Accredited Online Business Degrees

Online criminal justice degree grads enforce justiceMany of us have an idea of what it means to work in criminal justice. Maybe it’s an idea of a lawyer, defending his client in front of a jury. Or, maybe it’s the idea of police cars, patrolling the streets and keeping crime out of our neighborhoods. In reality, law enforcemant has many faces. If you work in some capacity helping keep the peace, an online criminal justice degree may be the best educational program for you. Criminal justice professionals study theoretical and practical ways to fight crime and promote healthy rehabilitation in society. As a law enforcement professional, your work hours may be long and uncertain. Earning a criminal justice degree online can help you further your career while remaining unemployed on the night shift or under cover helping to restore civil order. Justice professionals who benefit from this major include police officers, federal agents, private security professionals, homeland security officials, prison administrators, and military police.


Professionals that are interested in maintaining justice can use their unique skills and talents in careers that can range from our local police departments all the way to the FBI, from collecting evidence from crime scenes to helping corporations navigate complex tax laws. There are plenty of options for stable, rewarding careers in criminal justice that can fit any lifestyle.

If you are passionate about the idea of safe communities and healthy people, then you are bound for a journey to your perfect career in criminal justice. It doesn’t have to be difficult to get started, and many professionals are able to enter the field immediately out of high school or make a choice of getting their higher education to gain more competitive skills.

Jobs in criminal justice fall into two primary categories—law enforcement jobs and legal jobs. Jobs in law enforcement may be more appropriate with individuals who are interested in getting involved directly with anything related to crime, from preventing it all the way through punishing it. Legal jobs, on the other hand, are for individuals that are more focused on providing legal services and understanding the law of the land.

The role of criminal justice professionals can look vastly different between different types of careers and agencies. There are specializations in almost every type of role, and they can suit almost any set of interests and skills. The United States Department of Labor gives an overview of some of the most popular careers in criminal justice:

  • Forensic Scientist - Most people associate forensic science with their favorite investigative drama series on TV—CSI or Law and Order. The truth is that there’s much more depth to the forensic sciences than what they show on the screen, and these professions include any study and application of scientific methods used for purposes related to the law. Most employers will require at least a bachelor’s degrees of forensic science candidates. There are many certifications available from various professional organizations related to forensic science, and although they are not required, they can provide a competitive edge to a resume and some employers prefer them. With the advancements in technology making it possible to solve crimes with a broader variety of means, the demand for forensic science professionals to draw conclusions is expected to grow by 17% in the coming decade. Not only is this forensic science a reliable career, but it is a rewarding one that pays nearly $60,000 each year on average.
  • Lawyer - Licensed lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, organizations, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes. In order to practice law, professionals must get their Juris Doctorate (J.D.) and obtain their license to practice through admission to their state bar. All of the schooling pays off for lawyers who make an average annual income of nearly $120,000.
  • Arbitrator, Mediator, or Conciliator - These law professionals are impartial third parties that seek to use their knowledge and skills around the law to facilitate negotiations between opposing parties and resolve conflicts outside of the court system. Since negotiating outside of court is often much quicker and less expensive for everyone involved, there’s an increase in demand for these qualified legal professions. Jobs are anticipated to grow by at least 10% in the coming decade, and the average professional makes nearly $60,000 each year.
  • Paralegal or Legal Assistant - While lacking the same legal jurisdiction as lawyers, they make the work of lawyers possible by supporting them in a variety of legal and administrative tasks from maintaining documents to conducting research. Becoming a paralegal is one of the quickest ways to gain experience in law. Paralegals make an average salary of nearly $50,000 each year, and it is a great time to look into this accessible career. The demand for paralegals is expected to grow by 15% in the next few years, as organizations and individuals look for cheaper alternatives to solve their legal needs and resolve their disputes.
  • Cybersecurity Specialist - The network that we now know as the “internet,” has exploded into a expanding, infinite, global network of possibility. Cyber security is the science of protecting computers, their networks, and cyberspace against malicious attacks. The United States Department of Labor (DOL) generally refers to professionals in the field of cyber security as Information Security Analysts. The time is ripe for careers as an information security analyst. The increasing number and intensity of cyberattacks is causing an increased demand for highly skilled professionals to create innovative solutions to new threats—these types of jobs are anticipated to grow by nearly 28% in the coming decade. Not only are these careers readily available, but they are also highly rewarding. The average information security analyst makes more than $92,000 each year, and most professionals will need a bachelor’s degree to qualify for such positions.


