The world, the country, and your hometown need people trained in law enforcement. While never perfect (law enforcement is done, after all, by people) law enforcement is one of the most fundamental, essential, and under-appreciated aspect of our society. People who work in law enforcement put their hearts and souls on the front lines every day, not only preventing crime, but helping people improve their lives through rehabilitation, counseling, and support. If you want to serve your community, there is no greater calling than law enforcement. But for many careers in this field, you need the right education. Fortunately, an online law enforcement program can help you take the next step in your life. Online law enforcement degrees come in all varieties. No matter what your current education level, nor your specific goals, you can find an online program that suits your career goals. Whether you are already working in law enforcement or have no experience whatsoever; whether you have multiple degrees or no post-secondary education at all, there is an online law enforcement program to fit your needs.
THE CAREER PATH
Law enforcement, to be honest, is not the highest-paying industry you could choose. You can certainly earn a fantastic income if you work hard and remain diligent, but people generally enter this career for higher callings. From a motivation to help struggling individuals (corrections officers, for example), to a deep desire to keep the community safe (police officers and detectives), people enter into law enforcement for reasons well above material gain. The most classic career paths for a law enforcement degree graduate are probation officers and police officers.
Probation Officers—Probation officers play an important role in helping people go from criminal convictions to fulfilling lifestyles. Through interviews, evaluations, assistance with training, and many other services, probation officers do their best, often with great effect, to help people stay out of jails and prisons. Certification testing is often required for these positions. Probation officers take in a media salary of $53,020 and typically need to hold a bachelor’s level education.
Police & Detectives—The most visible aspect of law enforcement, policer officers do more than write traffic tickets and chase criminals. Many are involved with crime investigations, writing reports, obtaining and executing warrants, and preparing cases for courtrooms. Training and physical-fitness testing is an important part of the career. Police officers earn a median salary of $63,380. College coursework is often requires, as is police training academy.
Additionally, a major in law enforcement can prepare you to pursue government work, as a CIA or FBI officer. The U.S. government also offers positions in drug enforcement, immigration or airport security. Other fields include research, courtrooms, and law. Many opportunities exist for degree graduates.
In choosing between a law enforcement major and a criminology major, compare the required courses. A criminology degree is more likely to include more social science courses – such as psychology, counseling, sociology and experimental psychology research – while a law enforcement major is more likely to focus on a career in criminal justice and corrections, and to include applied courses such as evidence collection, interviewing and constitutional law. It may be worthwhile to explore both to determine your best fit.
WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?
Law enforcement needs a wide variety of people. From detail-oriented detectives to compassionate corrections officers, there is room for virtually any personality and characteristic in this field. To thrive in the law enforcement field, compassion may be the most important. From consoling victims to arresting suspects, a mind of compassion is essential. A comfort with people is also important, as you will interact with people from all walks of life on a daily basis. In addition to people skills, strong communication and a calm demeanor are also important. Perhaps most essential, a deep commitment to serving others will help you rise every day to work in this challenging, frustrating, yet endlessly rewarding field.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
Many law enforcement degree online programs are designed for working adults and professionals. As such, expect the curriculum for to be more blended than a residential degree for a younger adult. Many online law enforcement programs carry titles like a “bachelor of science in criminology and criminal justice” or a “master of science in law enforcement and criminal justice.” This blending is in response to the fact that online learning serves an older, more practical and career-minded student body.
100% Online or In-Person Requirements: All of the programs offered in our database are at least 80% online. Some are completely online, while others have some in-person requirements. Before enrolling, research this aspect and make sure it does not conflict with your schedule.
Job Placement: How many graduates of the online law enforcement program are hired after graduation? From police officers to security services, a good program will have high levels of job placement.
Accreditations: Law enforcement schools will have both regional accreditation, as well as accreditation through law-enforcement-specific organizations. Regional accreditation may include the New England Commission of Higher Education Inc. (NECHE) or a similar organization, while specific accreditation can include groups like the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).
Coursework: Every program is different, so you should review the courses and syllabus to ensure the subject and information will fit you goals. For example, if you desire to work in criminal investigations, a program that includes crime scene analysis, evidence gathering, and witness interviewing will be crucial.
You can enjoy a rewarding career in law enforcement, and GetEducated.com can provide the information and resources you need to select the right program. Whether you want to work on the frontlines of law enforcement or want to help people through corrections, there is an online law enforcement program to fit your needs!