Career Opportunities

Careers in criminal justice are challenging and rewarding. The criminal justice system employs nearly two million people across the nation and is made up of multiple aspects. These aspects include law enforcement, corrections, the court system, probation and parole.

A degree in police studies can help you start or advance your career in law enforcement or related fields. Career opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Police officer
  • Detective
  • School resource officer
  • Deputy
  • Special agent
  • Policy analyst
  • Victims’ advocate

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics* (BLS) estimates that the number of individuals employed in policing and related fields will see an increase through 2024.

Competition is expected to increase for state and local positions and remain especially high for federal positions with organizations such as the U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Those with college degrees will set themselves apart.

Although education was not historically mandatory in the policing field, it has become increasingly necessary as perceptions about policing change, technology advances and more agencies implement college credit requirements.

Continuing education and training helps police officers, detectives, and special agents improve their job performance and their chances for advancement.

With additional education, graduates can pursue careers as judges, attorneys or social workers -- or even have second careers as professors.

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Police and Detectives