Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Associates Degrees in Criminal Justice and other Criminal Justice Degree topics.
Education Connection Tip: Local level jobs are going to be available to you prior to obtaining any experience. Jobs such as being a park police officer, a county police officer or working for the sheriff's office are common with this type of degree program (at least early on).
Some people think of the term "criminal justice" and fantasize about an exotic life that will lead to saving people and going undercover in foreign countries. While this reality may be true for a select few FBI or CIA agents, this wildly romantic experience is not the reality for anyone in a new, and entry-level position.
It is suggested that prior to even embarking on your criminal justice associate degree online you make an appointment with a local police station (or officer) or that you meet up with a park police officer and explain your situation and interests. If you let the person know that you respect what they do and want to make sure that you are entering the field for the right reasons, they will most likely be open to speaking with you further about the realities (both positive and negative) about this type of entry-level position.
It is also recommended that you speak with at least two people (more if possible), because we are all subject to burn-out and negative experiences no matter what our job/career focus. It is important to get a breadth of experience/knowledge about what to expect under your belt prior to making a decision that will cost you money, time and valued energy.