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Criminal Justice Programs in San Jose

There are few modern-day heroes more respected than police officers and others who work hard to keep people safe. If you’ve ever dreamed of a career in the criminal justice field, there are different career and educational opportunities you can pursue in the San Jose Area.

If you decide to pursue criminal justice in San Jose, it’s likely that you will have interactions with the San Jose Police Department. This is a very trusted institution in the community. They have locations all over the city, in addition to a dedicated Human Trafficking Task Force and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.


No matter what subfield of criminal justice you are interested in working in, your first step is getting a comprehensive education. Take a look at our school listings below. You can check out different schools in your area and contact whatever schools you are interested in attending.

Attending school can require a considerable amount of travel. You can save money and avoid the expense of car ownership by using the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. They offer light rail and bus service with varying rates, so you can easily travel all over the San Jose area.

Criminal Justice Schools in Other Major California Cities

San Jose Criminal Justice Education

Pursuing a criminal justice degree in San Jose is the first step to starting an exciting career. There are many schools in this area, both private and public schools. As part of your assessment, look into tuition and financial aid options, since costs vary widely between schools. At San Jose State University, one of the largest schools in the area, tuition is $2,736 per semester.

As you look over the curriculum of whatever school you choose, you may be surprised to see how much you cover in a two-year or four-year degree. The courses you take are designed to prepare you for whatever career you choose after graduation. Your school may require you to take courses in criminology, policing procedures, court procedures, Internet crime, and more.

There are two ways to significantly improve your student experience. First, choose a concentration. Your school may allow you to specialize in Internet crime, juvenile delinquency, forensic science, or another field. Second, complete an internship. This can give you invaluable experience.

In San Jose, there are many different criminal justice organizations that you may be able to join. Consider local groups like the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, the California Association of Licensed Investigators, or the Paralegal Association of Santa Clara County.

Job Outlook for Criminal Justice Graduates in San Jose, CA

One of the benefits of getting into this field is the relatively stable job outlook. When you think about it, criminal justice professionals are always needed. Even if the economy is bad, people still need to be protected and the justice system still needs to be upheld.

Career choices vary based on what type of degree you have; an Associate’s degree can give you the qualifications you need to get entry-level jobs in the field. Here are a few career options and their respective salaries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Security guard: $44,180 per year
  • Correctional Officer: $103,700

A Bachelor’s degree may give you the skills and education required for a wider range of careers. These are popular career choices in the San Jose area:

  • Police and detective supervisor: $176,560 per year
  • Detective: $132,600 per year

There may also be openings at the San Jose Police Department. The starting salary is $29.95 per hour. Once you are sworn in as a police officer, your annual salary may be $111,000 per year. The highest salary you can earn is $186,000 per year.

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for city-specific positions contained here reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed November 2023.

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