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The Criminal Justice field has a vast opportunity of different jobs that one can go into. However, with all the specialty jobs available, different levels of education are required in order to even be considered as a candidate for hire.
Crime has always been present in our society and as long as money is also part of our culture, crime will never go away. In fact, with all the technological advancements happening each and every day, crime is getting more sophisticated. In order in remain effective in law enforcement today it is a good idea to further ones education and become as knowledgeable as possible. Although many entry level criminal justice careers do not require a college education, obtaining a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in criminal justice will open many doors for you in the criminal justice system of today and tomorrow. In fact, the higher your degree is the more options that you have.
With a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice you can expect to be able to apply for a wide variety of jobs. Careers to include; a Fish and Game Warden, a Probation Officer, a Crime Scene Investigator or even an F.B.I or C.I.A. Agent are just some of the choices available to you (Sipe, C.). All of these are very satisfying career choices and can earn you anywhere from $35,000-$90,000 or more (Florida Tech, 2010). You can stop here and live comfortably and know that you are accomplishing something great by doing your part to help protect the people of the world.
If you should happen to continue your education and earn a Master’s degree, there are even more possibilities that await you although they do become more specific. Careers such as Criminologists, Forensic Psychology and Forensic Science are just a few of the many possible opportunities available to you as well as what was available at the Bachelor’s degree level (Cris, 2013). The average salary available to someone with a Master’s degree in criminal justice is anywhere from $40,000-$120,000 and up depending on your location (Roufa, T.).
The question to you is, how deep into criminal justice do you want to get? While there are many more options available to you if you have a Master’s degree, the average salary is basically the same. With a Bachelor’s degree you will have to work harder than you would with a Master’s degree in order to reach your maximum salary but if you are naturally a hard worker you don’t really need that extra education. The careers available to you with a Master’s degree are so specialized that the job market is so small for them that you might not ever obtain the position that you want. All the jobs that you can enter with a Bachelor’s degree are so broad and widely available that placement is almost guaranteed.
So, should you get a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree? In my opinion, I would pursue a Master’s degree in the hopes of getting one of those highly paid, very specialized jobs. And if I can’t get it, at least I have the education required for some many more criminal justice jobs that I can at least get my foot in the door and continue to shoot for the top. Either way, education is the only way to go if you want to stay ahead. How much education however is completely up to you.
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