Society progresses when citizens feel safe and secure. For this reason, education in a field related to law, security, or criminal justice continues to be popular. Postgraduation, yearly median salaries within related fields remain higher than the $37,040 average for all occupations, with police officers and detectives ($61,600), forensic science technicians ($56,750), paralegals ($49,500), and even private investigators ($48,190) making above-average pay.*, † Some positions within growing governmental organizations such as Homeland Security offer investigator and agent positions well into six figures.‡
With the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting continued demand for legal, security, and law enforcement positions, an education and career in these professions promises financial and job security into the future.
To meet the need for graduates in law, criminal justice, and related specialty fields, colleges and universities continue to create affordable and convenient online degree programs. These programs are attractive options for students looking for flexibility in location, scheduling, and accessibility.
If you’re considering a career in a law enforcement, legal, or security profession, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered the best of our degree program rankings into one convenient source.
Associate’s Degree Programs
The 20 Best Online Criminal Justice Associate Degree Programs. A two-year Associate’s degree can help quickly launch a new criminal justice career such as police officer, private investigator, homeland security officer, bailiff, victim advocate, prison guard, court administrator, and more.
The Best Online Paralegal Associate’s Degree Programs. Paralegal work is perfect for an Associate’s degree. Paralegal jobs pay well, often offer an excellent professional work environment, and the degree can be a step toward more advanced degrees in related legal fields.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs
The 25 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice Studies. This article ranks colleges for affordability of online Bachelor’s degrees that focus on law enforcement and corrections. Get an in-demand degree in a well-paying field—while avoiding paying a fortune.
The 30 Best Online Bachelor of Criminal Justice Degree Programs. Above, we shared the most affordable programs; these are simply the best. Criminal Justice Bachelor’s degree programs explore corrections, case processing, crime’s impact, police work, probation, parole, social policy, victim assistance, and more.
The 12 Best Online Bachelor in Information Assurance & Security Degree Programs. An online Bachelor’s degree in Information Assurance and Security can help you land a rewarding job protecting a company’s or government’s most powerful asset, its information. With a $92,600 per year median salary and 18% projected growth, it’s a hot field.*
The Best Online Paralegal Bachelor’s Degree Programs. Paralegal work is perfect for an Bachelor’s degree. Paralegal jobs pay well, often offer an excellent professional work environment, and the degree can be a step toward more advanced degrees in related legal fields.
Master’s Degree Programs
The 25 Best Online Master of Criminal Justice Degree Programs. Professionals with a Criminal Justice Master’s degree often pursue occupations such as U.S. Marshals, Correctional Treatment Specialists, Emergency Management Directors, and Police Supervisors, and gain advanced understanding of counterterrorism, homeland security, forensics, emergency management, and more.
The 25 Best Online Master in Homeland Security Degree Programs. Master in Homeland Security degree programs prepare professionals to respond to man-made as well as natural disasters, covering such needs as information security and forensics, emergency management, technology for homeland security, risk management, counterintelligence, national security policy, and health system preparedness.
The 25 Best Online Master of Information Assurance and Security Degree Programs. Because of the explosion of cyber threats, demand for professionals with a Master of Information Security and Assurance degree has skyrocketed. Suitable roles include chief security officer, security architect, information assurance specialist, IT & network security consultant, and management information systems director.
Careers for Law & Criminal Justice Professionals
So, you already have the degree. Or you’re thinking about how the degree and a career fit together. Our newly expanded Careers section contains an extensive look at opportunities for qualified professionals with law and criminal justice backgrounds. Find a job you love!
Includes Correctional Officers, Court Reporters, Judges, Lawyers, Paralegals, Police Officers, Private Detectives, Security Guards, and related disciplines.
This huge list covers a wide variety of jobs including criminal justice entry-level jobs and criminal justice government jobs. The list includes criminal justice salaries and educational requirements.
Related Articles & Resources
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Cops in Schools: Have We Built a School-to-Prison Pipeline? TBS Magazine explores whether school disciplinary tactics create negative encounters with law enforcement and set up some children to fail into an endless cycle of jail time.