A master’s degree in criminal justice jobs is one of the best ways to improve your qualifications for promotion. The first in the line for jobs are generally the most qualified graduates and highly experienced law enforcement officers. Furthermore, these graduates will typically handle greater responsibilities and earn higher salaries.
A master’s degree in criminal justice puts you in the position to take advantage of the myriad of opportunities available in the field. Graduates will be able to get adequate preparation for the positions of leadership. This is on top of getting potential roles that deal with issues of crime, justice as well as law enforcement.
Students undertaking the master’s degree program in criminal justice are able to achieve, through coursework and practical experience, an up-to-date knowledge of the various practices in criminal justice. More than just the standard practices, they also learn all current policies in the field. They’ll develop the skills that will enable them to become more competent and effective in the communities they’re in.
The importance of gaining the highest level of training in criminal justice practice cannot be emphasized enough. Students or law enforcement officers are increasingly grappling with various legal, social, management and leadership challenges. These challenges typically hinder the effective delivery of their services to their communities.
Specialization and Disciplines
In the criminal justice field, specialization or emphasis on certain disciplines such as law enforcement or legal issues enables you to enact roles more effectively. There are numerous options for specialization when it comes to the pursuit of a master’s degree. The specialization you’ll be choosing will also determine the kind of universities that you’ll join for your master’s program. Not all universities offer the same specializations or majors in criminal justice. The search for a niche in your career for which you’ll be specializing and getting training should, therefore, be carried out carefully.
Some of these disciplines are generally offered as part of the Master of Arts or the Master of Science degrees. However, they won’t necessarily be available at the same university. For example, it’s possible to pursue a master of Science or Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. Some of the common specializations when it comes to MSc in Criminal Justice include forensic psychology, cyber-crime, criminology, forensic science as well as behavior analysis.
Specializations for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice include public policy, organizational security, terrorism and mediation, homeland security, law enforcement administration and legal studies. It may be advisable to do a little legwork and research in order for you to determine your area of specialization. This will help you in picking the right university and the right degree.
Here is an overview of the courses in the Masters Degree in Criminal Justice Programs:
- Research Methods
- Restorative Justice
- Forensic Psychology
- Organizational Behavior and Leadership
- Criminal Investigation
- The Critical Issues in Criminal Justice
- Justice, Law and Public Policy
- Problem Analysis
Graduate students may also choose several electives which may differ based on the university where these are offered. These include the following:
- Race, Crime and Justice
- Human Smuggling and Trafficking
- Juvenile Justice
- Crime Mapping
What Skills Will You Be Getting With a Master’s Degree
Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice generally equips you with management and leadership skills. With this, you’ll be able to easily transition into management roles in your practice. This could be in the form of emergency management, crime scene management or critical incident management amongst other management functions in the criminal justice practice.
The management jobs typically come with the highest pay. Taking MA or MSc programs in criminal justice put you in a good place to take advantage of these opportunities. For example, high-ranking corporate security roles could come with annual salaries of up to $150,000 per year. The critical incident managers will be looking at salaries ranging from $92,000 to $98,000.
Master’s degree holders in the non-managerial positions could earn as much as $75,000 with very attractive prospects for career growth. People with a Master’s degree and an entrepreneurial bent could be looking at an unlimited potential to maximize their earning with their specialization. Many graduates will begin with a governmental job where they can amass experience and extra competence. As a result, many transition to careers in the private sector.
Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Jobs is Good For Building Connections
One of the main reasons why many people opt for Masters programs is that they offer a perfect platform for networking and developing high-level professional connections. Additionally, they can then leverage these connections later on in their careers. It gives you exposure to people from diverse career backgrounds in the criminal justice system. Some of these people will serve as mentors, colleagues or peers in your career growth. It is one of the best-proven door openers for anyone who wants to advance quickly in their careers.