Careers in criminal justice are for many different types of professionals with a passion for justice and safety. More often than not, professionals in criminal justice fields are the type of people that have strong communication and interpersonal skills that allow them to form relationships and work with people from all kind of backgrounds. 

They are the type of professionals that are prepared to deal with stressful, dangerous, and upsetting situations while they are on the job. They are able to keep their emotions in check and think critically under pressure in those situations to make decisions that could impact people for the rest of their lives. Often, they need the physical and emotional strength to be compassionate towards adults that they may have to restrain or confront during acts of crime or resistance. 

Individuals that may choose to work on the legal side of criminal justice may have the skills that are needed to conduct thorough research, with an eye for detail and the type of analytical mindset that provides for creative problem solving.


You have options when it comes to picking the best type of online criminal justice degree program for your career goals. A standard criminology degree remains a top pick with police cadets and security personnel as well as correctional officers. If you're more interested in science and technology, consider an online forensics degree, which could land you a gig as a CSI or forensics crime scene investigator.

The online homeland security degree is an in-demand major, and perfect if you're interested in domestic crime control and terrorism. Military personnel and veterans looking to transition into a civilian job may also want to consider homeland security. However, not all criminal justice jobs require hands-on work with crime. An online public administration degree could lead you to a management career in the justice, corrections or military sector.

Regardless of the major you choose, a career in state or federal law enforcement typically starts with a bachelor's degree. You could pursue an online criminal justice degree or an allied degree major. A degree is highly recommended for state and federal positions. If you already work in federal or state law enforcement, earning a bachelor's degree will also help you qualify for the highest paying positions. 

To work as an FBI agent or in the Secret Service, you generally need a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. Investigative careers, such as CSI or detective work, also require at least a bachelor's degree. For some statistical or forensic positions, you may even benefit from a master's degree. Advanced online criminal justice programs may also let you switch careers and jump into law enforcement.

Specialized programs may require accreditation or certification from the appropriate professional associations, such as the American Bar Association (ABA) for law programs, the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) for forensic science programs, the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) for emergency management studies, and the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), for computer-related criminal justice. Professionals that are considering careers in criminal justice will want to do thorough research on jobs that are related to their specific goals and interests.


Our rankings reveal that the average cost of a online bachelor's degree in criminal justice in the United States is just under $47,000. The average cost of an online master's program is $20,000. Use this data to compare programs you are considering. The most affordable programs will cost thousands less than average. Additionally, make sure to factor in additional costs for school supplies, certification exams, and more. It’s critical to look into programs that meet your goals and needs by offering internships, specialized courses, and other exceptional opportunities.

Browse Filters

List of Accredited Online Degrees

Penn Foster

Forensic Computer Examiner Certificate

In order to teach students skills of investigation, Penn Foster Career School is offering a Certificate for a Forensic Computer Examiner. Students interested in the program cover security, criminal threats, hackers, and cybercrime.


Read More
Penn Foster

LexisNexis Legal Research Certificate

The LexisNexis Legal Research certificate consists of two courses, Research Basics, and Computerized Legal Research. In order to fulfill the necessary requirements, students must have access to a Microsoft Windows based computer, with Windows XP or M...

Read More
Penn Foster

Business Security Certificate

Penn Foster offers a seven-course program that allows students to earn a Business Security Certificate. This program focuses on security management, loss prevention, and criminal justice. Prospective students interested in the Business Security Certi...

Read More
Penn Foster

Paralegal: Advanced Applications Certificate

Interested in law, interviewing, or civil litigation? Penn Foster offers an Advanced Paralegal Applications Certificate where students can study various paralegal concepts. The Advanced Paralegal Applications Certificate introduces principles of tort...

