The criminal justice system employs nearly two million people across the nation and is made up of multiple aspects including, law enforcement, corrections, the court system, probation and parole.
Law enforcement careers are challenging and rewarding. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics* (BLS) estimates that the number of individuals employed in police and detective positions will see an increase through 2026.
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 have a competitive edge.
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 second careers as judges, attorneys or social workers.
Job opportunities include:
- Police officer
- School resource officer
- Special agent
- Policy analyst
- Victims’ advocate
Recent graduates are employed by:
- Local and State Law Enforcement Agencies
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- U.S. Secret Service
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation
- U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Police and Detectives, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm