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Education Connection Tip: An associates degree in criminal justice usually takes about two years to complete. It is common for people to obtain an associates degree from a local, community college. Currently, the most popular way to obtain this type of degree is through online universities.
If you are interested in working in the criminal justice field it is suggested that you consider what type of work you are interested in prior to determining whether or not an associates degree is appropriate for you.
Common jobs for recent graduates with an online associates degree in criminal justice are corrections officer, security officer and some lower level jobs in the field of social work (social work is a very broad term, but in order to practice this work at a higher level, you would need to obtain a masters degree). The type of job you would find with this degree would be more of an entry -level position.
That being said, however, this field of criminal justice is rapidly growing, especially with the emphasis on homeland security in recent years. While you may not be the head of the company when you first begin your job with an associates degree, it is a quicker, less expensive way to get into the field. Once you get into the field, there is always room for advancement. And many state and federal agencies where people practice criminal justice work will pay for their employees to go back later and get higher-ed degrees.