The nation's crime rate has continued to rise, spiking sharply in recent years. There are more than six million people under "correctional supervision" in the United States, according to a recent article in New Yorker. The trend for incarceration has led many students to pursue a criminal justice degree. Police officers, criminal lawyers and prison administrators are among the top jobs. As the nation struggles to maintain its crime rate and prisons fill to capacity, schools are scrambling to fill a much needed sector of the economy. Whether you want to work in corrections, legislation, rehabilitation or enforcement, careers are expected to grow exponentially for criminal justice majors.
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for probation officers, correctional workers, detectives and other law enforcement is expected to grow faster than average. In 2008, there were just an estimated 100,000 probation officers and correctional treatment workers, but 20,000 new jobs are expected to open up within the next few years. The growth is in direct response to the heightened need for trained professionals, who understand the system of practices and government institutions that ultimately provide protection for citizens. For that reason, criminal justice has become one of the most popular degree programs in America.
The majority of students utilize the degree's versatility, as there are many fields that combine with law enforcement education. For example, criminal justice majors may find better salaries working in business, earning an MBA after pursuing a bachelor's in criminal justice. Both training provides a stable platform to become a corporate investigator. Those with a bachelor's degree also find that they can earn more income working as a self-employed private investigator, as they can assist individuals, businesses, and attorneys with research.
Without a formal education in criminal justice, it's incredibly hard to gain employment with government agencies and facilities. Courses in criminal justice and police science can immensely help detectives, police officers, correctional workers and other law enforcement personnel. Even though little education is necessary to work as a self-employed private investigator, they won't have any formal education to work with police agencies or top businesses, which are the better opportunities for job growth and higher salaries. Criminal justice degrees are most beneficial for those who want to work in law enforcement, but you find that even those who hold a computer science, business or accounting degree also need education on the laws protecting their industries.
Overall, the country needs more professionals who received proper training to handle the increased job growth. Criminal justice education is the best way to secure a job in law enforcement. Every city needs good police officers and detectives, and prison statistics suggest that correctional officers will continue to maintain the most job stability. With the current population of the nation's prisons, crime has become even worse within prisons. In addition, criminal justice reform will become one of the major issues for America in the next few years. The next generation of graduates can learn the newest theories and technologies in these fields and provide a stable change for the country's justice system.