Masters of Criminal Justice Specialization Tracks

When most people consider what a criminal justice degree covers, they often assume police work is involved. Other common assumptions include duties relating to corrections or probation. And it’s true; criminal justice is a common educational path to becoming a police officer, probation worker or in other areas related to corrections.

However, criminal justice is related to exciting new fields beyond law enforcement. For instance, you may be surprised to learn that computer justice programs often include specialties in areas ranging from homeland security to computer related investigations or addictions counseling. A master’s degree in criminal justice may be a possible avenue to pursue any one of these exciting careers. Masters degree graduates in these criminal justice related specialties can also look forward to expanding career opportunities and well-paying jobs.

Computer Applications

If you’ve watched crime shows on TV, you know that computers play a major role in preventing and solving crime. With a master’s degree in criminal justice with a specialty in computer applications, you will be on the cutting edge of innovations in dealing with criminal behavior. Besides core courses in criminal justice, computer applications specialists often complete courses in cybercrime, mapping crime patterns and information security.

Graduates who earn criminal justice master’s degrees with computer related specializations may work as computer forensic specialists. This relatively new career path deals with breaches of computer databases, piracy, industrial espionage and copyright infringement, among other areas. Career opportunities for workers in areas related to forensics are projected to grow by 31 percent from 2006 to 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pay varies according to the specific job title, but the annual median salary for private investigators was nearly $43,000 US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Behavior Analysis

Back in the day, addicts were often viewed only as low-level criminals. However, much of the thinking concerning addictions recognizes that it is a disorder that can be effectively treated. A criminal justice degree in behavior analysis trains students to recognize the signs of alcohol and chemical dependency. A specialty in behavior analysis often includes courses on principles of behavior analysis and behavior development.

Other career paths for students specializing in behavior analysis include working with children affected by autism spectrum disorders, speech therapy, speech language pathology and educational consulting. Criminal justice majors who major in behavior analysis can expect increased career opportunities as the 21st century continues. The field also offers good pay, with annual salaries in 2011 ranging from $45,179 US to 85,158 US, according to the Payscale website.

Homeland Security

The terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 changed American life forever. One of the most significant changes was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Specialists in this emerging career field are trained to recognize and prepare for potential acts of terrorism and natural catastrophes.

Students complete core courses in criminal justice such as ethics and criminal investigation, as well as specialized courses, including risk assessment and terrorism strategy. A curriculum in homeland security related criminal justice emphasizes the need for cooperation between law enforcement, commercial and industrial enterprises and private citizens. In some cases, you can complete your studies online while you continue working in your regular job.

For Further Reading

-Careers in Forensics

-Computer Forensics Specialist

-Criminal Behavior Analysis Education and Training Programs

-Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

-Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice: Behavior Analysis Specialization

-Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice: Homeland Security Specialization

-Master’s in Criminal Justice Curriculum

-Police and Detectives

-Private Detectives and Investigators

-Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists

Guest post contributed by Sarah Rawson. She is currently tutoring online Criminal Justice Degree programs and writing as a freelancer. Sarah’s articles mainly appear on higher education blogs.

Sarah Rawson
Guest post contributed by Sarah Rawson. She is currently tutoring online Criminal Justice Degree programs and writing as a freelancer. Sarah’s articles mainly appear on higher education blogs.
Sarah Rawson

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