Criminal Justice degrees cover a wide variety of potential careers, and criminal justice administration is a popular one. While specific career choices will require specific coursework, most criminal justice degrees include courses that provide a foundation in law enforcement, sociology, criminal psychology, the judicial process, and general human services. In general, certification or an associate’s degree in criminal justice will provide training that is highly focused and geared toward very specific careers, while a more advanced degree will include more theoretical learning and applications. Pursuing a career in criminal justice administration would require such an advanced degree, usually a Bachelor’s of Science as the minimum, with graduate degrees available at the masters and doctoral levels as well.
Details of a Criminal Justice Administration Degree
Criminal Justice Administration focuses on the management of criminal justice systems, generally providing careers within police forces or social work and corrections. A criminal justice administrator would focus on preventing and punishing criminal activity by managing policies and procedures within traditional law enforcement and criminal justice establishments. Often, criminal justice administrators start out as law enforcement officers, probation officers, or corrections officers and then advance into management. Salaries vary within each of these areas, with police officers generally earning an average of $38,000 to $69,000 annually, probation officers earning an average of $35,000 to $60,000 annually, and corrections officers earning an average of $31,870 annually in the private sector to $52,310 annually at the federal prison level.
Programs in criminal justice administration are available through both online and on-campus programs at various colleges. Top choices include the University of Phoenix, Southern New Hampshire University, and Kaplan University, all of which offer both bachelors and masters degrees in various types of criminal justice administration. The University of Phoenix Bachelor’s of Science degree provides an emphasis on human services and includes coursework on criminal psychology, mediation and advocacy. Both Southern New Hampshire University and Kaplan offer a variety of bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and include a more inclusive path to criminal justice administration.
A criminal justice administration degree includes the foundational coursework found in most general criminal justice degrees, but then goes on to provide courses in specializations such as corrections, treatment of offenders, law enforcement, various legal aspects and cultural perspectives. Most commonly, the criminal justice administration major gains a Bachelor’s of Science degree that includes coursework in subjects such as criminal justice and legal theory, interpretation of laws, professional practices, criminal justice theories and their application to the practices of criminal justice. Criminal justice administrators are also expected to complete ongoing training and education as required to stay on top of the latest findings and trends in criminal justice. In addition to furthering an existing criminal justice career in law enforcement or corrections, a criminal justice administration degree is often used as a basis for law school.
Additional Resource: Best Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs