The term "criminal justice" has now become a very broad term for a variety of specialized career interests. There are associates degrees in criminal justice, crime scene technology, and terrorism/security management.
Note, that if you decide to embark on an associates degree program (rather than a bachelor's, master's or PhD program) that your job options may be more limited to state and local jobs. While this sound inhibiting at first, these types of jobs often offer excellent benefits packages, as well as ample vacation time and opportunity for educational advancement at no additional charge to you.
The recommendation is that since you have a great wealth of curriculum focus options that you make a list of what draws you to the field of criminal justice, complete further research on the specific tasks associated with each emphasis, and make an educated decision on what tasks, time-schedule and level of commitment are most amenable to your lifestyle and needs. Weigh the pros and cons. Consider your monetary and familial duties. Consider your energy level and desire for commitment. After you have a more detailed picture of your needs, you can look further into areas of special interest within the field.
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