What You Need to Know About a Criminal Justice Degree

detective at crime scene

With serious threats facing the nation both domestically and abroad, it’s important we maintain a society that's safe, fair, and free. Protecting our society and its values takes the hard work of professionals who operate in the complex and vital fields of criminal justice, national security, and emergency management. If you're motivated to help our society meet the safety and security challenges of the 21st century, learn how an online criminal justice degree from Ashford University could be right for you.

Your Specialty. Your Career.

In the specialized worlds of criminal justice and security, having the right skillset for the job is essential. Ashford University offers degree programs uniquely designed to prepare students for the special challenges they'll encounter in the environments and organizations that make up the front lines of today's fight for justice, public safety, and national security.

Students who pursue an online criminal justice degree from Ashford University are driven to make a difference in their communities. You can make an impact at the ground level with a Bachelor of Arts in Social and Criminal Justice, which instills a broad understanding of the criminal justice system and how social issues operate and intersect our effort toward maintaining a just society. Or you can always take your education in the criminal justice system further with a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. There are opportunities to focus your advanced degree with specializations in cybercrime and technology, forensic science, Homeland Security, or law enforcement to help position yourself for the specific career you want.

You may consider a Bachelor's in Law Enforcement Administration to develop your skills as a change agent who is ready to manage and lead law enforcement into the new age. Or you may opt for a Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security and Emergency Management if you'd rather learn how to tackle the major threats that face our nation, as well as anticipate and respond to future risks.

Within each major, your course offerings will examine both broad, foundational topics and highly focused subjects in your specific area of study. Courses at Ashford University are designed with a dual emphasis on the theoretical and practical sides of issues that range from the legal underpinnings of society to present-day threats like terrorism and cyber-crime. The information and skills you gain can help you to hit the ground running in a fast-paced and potentially hazardous position. Go online to explore all of the potential careers you could pursue with a degree in criminal justice from Ashford University.

Learn from the Professionals

The faculty at Ashford University brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to each and every class they teach. When you enroll in an online criminal justice degree program at Ashford, you'll learn from highly qualified instructors with impressive academic backgrounds and relevant professional experience.

The Evolution of Crime-Fighting

The crimes being investigated have changed. Crime-fighting techniques and skills have evolved. And the casts of characters look different, representing the increasingly diverse landscape of America. Just as the communities that criminal justice professionals protect and serve have evolved and grown more diverse, the crimes being investigated have changed too. Criminal justice professionals must now be prepared to tackle crimes that have become far more complex and sophisticated.

Classes are designed to take into account the increasing diversity of the U.S. as well as the everchanging threats that impact our society. Ashford offers two specializations that are focused on two evolving threats, one in Homeland Security and one in Cybercrime & Technology. These specializations that are a part of the Master of Science in Criminal Justice program can equip you with the timely and effective skills needed in order to protect us from today’s threats and whatever new threats await us in the future.

How to Overcome Ethical Dilemmas as a Criminal Justice Student

There aren't many fields that impact other people's lives as much as criminal justice. As a student in a criminal justice degree program, you're preparing yourself for a career with tremendous consequences. Therefore, it's essential that you establish a strong approach to ethical decision-making and leadership before you graduate, and that includes knowing how to tackle ethical dilemmas. Building your own code of ethics so you can make better, faster decisions in your future career can be essential.

Stake Your Ethical Ground

In order to adhere to a code of ethics, you first need to know what your values are. What are the standards that you'll measure your actions against? There are a number of foundational ethical theories and models you can choose from to align your guiding principles with your own values or those of the institution you're serving.

Acknowledge the Complexities

The thing about dilemmas is that choosing between your options isn't easy – that's what makes it a dilemma. Even when trying to abide by an ethical standard to create outcomes that align, navigating your way to those conclusions isn't always going to be simple. Often, the opposite will be true. Ethical behavior requires that you first acknowledge the imperfection and complexities that created the dilemma to begin with. Facing these issues head-on and thinking through them critically can help ensure that you are tackling the problem with eyes wide open and help you persuade other people who may need to be convinced of your decision.

Plan, Implement, and Assess

Start by planning out each step you'll take and considering what outcomes could occur at each stage. What other parties will need to be involved, and when? How could they impact the outcome? How might they react, and will you need to respond? What will be the long-term effects of your decision, on both the micro and macro levels? Considering all the variables at play is an important part of the planning process. Once your decision is made and the dominoes fall into place, reflect on the outcomes of your decision. When it comes to ethics, holding yourself accountable and always striving for improvement is essential.

 

Your criminal justice degree from Ashford University prepares you with the essential knowledge, skills, and qualifications that may help you to stand out in a crowd of applicants. With the stakes as high as they are in this field, reaching for the right outcomes when ethical dilemmas come your way isn't only a good idea – it's a necessary one. Whether your commitment to justice revolves around local policing or international affairs, Ashford University is dedicated to providing you with the tools you need to be a force for positive change in your own life, and the lives of others.

 

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Written by Ashford University staff

 

For more information about on-time completion rates, the median loan debt of students who completed each program, and other important information, please visit ashford.edu/pd.

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Are you currently a licensed RN?

This program requires you to be a current licensed registered nurse. Please check out other programs to reach your education goals such as the BA in Health and Wellness.