An online criminal justice degree can prepare you for a wide variety of careers.

The U.S. criminal justice system is a large, complex, and interconnected system of federal, state, and local agencies, processes, and professionals. They work together to control crime; impose penalties on lawbreakers; and provide justice, aid, and assistance for victims and offenders. If you earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, you’ll have a good foundation for pursuing a variety of careers, including corrections officer, cyber crime investigator, homeland security border patrol, FBI agent, and others.*

How Does One Degree Launch So Many Careers?

An online criminal justice degree like a BS in Criminal Justice prepares you with a strong foundation and the flexibility to choose from several concentrations that help align your area of study with your career goals. Here are some of those specializations, along with some of the career options you may be able to pursue:*

  • Computer Information Systems and Security: Computer and cybercrime professional in government, corporate information security departments, law enforcement agencies, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and law firms.
  • Crime and Criminals: Detective, crime scene investigator, criminologist, researcher.
  • Criminal Justice Management and Administration: Department manager or administrator in law enforcement offices, victim and advocacy services, and criminal-justice-related nonprofit organizations.
  • Homeland Security: Border patrol, local and regional first responders, hazardous material response teams, and FEMA and other emergency relief agencies.
  • Human Services for Criminal Justice: Advocate for victims and communities, working directly with victims in social services and nonprofit agencies.

Potential Career Options in the Field: Salaries for Criminal Justice Professionals (May, 2014)

Position Median Annual Wage Top 10%
Police and Detectives $58,630 $96,760
Sociologist $72,810 $127,890
Administrative Services Managers $83,790 $149,180
Information Security Analysts $88,890 $140,460
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists $49,060 $83,920
Correctional Officers and Bailiffs $39,700 $70,970

Beyond a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice

Some criminal justice careers may require additional education and training beyond your online criminal justice degree, as each job description will specify. A specialized bachelor’s in criminal justice degree will give you a strong start down the path toward your ideal career. It may also provide superior credentials and a competitive edge when compared with other job applicants. It will also give you a solid foundation for accelerating your education to earn an MS in Criminal Justice, and ultimately pursue a PhD in Criminal Justice.

Explore Walden University's online criminal justice degrees for graduates and undergraduates. Get the help you need to launch or advance your career. Earn your degree in a convenient online format that fits your busy life.


*Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of a degree program.

†Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016–2017 Edition, Police and Detectives, Sociologist, Administrative Services Managers, Information Security Analysts, Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists, Correctional Officers and Bailiffs on the Internet at www.bls.gov/ooh/home.htm.

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