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careers in criminal justice and law enforcement

Law Enforcement Training Courses Online: Choosing from the criminal justice degrees available

The criminal justice system is incredibly complex today. To prepare for a career as an officer, commander or staff worker today,  you have a very long list of law enforcement training courses online to choose from.

As an example, in just the area of police training in traffic law, there is law enforcement training online in:

  • Aggressive driver containment
  • Accident investigation
  • Pedestrian/ bicycle crash investigation
  • Drug abuse recognition
  • Crash data retrieval

Your immediate career goals will dictate which kind of degree you’ll want to take law enforcement training online courses for:

Law Enforcement or Criminal Justice Certificate: Usually takes one year to obtain, either in live classroom or online law enforcement training classes. This is a good way to get yourself ready for an entry-level job, and familiarize yourself with the overall structure of the criminal justice system. An online police training certificate can help you qualify for police work as a substance abuse counselor, crime scene technician or financial crimes investigator, to name a few. It can also get you on a path to being a corrections officer, victim’s advocate, work-release facilitator, probation officer, emergency dispatcher or security guard. If you go back to school later on, you’ll find that most criminal justice schools will allow you to use credits from your online law enforcement training classes toward a more advanced degree.

Associate Degree in Criminal Justice: Usually take two years to obtain, though there are some accelerated online courses that can be obtained more quickly. An associate’s degree can put you in a better position to get a job as a court reporter, paralegal, a private security agent, probation, corrections, immigration or case/social worker. As with a certificate degree, you can take your credits from an associate degree and get them counted toward a more advanced degree later on.

Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice: Takes up to four years to obtain. A bachelor’s degree is most appropriate if you already have some job experience in law enforcement, corrections or security work. This requires a significant investment of time and money in various law enforcement training courses online, which can help advance your existing career to a higher level.

Master's Degree Programs in Criminal Justice: A masters degree is designed to increase the skills of working professions. This can be a valuable degree, since there is a shortage of people who have taken their criminal justice learning beyond college law enforcement training to this level. You will need to take the GRE to qualify for this kind of degree. A good tip: If you want to stay in the criminal justice system, make sure you’re getting an online degree criminilistics accredited course that’s directly targeted to it. Some “hybrid” online law enforcement training classes will direct you more towards social work than a criminal justice career.

Higher Standards
Police departments across the U.S. are boosting their education requirements for job applicants. The old days where law enforcement offers "learned on the job" have faded, as even entry-level police offers are expected to have taken courses in accident investigation, dealing with court procedures and other subjects before being hired. Many of the federal agencies now accept job applications onlye from candidates with at least a bachelor's degree.

Online Learning Accepted
Fortunately, if you don't have time to go to a campus-based school, police departments and other law enforcement agencies have gradually come to have a very high level of acceptance for online law enforcement degrees. Many of them, in fact, now actually pay for their own employees to take law enforcement training online in order to move up the ranks into managerial positions. If possible, it's often a good idea to get at least some direct work experience in police work before going al the way to an advanced degree (masters or doctorate) in law enforcement. But as a career starter, online law enforcement training classes can certainly give you a leg up on other job candidates with no specialized training in this area.


Top Schools Specializing In Online Criminal Justice Degrees:

Kaplan University
Kaplan is a large, private school founded in 1937. It's a big player in online education, and offer many criminal justice degrees online at the Associate, Bachelor's and Master's levels, including:
- AAS in Criminal Justice
- BS Criminal Justice
- BSCJ in Juvenile Justice
- BSCJ Homeland Security
- BSCJ Crime Scene Investigation
- BSCJ Forensic Psychology
- Masters Degree online in Corrections
- MSCJ in Leadership & Executive Management in Criminal Justice
- Post-Baccalauriate Certificate in Paralegal

American Intercontinental University
Illinois based institution that also has brick and mortar campuses abroad, and a very wide range of online degree programs in many specialties. Key law enforcement degrees include:
- Associates Criminal justice Administration
- Bachelors in Forensic Science
- Bachelors in Criminal Justice
- Bachelors in Law Enforcement
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