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Associate of Applied Business (AAB) Degree in Criminal Justice

Majors Overview May 8, 2013

A criminal justice associate degree program may be offered in different formats, such as Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) or Associate of Applied Business (A.A.B.). These degree programs will prepare students for careers in law enforcement.

Associate Degree Program in Criminal Justice

Students who have earned their associate degree in criminal justice will be prepared for entry-level positions in many facets of investigation, security, or law enforcement. Students can learn about the corrections system, evidence gathering techniques, the judicial system, and the law. Individuals will also gain knowledge on technology used in modern law enforcement. Typically, an associate degree program in criminal justice takes approximate two years to complete. Applicants who want to enroll in an associate degree program are required at a minimum to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.

Program Coursework

Some degree programs allow students to take courses useful for careers in corrections or security, while others focus on the knowledge needed by law enforcement personnel in the field. The program course topics may include the following:

•Forensic psychology
•Police tactical skills
•Homeland security planning
•Criminal justice ethics
•Juvenile law

Career Options

A criminal justice associate degree program will prepare students to work for federal and local agencies, along with private institutions or firms. Individuals with an associate degree may obtain the following job titles:

•Courtroom bailiff
•Correctional officer
•Police officer
•Private security officer

Information on Continuing Education

Some law enforcement agencies may require job applicants to hold an associate degree, but candidates might be required by other agencies to satisfy additional requirements including police academy training. Officers at all levels may enhance their knowledge and skills through continuing education courses offered by federal, state, and local law enforcement training centers. Individuals who want to further their education should consider pursuing a bachelor degree program in criminal justice. Some state and most federal agencies require bachelor degrees for their officers, and offer additional training after the officer is hired. For those who want to further their education beyond a bachelor degree should consider pursuing a master and doctoral degree program in criminal justice.

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