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The criminal justice field, which often involves government work, is an interesting animal. While education can always be an integral element in a job search (especially if you do not already have your bachelor degree), it is difficult to assess whether higher degree programs (other than if you are interested in university or criminology work, that is) are always the best road in which to break into the field.
Since the criminal justice field is rapidly expanding, especially related to homeland security management and increased fears of terrorist attacks, jobs are immediately available. Since there are too few incoming grads with appropriate degrees, many of these jobs are going to people already in the field-even retired military men and women. If you already have a job in a related field, it is recommended that you look into your career options and opportunity for upward movement prior to obtaining your degree. It is not uncommon for government groups/agencies to pay for higher education, when needed, for valued employees.