If you are looking for an exciting career that involves serving and protecting the public, you may be interested in a career in criminal justice. Perhaps you are new to the field and exploring your options. Or, you are a seasoned law enforcement professional looking to take your career to the next level. If you are asking yourself, “What can I do with a law enforcement degree?”, you have come to the right place.
Here, we will explore some of the many options available to those who serve to pursue a criminal justice or law enforcement degree in Connecticut. The best part: You can select your level of education. Perhaps you are just getting started and want to jumpstart your career as soon as possible. In this case, you may be interested in earning your associate degree. If you are already experienced in the criminal justice workforce, you may be looking to advance even farther with a bachelor’s degree.
No matter your position, a great education can help you stand out among the competition. There are many criminal justice and law enforcement careers, in a wide variety of settings, available to job seekers with the right combination of education and experience. Let’s dive in and explore what you can do with a law enforcement degree.
Law Enforcement Careers Available with an Associate Degree:
Criminal Justice is a highly specialized field, which demands the right kind of training and focus. An accredited, career-focused school (for example, Goodwin College) can equip you with the tools needed for success in this industry, without years of expensive education. With an associate degree in criminal justice or law enforcement, the following careers are well within your reach:
Corrections officers work at local, state and federal level prisons, and are responsible for protecting inmates and upholding order and stability within the facility. This role can be stressful and dangerous, therefore it is important to have the right training that can prepare you for the physical and mental demands of the job.
- Customs and Border Protection
Border patrol agents (BPAs) uphold and enforce federal laws when people or goods travel into the United States. They work along the borders of Canada and Mexico, as well as in the coastal waters of Puerto Rico and Florida, to facilitate the flow of legitimate trade. BPAs are also tasked with preventing illegal immigration, and protecting Americans from risk factors such as agricultural pests, human and drug trafficking, and terrorism.
- Police Officer or Detective
A classic law enforcement career, local and state Police Officers put their lives on the line each day to protect the public. Whether it is responding to a domestic disturbance, working to solve a crime, or simply executing a routine traffic stop, cops ensure the safety and wellbeing of the community. While most departments require a minimum of a high school diploma for education, there are many that are looking for advanced education and training. Before you start your career as a law enforcement officer, you will want to be sure to have the proper skills and knowledge to prepare you for this important role.
- Private and Personal Security Agencies
Another important role in protecting people of a specific community or business is that of the security guard. This role involves defending people and property against theft, vandalism, and other criminal activity. Security guards work in a wide variety of places, including public buildings, retail stores, and office buildings. Gaming surveillance officers work mostly in casino observation rooms, using audio and video equipment. Because crime never sleeps, security guards and officers must often work overnight shifts.
- Transportation Security Administration
Thousands of professionals are employed with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to keep travelers safe. TSA screeners primarily monitor passengers at airports, but may also work at railways, subways, and other transportation hubs to help prevent attacks. Screeners need to know how to handle a variety of specialized equipment, such as x-ray machines, standing and handheld metal detectors, and be able to conduct physical searches of persons and luggage. TSA agents also search for weapons, drugs, and other contraband in order to keep travelers safe within the U.S.
Law Enforcement Careers Available with a Bachelor’s Degree:
Many advanced positions – including those at the federal level, such as FBI and DEA agents, require a bachelor’s degree. With a law enforcement related degree at the bachelor’s level, such as the Public Safety degree at Goodwin, you can achieve successful positions in:
- Drug Enforcement Agency
The work of a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Officer requires investigating, and cracking down on, underground drug operations and major drug trafficking organizations, to keep potential drug users safe. If you have a passion for cleaning up the streets in your community, you may be interested in pursuing this specialized field.
- Homeland Security Agencies
Homeland Security is a critical program in the United States, in which professionals safeguard the country and its communities from terrorism as well as natural and man-made disasters. Those who pursue education in this field learn how to protect airports, borders, and seaports against terrorism; prepare for and respond to both natural and man-made disasters; and offer counterterrorism or law enforcement support. Should you choose to work in this industry, you may land an exciting role in emergency management, border patrol, private security, or airport security; as well as institutions such as the DEA, FBI, Secret Services, and the military.
- Cyber Security
In this day and age, cyber security is just as important in protecting one’s financial wellbeing as any other form of security. The proof is in the pudding: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cyber or Information Security Analysts earn a median pay for $98,350 per year! These professionals carry out security to protect and organization’s computer networks and systems. Their responsibilities are ever-expanding as the world wide web grows and the number of cyberattacks increases.
The title of Forensic Technician may not sound like the title of a character “The Rock” would play, but it sure is exciting role. Think: Criminal Minds, CSI, and other investigative shows. Forensic Technicians work side-by-side with investigators at crime scenes, collecting evidence for testing in the lab. A Forensic Tech is tasked with the important role of gathering evidence at a crime scene – such as weapons, hair, fluids fiber samples – and bringing them back to the lab for testing and analysis. This is a great career for anyone who has an interest in science, but also wants to be in the action, helping to solve crimes.
As you can plainly see, there are numerous career choices for anyone interested in earning a law enforcement degree. Depending on your particular area of interest – be it travel with the TSA, or science as a Forensic Technician – there are many options out there.
Learn more about the law enforcement programs – including Criminal Justice, Homeland Security, and Public Safety – at Goodwin College today by calling 800-889-3282. Or, visit us online to find out why Goodwin is a leader in law enforcement education in Connecticut.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.