Criminal Justice Degrees: What is the Difference and What are the Benefits?

Courtesy of William Bronchick, Bronchick Law

At Bronchick Law, we rarely deal with criminal justice, but I thought this might be of interest to the folks following my articles that are considering a degree in Criminal Justice!

There are many majors in criminal justice. Let us look at the most popular ones – justice administration, forensic sciences, corrections management, court reporting, home security, juvenile management, law enforcement, economic crime, cyber crime, legal and paralegal services, and so on….

The main point is: you can get majors in almost an innumerable number of specializations. Each specialization has its own narrow scope of the study. Because the scope of the study is narrow – within a particular period of time, say 2 years – a specialized degree can teach a student a lot of things about a particular subject. It is the narrow sharpening of focus in each particular major that brings about the differences in the various majors within criminal justice that you can get degrees in. The difference is in specialization and it has its benefits too.

The more specialized knowledge you have the more valuable you are to employers. The better will be the pay scales that you will be offered. Take something like forensic science – the more specialized a degree you have – a BS preferably from a school that is reputed for its medical and life sciences department – will be more valuable than a general justice administration degree.

While this is the most important aspect from the point of view of traditional students and who are only preparing for the job market, for non-traditional students who are already employed, the most important criterion has to be what kind of on-the-job training he or she has already received and, therefore, will get credit for, and, what is the particular job requirement now and in the immediate future so that the person can get properly qualified to meet the requirements in the best way possible?

The bottom-line always is: YOU have to decide which criminal justice major will get YOU the most benefits given your present situation – there are many majors and they are different because they represent different specializations – but the more specialized you are the more valuable you are, just remember that.

In case you are already employed, you have to take one more step. You have to see what is the field in which you are already working in, or what is the field where future promotions will take place in your workplace? Once you know, you can choose your degree.