In our fast-paced world, many who wish to start a new career are left feeling disheartened as they don’t have the time or financial abilities to attend a traditional on-campus degree program. While in recent years the use of online, or distance learning, programs have risen in popularity, there are many considerations students and professionals face. Perhaps the most prevalent of these considerations and concerns is whether or not the quality of education of an online program is the same as an on-campus program. When you wish to study criminal justice, the quality of your education will directly influence the success you have post-graduation. Therefore, one of the biggest questions students is involving this subject matter is, “Can I get an online criminal justice degree?”
Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs
The simple answer to the aforementioned question is, yes! You absolutely can enroll in an online security guard training course; however, there are several considerations you must ponder upon before agreeing to a specific online program. The most important out of these is the school accreditation. In order to obtain an “official” degree, the institution must be accredited by the U.S. Department of Education; however, it’s always suggested to only attend an online program that’s accredited by third party organizations.
The next element you should look for is the reputation the school has within the industry. While many institutions are accredited by the U.S. Department of Education, the reputation these schools have within the criminal justice system is lacking. Therefore, it’s best to choose a nonprofit college or university. While for-profit training institutions may offer criminal justice degree programs, their primary concern isn’t your education, but rather their bottom line.
While the aforementioned are vital when it comes to determining the value of an online criminal justice degree program, it’s the actual coursework that determines the true value of your online education. As a general rule of thumb, make sure you only choose a degree program that involves the following primary core studies:
- Criminal Law and the Legal System
- Substantive Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedures
- Criminal Justice System Ethics
- Police Organization
- Police Administration
- Theories of Criminal Behavior
- Forensic Psychology
- Forensic Sociology
Although the aforementioned is general subjects, they are essential when you wish to pursue a career within the criminal justice system. If you’re in doubt regarding the validity of an online degree program, reach out to a local college or university. Make an appointment with a representative of the criminal justice department to discuss the course offerings within a particular online degree program. Doing so ensures your training is conclusive and meets standard requirements.