Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Ohio
Why Should I Go Into Criminal Justice?
When the criminal justice industry changes, each state must make adjustments that fit current research, their residents' concerns, and their criminal justice budget. This industry covers every aspect of preventing, responding to, solving, and punishing crime.
For that reason, systemic change requires the cooperation of thousands of Ohio professionals. With a criminal justice associate degree, you may use your skills and education to affect positive change in policing, corrections, and other specialties. Current efforts in Ohio focus on the correctional system; however, this may change.
U.S News reports updated records show Ohio's adult prison population is continuing to fall in the new year. The state is eager to reduce the number of inmates to save money and to prevent crime by keeping low-level offenders close to home and the support of family and social services. This might mean new opportunities for other criminal justice professions not based in the prison system.
If you are ready to find out how an Ohio criminal justice associate degree can make you a valuable asset to this field, keep reading to learn more.
Criminal Justice Associate Programs in Ohio
One of the earliest decisions you will need to make as a student is what you would like to study. The field of criminal justice is quite expansive. You can choose to earn an associate degree in criminal justice; this option provides you with an overview of many different areas of study.
If you have more focused career goals, you may consider a specialty like cyber security, court reporting, legal office assisting, law enforcement, corrections, or forensic science.
There are many ways you can compare schools, but perhaps the most important measure is academic quality. You want to choose a degree that is beneficial to your career goals.
Whether you are looking at multiple programs within the same school or the same program across different schools, compare learning outcomes and required courses.
For example, a cyber security program may include the following courses:
- Web Security
- Networking Systems
- Routes and Routing
- Computer Forensics and Investigation
- Ethical Hacking and Network Defense
- Collecting Evidence
- Networking Security
No matter which type of degree you select, make it a priority to get practical experience before you graduate. Practical experience gives you access to local employers and shows you how you can use your skills in the workplace. A semester-long internship may show you where your strengths are and what you need to work on to be successful.
Program expenses are set by each institution, creating another factor that may influence your school decision. Make sure to compare in-person and online criminal justice degree programs, as you may find that changing your plans slightly can lower your costs.
Ohio averages are listed below:
- Timeframe: 2 to 2.5 years
- Credits: 60 to 72 credits
- Average tuition cost per year: $4,387 (College Board, 2017-2018)
Financial aid is available through several sources. The Ohio Department of Higher Education awards grants to promising students who display financial need and are willing to work in Ohio after graduation.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in Ohio?
By the time you complete your degree, you should be aware of your career options and the different ways in which you can use your degree. Through 2022, criminal justice job openings in Ohio may grow steadily. O*Net predicts a 4% jump in security guard job openings between 2016 and 2026 (2017).
Average salary data is helpful in comparing career paths but remember that salaries are often determined by each individual county. Ohio security guards report an average income of $30,430 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). The average annual salary for a police detective is $72,500 (BLS, 2017). The average income for a parole officer is currently $47,480 per year (BLS, 2017).
If you are ready to pursue a career that truly matters to society and that has plenty of different options for advancement, this is the time to get involved in criminal justice.
Use our list of schools below to find Ohio programs that interest you. Contact them today for more information on earning an Associate's in criminal justice.
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