The criminal justice system has evolved greatly in recent years. Those making a career in the field must demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the profession. Criminal Justice students explore psychology, criminal behavior, social systems and ethics. They are preparing for careers as investigative officials in police departments, prosecutor's offices, courts, corrections facilities, private sector forces, and the military.
The curriculums offered in the Criminal Justice program are taught by instructors who have a solid understanding of the theory and practice a person needs to work in the field. Faculty members have had previous experience in criminal justice, bringing a valuable, real-world component to the learning environment. These industry professionals assist students in deciphering patterns of human behavior, teach legal and ethical responsibilities, and explain how data on crime and prevention is collected and reported.
Students take part in hands-on, technology-enhanced interactive simulations and field tours of local facilities. These extracurriculars - as well as on-the-job Service Learning - allow students to experience real-world applications of theories and concepts. Practicing criminal justice professionals also work with students to conduct mock exercises or recruitment campaigns.
There are a variety of different career paths for skilled criminal justice professionals. Career opportunities extend over a wide range of professional disciplines including law enforcement, politics, business, security, law, corrections, government, and more. What you choose is purely dependant on your experience, education, and what area of criminology and criminal justice most interests you. Many criminal justice majors have ambitions of working as police officers, detectives or investigators, though many also become probation officers, correctional treatment specialists, or go to work for state or federal agencies.
According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), employment of police and detectives is expected to grow by 7 percent by 2020. Continued demand for public safety will lead to new openings for officers in local departments; however, both state and federal jobs may be more competitive. Employment of probation officers and correctional treatment specialists is expected to grow by 18 percent by 2020, about as fast as average for all occupations. Continued growth in the demand for probation and parole services will lead to new openings for officers.