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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Criminal Justice Technology

Majors Overview December 18, 2013

Those that possess analytical and problem-solving skills and enjoys assisting others may want to look into a career in criminal justice. An Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in criminal justice technology can give graduates an opportunity at an entry-level job or prepare them for the continuation of their education at a 4-year university.

A.A. Programs in Criminal Justice Technology

Students enrolled in these programs are trained in the use of devices and computer software programs that are useful in solving crimes, missing person searches and crime scene investigations. Students can expect to become adept at the skills necessary for effective criminal investigations, law enforcement and administrative work.

These programs that take two years to complete also often focus on computer forensic techniques, self-defense techniques, firearm use and safety, and database management. Written and oral communication skills necessary for success in the field are also imparted to students enrolled in the program. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework combines classroom lectures with co-op experiences, internships and fieldwork. Various courses related to technology, law enforcement and criminal investigations have to be completed by participants. Coursework may include subject areas such as:

•Organizational behavior
•Argument-based research
•Court procedures and evidence
•Corrections and law enforcement
•Juvenile justice
•Civil liability
•Crime and delinquency

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete a criminal justice technology program have various options to choose from such as joining a police department, seeking government employment, specializing in computer technology or working in the police lab. They can choose from various career titles such as:

•Fish and game wardens
•Police officer

Continuing Education Choices

The job prospects and career advancement chances are very good for graduates whether they wish to join the workforce immediately or to continue their education. Prospective police officers would need to undergo additional training usually at academies before they are allowed to begin their careers. Those who aspire to become probation officers and correctional specialists would benefit by earning bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice or another related field.

Those who seek to become agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would need a bachelor’s degree and work experience, at minimum (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Annual training that would help them keep abreast of law enforcement skills and advancements if any in law enforcement equipment would prove useful to prospective police officers.

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