Minnesota might have a clean image now, but back in the heyday of the Depression-era, St. Paul was a favorite getaway for a who's who of bad guys. John Dillinger, Ma Barker, and "Machine Gun" Kelly are just a few who dropped in. The city has since cleaned up its act and law enforcement officers are a big part of that.
Major Minnesota Cities
Criminal Justice Education in Minnesota
Whether you want to go to school in the city or stick close to home, you can find a criminal justice program in Minnesota. The state has just under 50 programs to choose from for your criminal justice education. You'll find online programs, varied specializations, and even a handful of doctoral programs. Some national associations like the American Criminal Justice Association offer scholarships to criminal justice students. Homeland security students can also check out the scholarships offered by the Lint Center of National Security Studies, Inc. An example of the degrees you can earn at a Minnesota criminal justice school include the following:
- Associate of Arts in Law Enforcement
- Bachelor of Arts in Law Enforcement
- Legal Administrative Assistant Certificate
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
- Graduate Degree in Forensics
You have the option of choosing a specialty field of interest for your criminal justice education. These include homeland security, emergency response or public safety, at the upper degree levels. The majority of entry-level criminal justice jobs require at least a bachelor degree. To earn a bachelor degree, you need approximately 60 credits of liberal arts coursework and 60 credits related to your declared minor or major. The following courses represent some of the specific requirements you may complete in a four-year undergraduate program:
- Criminal Law and Procedure
- Research Methods
- History and Current Theories in Law Enforcement and Corrections
- Psychology of Criminal Behavior
- Interview and Interrogation Skills
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Organized Crime
The opportunity to complete an internship towards the end of your degree program is an integral part of the learning experience. It provides you with your first hands-on work experience in the field of criminal justice. You should also expect to research and write a senior thesis on a specific criminal justice topic.
Outlook for Criminal Justice in Minnesota
There is a great deal of variation in criminal justice careers and salaries in Minnesota, depending upon the specific job title, years of experience and level of education you have. Some of the most popular jobs in this career field are as follows:
- Supervisors of Patrol Officers and Detectives
- Supervisors of Corrections officers
- Corrections Officers and Jailers
- Criminal Investigators and Detectives
- Police and Sheriff Patrol Officers
- Private Detectives and Investigators
- Security Guards
There are thousands of people who are employed in the criminal justice field in Minnesota. City and county government offices employ the largest number of protective services officers, followed by state government offices and private organizations.
Nationwide, the field of criminal justice is expected to grow at a rate that it slightly higher than average. With criminal activity becoming increasingly more sophisticated, there is a growing need for skilled criminal justice personnel to keep up with it. If you are an assertive, passionate person who wants to make a difference in Minnesota, a career as a criminal justice professional may be right for you.
Check out the salaries of different career paths below. Data was found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014.)
If you are ready to take on new challenges in your career, contact our featured schools to request information about their criminal justice programs in Minnesota!Finally, take some time to learn more about criminal justice scholarships that may be available in your area.