Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Tennessee
Why Should I Go Into Criminal Justice?
When you think about your future career, consider what you have to offer potential employers. Are you strong under stress, able to work in tough physical conditions, and ethical in all of your decision making? Becoming a criminal justice professional can be a perfect way to give back to your community, use your skills in a meaningful way, and guide this field in a positive direction.
In Tennessee, administrators and legislators focus on different areas of need to facilitate industry improvement. One area of concentration in Tennessee is juvenile justice, where legislators have convened a task force to help juveniles facing criminal charges, most of which are misdemeanor offenses. The task force is working to reduce the number of youths in state custody (Beacon Center of Tennessee, 2018).
Pursuing training and education can help you learn the skills that Tennessee employers may look for in criminal justice hires.
Compare Tennessee criminal justice associate degree options by reaching out to local schools.
Criminal Justice Associate Programs in Tennessee
When you evaluate the many responsibilities of this industry, it's clear that dozens of career paths and areas of study work together in Tennessee's criminal justice system. That's why many local schools offer different educational programs.
You may be able to opt for a degree that is more focused on your intended career path. Options in Tennessee include corrections, law enforcement, police science, and paralegal studies.
The differences between these programs are clear when you look at the required courses for each degree.
Law enforcement students may take these courses and courses like them:
- Physical Defensive Tactics
- Criminal Investigation
- Police Administration and Organization
- Officer Survival
- Criminal Evidence and Procedures
- Interview and Interrogation Techniques
- Investigative Report Writing
- Police Firearms
- Drug Identification and Effects
Each school sets its own learning goals. Learning goals and outcomes make it easy to decipher what your school expects of you and what competencies you should have by the time you graduate. Consider evaluating these factors while comparing Tennessee schools. You can also look into costs and credit hour requirements.
Tennessee averages for earning an Associate in Criminal Justice can be found below:
- Timeframe: 4 to 6 semesters
- Credits: 63 to 75 credits
- Average tuition cost per year: $4,292 (College Board, 2017-2018)
When you get through the school selection process, you can move on to financial aid. Your school may have scholarships and grants for criminal justice students. You may also look at professional criminal justice associations in Tennessee and federal grant programs. Tennessee students earning an Associate's in criminal justice can apply for several scholarships through the Southern States Police Benevolent Foundation.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in Tennessee?
To thrive in this industry, it's crucial to develop hands-on skills while you're still a student. If you can jump into a position and quickly acclimate to your employer's expectations, you may find the transition from student to professional much easier.
Criminal justice associate degree jobs have generally positive outlooks in Tennessee. O*Net predicts a 9% boost in job openings for animal control officers between 2016 and 2026 (2017). Police patrol officers may enjoy an 8% increase in demand through 2026, slightly higher than the national projected growth rate of 7% (O*Net, 2017). Job openings in Tennessee for security guards are expected to increase 17% during this same period, a rate significantly higher than the national average of just 6% (O*Net, 2017).
Salaries in Tennessee are in line with Midwestern and Southern averages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average income of $33,530 per year for animal control officers (May 2017). Correctional officers earn, on average, $33,510 per year (BLS, 2017). Statewide, the average salary for a police patrol officer is $44,320 (BLS, 2017).
If you want to make Tennessee a safer, more just place for all of its residents, get your start in the field of criminal justice.
Request information on earning an Associate's degree in criminal justice from Tennessee schools today.
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