various work environment and advancement opportunities to qualified professionals.
In New Mexico, you may further your education by learning about the specific laws and reform efforts that are taking place in this state. While most states are relaxing three-strikes laws, reducing drug sentences, and trying to decrease the prison population, New Mexico has tightened laws and gone the opposite direction (US News, 2016).
Standards include extended sentences for career felons and DWI offenders, stricter mandatory minimum sentencing requirements, and an expansion of the three-strikes law. The effects of these laws may lead to a greater demand for police officers, security guards, and correctional officers, among other criminal justice professionals.
Discuss your options for getting your Associate's degree in criminal justice with the New Mexico schools listed below.
Criminal Justice Associate's Programs in New Mexico
To succeed in the world of criminal justice, you have to enrich your education in several different ways. First, it's essential to have a solid understanding of criminal justice theory, statutes, and laws. Second, you should have hands-on experience practicing the skills that are required for your career.
For example, forensic science students may need to work in a laboratory or criminal research facility, while law enforcement students may complete an internship at the local police department. Criminal justice Associate degree programs In New Mexico should provide substantial education in both of these areas.
One of the biggest decisions you make as a criminal justice student is which program you enroll in. If you want a broad introduction to criminal justice and skills that can be applied to any number of career paths, an Associate's degree in criminal justice may be the way to go.
However, if you prefer a more specialized education experience, consider programs in paralegal studies, emergency services, legal assistant, law enforcement, law advocate, and legal secretary. The options available to you depend on whether you pursue a traditional criminal justice degree or an online Associate's degree in criminal justice.
Coursework in each of these areas should reflect the outcomes and career paths of your chosen specialty.
As an example, consider the following courses, which are often required in law advocate programs:
- Consumer Law
- Business Law
- American Indian Law
- Advanced Legal Research and Writing
- Administrative Law
- Trial Practice
- Advanced Business Law
Although there are clearly major differences across New Mexico schools, there are similarities that bring them together.
Average New Mexico criminal justice degree completion requirements and expenses can be found below:
- Timeframe: 4 to 5 semesters
- Credits: 60 to 69 credits
- Average tuition cost per year: $1,676 (College Board, 2016)
New Mexico has some of the lowest tuition rates in the country, a huge benefit for students like you. However, you may reduce your expenses even more by applying for scholarships. With our list of criminal justice scholarships on CriminalJusticePrograms.com, you can find scholarships that are relevant to your degree level and area of study.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in New Mexico?
As you get close to your graduation date, start investing time in your job search. You may find unique job openings that are well-suited to your skills and education. Airports and other transportation terminals may hire transportation security specialists.
Transportation security specialists in New Mexico earn an average of $35,010 annually (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Job openings in this field may increase 6% between 2012 and 2022 (O*Net, 2016).
If you attend the local police academy, you may start your career as a patrol officer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average salary of $48,480 for patrol officers (2016). A 7% boost in job openings is anticipated through 2022 (O*Net, 2016).
As an animal control officer, you may travel around your assigned community to respond to calls of lost, wandering, and injured animals. The average income in this specialty is $28,220 per year (BLS, 2016). Between 2012 and 2022, job openings may increase 11% (O*Net, 2016).
Are you ready to start a career that is fulfilling, meaningful, and important to society? If so, start the path to a New Mexico criminal justice Associate's degree 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 Applied Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology
Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science
Associate of Applied Science in Legal Support and Services
Associate of Applied Science in Public Safety and Security