Is criminal justice a tough career to get into? If so, what helps you get a foot in the door?

A career in criminal justice can certainly be a tough experience: besides possessing a sound understanding of the criminal law, law enforcement officers, for example, are sometimes called upon to intervene in dangerous and potentially life-threatening predicaments, and they see a lot of grizzly things during their working lives that most people would prefer to avoid.

To do the job ethically and competently, prospective recruits will need the characterological mettle to remain steady under (literal or metaphorical) fire, have the courage to walk towards danger when others are fleeing from it, and the wits to defuse volatile conflicts wherever possible.

However,if a candidate can meet these characterological requirements, and has a willingness to learn, they have already overcome a major hurdle as far as entering such a career is concerned. Many people have done so, often at ‘foot soldier’ level, by completing their basic training at police academy. So, what’s the advantage of a higher education criminal justice degree?

For anyone thinking about switching careers and embarking on a law enforcement path instead, you don’t have to give up your job and imperil your family finances. A good online criminal justice degree means that you can get a foot in the door of your new career while maintaining your work and family obligations.

A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, moreover, will take you deeper than police academy training, which tends to focus on the ‘hows’ of the job. It takes you beyond the ‘hows’ of police work into the ‘whys’ – ‘why do we complete this task in this specific way?’

However, you’ll learn about more than the tasks. You’ll also learn about why otherwise decent people can be lured into doing cruel and criminal deeds (such asthe subjects in the famous Stanford prisonexperiment). You’ll learn to distinguish between absolute ethics and situational ethics, free will and determinism, and acquire in-depth knowledge of victimology, criminology, police administration, comparative and juvenile justice, and crisis management.

A powerful reason why such a qualification is so worthwhile – especially a highlyrated one such asthe Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice at Central Christian College of Kansas (CCCK) – is that it opens professional progression doorways for you – doors that might remain shut if you haven’t clearly demonstrated that you have the intellectual as well as the personal aptitudes for advanced-level law enforcement roles.

Increasingly, criminal justice degrees are seen by police departments as strong assets when hiring for these senior roles. Today, as recent survey data shows, 44% of law enforcement agencies require associate or bachelor’s degrees for police chief roles, while 36% do for command personnel, 28.1% for lieutenants, and 20% for sergeants.

As more law enforcement agents gain higher education degrees, the expectations for entry-level and more junior law enforcement roles are likely to also rise.

The beauty of an online criminal justice degree is that people who already have full-time work-related and family-related obligations can fit it into their schedules. At CCCK, for example, the degree comes in a series of short, six-week online courses – eminently ‘doable’ if you’ve got the motivation and the aptitude.

The first step to your new career awaits you.