Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice in Illinois
With all the threats facing the world today, every community needs dedicated professionals that are willing to keep it safe. If you’re ready to work hard to keep the state of Illinois safe, you may be a good candidate for bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice. Learn more about the benefits of working in this field to find out if it’s the right move for you.
You can contact the schools in Illinois with criminal justice programs directly from our site to request program information and details about curriculum, costs and enrollment.
As the criminal justice field of Illinois goes through some of the biggest changes that it’s seen in decades, the field is relying on well-trained graduates more than ever. The Criminal Justice Reform Commission, created by Governor Bruce Rauner, aims to improve the criminal justice system of Illinois.
It can be very expensive to keep prisoners incarcerated in Illinois, so there has been a concentrated effort in the state to cut down on the number of prisoners. Under Rauner’s policies the state has already reduced the prison population of the state by 7000 inmates, saving Illinois on the costs of keeping people in jail and and helping people reshape their lives after committing crimes.
Criminal justice graduates, with their understanding of human psychology and how to reduce crime rates, will likely be a major part of these efforts.
The road to a productive life starts in youth, and that is particularly true for at-risk juveniles. Legislators in Illinois have realized that kids in bad situations need more opportunities to avoid a life of crime. By specializing in juvenile justice, you can help the adolescents of Illinois create a bright future for themselves.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Criminal Justice in Illinois
Getting your start in this field requires extensive education, since you must know how the court system works, how the prison system works, and how to keep communities safe. A bachelor’s degree from an Illinois college or university can help you reach these goals.
You may spend four years completing 120 credits in courses like Critical Thinking in Criminal Justice, Criminological Theory, Research Methods in Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice, Victimology, and Policing Procedures. While some of these courses may be required, others are part of your elective options.
Before scheduling your classes, you may wish to sit down and look at your career goals. This can help you choose the right electives for your career. In addition, the electives that you opt to complete may affect the types of internships and job offers you get.
Financial aid can be a great way to save money and pay for your education. Look for criminal justice scholarships in Illinois through various sources, including your school, employers, and associations. Options in Illinois include the Macomb Area Crimestoppers John Bliven Law Enforcement Scholarship and the Criminal Justice Roundup Scholarship.
Criminal Justice Careers in Illinois
Once you have completed your bachelor’s degree, you may be able to get started in a variety of career paths. Many graduates decide to attend the police academy and become police officers. CareerOneStop expects to see over 2,380 new policing jobs in Illinois each year through 2026. Illinois police officers earn an average salary of $79,930 per year (O*Net, 2017).
If you would rather work in a correctional setting, consider becoming a correctional officer. Through 2026, there may be more than 1,140 job openings each year (CareerOneStop, 2017). The average salary for a correctional officer in Illinois is $56,070 per year (O*Net, 2017).
If you are interested in using your skills to find evidence and solve crimes, consider becoming a criminal investigator. In this field, the average salary is $86,880 per year (CareerOneStop, 2017). Job openings may increase by 3% by 2026 (CareerOneStop, 2017).
The field of criminal justice is ready for educated, trained professionals. If you are ready to take on this challenge, take the first step today by contacting criminal justice programs in Illinois.
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