Why Should I Go Into Criminal Justice?
There are dozens of reasons to pursue a career in criminal justice. Maybe you'd like to work with juvenile offenders and help them turn their lives around, or perhaps you would like to work in a correctional facility and ensure that the surrounding community is kept safe.
Regardless of which specific area of criminal justice interests you, an Oregon criminal justice Associate's degree can provide you with an opportunity to learn, get practical experience, and make contacts within the industry.
As Oregon aims to change serious issues within its criminal justice system, this could be the ideal time to invest your time in education. Recent research indicates racial disparities within the correctional system of Oregon, a problem that is now being addressed by administrators and legislators throughout the state (Statesman Journal, 2016).
Finding the right school for you is the first step in this process. Get more information now by reaching out to Oregon criminal justice programs.
Criminal Justice Associate's Programs in Oregon
There are several ways you can earn an Associate's degree in criminal justice. If you live near local technical schools and community colleges, you may earn a conventional in-person degree.
Courses in these programs tend to run on weekdays, primarily during the day. Schools with evening courses may accommodate working students. If you want the opportunity to take specific courses or you are unable to fit the schedule of a conventional program, earning an online Associate's degree in criminal justice could be the opportunity you need.
Online programs offer the same quality education through video lectures, course readings, discussion forums, and chat rooms.
The course of study you select determines your potential career paths and what you learn by the time you cross the stage at graduation. Some Oregon options include paralegal studies, corrections, criminal justice administration, criminology, and court reporting. Keep in mind that these specialized areas of study tend to tailor their course offerings to specific career paths, so you should be fairly certain about your career goals before enrolling.
In a general criminal justice program, you may enroll in courses like:
- Ethics in Criminal Justice
- Juvenile Delinquency
- Crime, Justice, and Diversity
- Substantive Law and Liability
- Constitutional Criminal Procedure
- Evidence and Trial Process
Exploring required coursework, tuition rates, and credit hour requirements may assist you in finding programs that fit your budget and schedule.
Below, find state averages for credit requirements and tuition rates:
- Timeframe: 4 to 6 semesters
- Credits: 62 to 72 credits
- Average tuition cost per year: $4,666 (College Board, 2016)
Financial aid is a major factor for most students, but you generally need to be accepted to a school before you can start applying for scholarships and grants. Once you have accepted a place at a criminal justice school, explore local, state, and federal financial aid programs. Local groups, including the Oregon Peace Officers Association, award scholarships to criminal justice students.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in Oregon?
In Oregon, demand for criminal justice professionals is growing in many areas. This may be a huge advantage to you as you start your career. In many career paths, expected job growth outpaces national expected job growth. From 2012 through 2022, O*Net predicts an 18% jump in jobs for security guards (2016). This decade may see a 7% increase in police detective job openings (O*Net, 2016). Similarly, demand for parole officers may increase 7% by 2022 (O*Net, 2016).
You may earn a variety of salaries throughout your career. Many professionals find that their salary potential increases as they gain seniority. Oregon security guards earn, on average, $29,840 annually (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Police detectives claim a mean income of $84,500 per year (BLS, 2016). An average salary of $56,940 per year is reported for parole officers (BLS, 2016). As you may notice, many Associate's-level criminal justice jobs require around-the-clock staffing. This means that you should be ready to work nights, weekends, and holidays as needed.
With the right training and education, you may prepare for a fulfilling career that is an integral part of society.
Get more information on earning a criminal justice Associate degree by reaching out to the schools on our list 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 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