Read More
Penn Foster

Paralegal: Real Estate, Wills, and Estates Certificate

Through Penn Foster Career School, students are able to earn a Paralegal: Real Estate, Wills, and Estates Certificate. This program is designed for students with a work or educational background in core paralegal concepts. Students are expected to ha...

Read More
Penn Foster

Security Guard

Take the first steps towards an exciting career in safety services with our Security Guard career diploma program. Our courses are broken down into short, mobile-friendly lessons to help you on your journey towards earning your career diploma online....

Read More
American Public University System

Certificate in Digital Forensics

The undergraduate certificate in Digital Forensics examines various forensics models to identify, preserve, collect, analyze, prepare, and present evidence for prosecuting cybercrime. The window of opportunity for collecting evidence can be a few sec...

Read More
University of Massachusetts-Lowell - College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences - Undergradu

Certificate in Security Management & Homeland Security

More than at any other time, corporations are upgrading their existing security systems or contracting with private firms to secure their facilities and provide worker protection. , Personnel working in the areas of public safety, security manage...

Read More
Bay Path University

Certificate in Cybersecurity / Digital Forensics

The online Certificate in Cybersecurity / Digital Forensics program from Bay Path University is designed to be completed by students in any major, drawing from fundamental courses in: , Digital Forensics , Cyber Investigation , Mobile Technol...

Read More
Bossier Parish Community College

Certificate of Technical Studies in Criminal Justice Investigation

The online Certificate of Technical Studies in Criminal Justice Investigation program from Bossier Parish Community College provides students with knowledge and skills in accident investigation, human trafficking, homicide, drug enforcement and...

Read More
Eastern Florida State College

Criminal Justice Technology Specialist Certificate


Read More
Bristol Community College

Certificate in Law Enforcement


Read More
Bucks County Community College

Certificate in Emergency Management

The online Certificate in Emergency Management program from Bucks County Community College provides an opportunity for students to gain the skills and knowledge required to pursue a career in emergency management or to enhance their current career. G...

Read More
California University of Pennsylvania

Certificate in Land Management

California University of Pennsylvania offers an online Certificate in Land Management. The certificate program offers courses in Oil and Gas Law, Land Management and Administration, Subsuface Geology for Land Management and ...

Read More
Carrington College

Certificate in Criminal Justice


Read More
Casper College

Certificate in Fire Science


Read More
Center for Advanced Legal Studies

Certificate in Paralegal

The online Certificate in Paralegal degree program from the Center for Advanced Legal Studies is designed to provide students with education in the most employable and demanding areas of the law while still offering the essential paralegal ...

Read More
Central Piedmont Community College

Certificate in Criminal Justice Technology

The online Certificate in Criminal Justice Technology program from Central Piedmont Community College allows students to gain knowledge and skills in a specific area of the criminal justice field. There are three concentrations offered to suit studen...

Read More
Chemeketa Community College

Juvenile Corrections Certificate

The online Juvenile Corrections Certificate program from Chemeketa Community College is designed to provide students with a strong theoretical, historical, professional, and technical base of knowledge and skills in juvenile justice. Courses explore ...

Read More
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

Homeland Security Certificate

The online Homeland Security Certificate program from Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is designed to prepare students to effectively manage safety and security challenges in the United States. Developed in response to the needs of th...

Read More
Clark State Community College

Judicial Court Reporting Captioning/CART Career-Enhancement Certificate

The online Judicial Court Reporting Captioning/CART Career-Enhancement Certificate program from Clark State Community College focuses on the skills required in the fields of closed captioning and CART (communication access realtime translation) capti...

Read More
Clovis Community College

Certificate in Criminal Justice


Read More
Coastline Community College

Emergency Management / Homeland Security Certificate of Achievement


Read More
Colorado Christian University

Certificate in Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice Certificate provides you with the fundamentals of the criminal justice system, American juvenile justice, crime, and criminal behavior and policing. CCU's distinctive curriculum integrates faith with the criminal justice ...

Read More
Columbia College - MO

Certificate in Crime Scene Investigation

The online Certificate in Crime Scene Investigation program is designed for students interested in learning to identify, document, and preserve evidence at crime scenes.  While most of the curriculum is already decided, students may choose some...

Read More