In the 1930s, one of Indiana's native sons went on a crime spree across the Midwest, robbing banks and killing a sheriff and a police officer in the process. Although John Dillinger is no longer alive to post a threat, enforcing the law remains a dangerous job. Indiana, along with other states, has a need for those willing and able to take up the challenge.
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Criminal Justice Education in Indiana
A criminal justice degree in Indiana can open up many opportunities to different career roles, including police officer, parole officer, bailiff, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent and correction supervisor. In recent years, many law enforcement departments have increased academic requirements for hire, and most require at least an associate degree in a field of criminal justice education for career promotion. However, there are some entry-level careers in criminal just that will require a bachelor's degree like becoming an FBI agent.
CriminalJusticePrograms.com provides information about curriculum, schools and career paths to make it easier to make the right career decisions. At the bottom of the page, you can request information from multiple schools to compare different program options. You can also find criminal justice scholarship opportunities by clicking here.
The bachelor's degree program in criminal justice education typically takes four years to complete, and the program includes standard-core classes in addition to courses that are specific to the criminal justice field. Common criminal justice courses include:
- History of the Criminal Justice System
- The Court Process
- Professional Ethics in Criminal Justice
- Criminal Law
- Legal Research and Legal Writing
- Evidence Collection
Most undergraduate criminal justice programs also require an internship. Students are assigned to a local cooperating criminal justice agency for practical experience. Each internship is usually for one full semester and takes place either the third or fourth year of the program. A master's degree in criminal justice is ideal for those seeking to promote from a lower-level position to a higher-level one, such as director or manager within a criminal justice agency. Students with a master's degree in criminal justice can also teach at colleges or operate a consulting firm. On average, the master's degree curriculum takes two years to complete.
Paying for college can be overwhelming to say the least. The American Criminal Justice Association awards scholarships each year, and Indiana residents who are members of the Indiana Sheriffs Association or a dependent of a member may apply for the Indiana Sheriffs Association Scholarship.
Outlook for Criminal Justice in Indiana
Both salaries and job growth rate vary depending on the title and role in the criminal justice field. Corrections officers, according to 2017 data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earn a mean annual wage of around $47,220. Police and detectives do better, earning nearly $53,260 and $71,960 respectively. The demand for these professions is expected to growth by 18 percent throughout 2020. Often, this role requires direct contact with criminal offenders, some travel and a lot of documented paperwork.
With national security issues on the rise and a growing population, the BLS projects a job growth rate of 11 percent for FBI special agents and intelligence analysts through 2026. According to the BLS, FBI special agents earn a median wage of $67,000, and intelligence analysts earn a median wage of $60,000. FBI special agents conduct sensitive security investigations in a wide variety of areas, including terrorism, white-collar crime, interstate criminal activity, extortion and foreign counterintelligence. Other duties include gathering evidence, testifying in federal court and executing warrants. Intelligence analysts often work in a specific functional area, such as counterterrorism, or a specific geographic region like the Middle East.
Investigators and private detectives perform a variety of duties, such as investigating computer crimes, verifying individual backgrounds and tracing missing persons. According to May 2017 figures from the BLS, you will earn an average of $49,890 per year. Overall, the job outlook for criminal justice careers in Indiana will be steady and positive.
Move ahead in the field of criminal justice with the right program. Use our featured school listings to find and compare criminal justice programs near you!