Society highly values its skilled protectors, and bachelor's degrees in law enforcement can help you join the ranks of these essential professionals. You could help keep the peace by patrolling city streets and detention facilities, or you might supervise offenders during and after courtroom trial proceedings. Law enforcement specialists also investigate criminal activity.
Earning bachelor's degrees in law enforcement
Students majoring in law enforcement learn about key concepts and criminal justice topics in courses like these:
- Contemporary corrections
- Criminal justice information systems
- Forensic psychology
- Juvenile law and justice
- Safety and risk management
- Vice, narcotics and crime intelligence
Undergraduate degrees include general coursework that could help in the field; for example, English, psychology and foreign languages all develop communication skills.
Job outlook in law enforcement
Some careers in law enforcement are experiencing rising demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists these 2010 median annual salaries and 2010-2020 projected employment growth rates for related careers:
- Bailiffs: $38,570; 8.0 percent
- Correctional officers and jailers: $39,040; 5.2 percent
- Detectives and criminal investigators: $68,820; 2.9 percent
- Police and sheriff's patrol officers: $53,540; 8.2 percent
- Private detectives and investigators: $42,870; 20.5 percent
- Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists: $47,200; 18.4 percent
The BLS reports that correctional officers typically go through targeted training programs. Some positions call for college credits or experience, or a combination of the two. Certain police departments may require a bachelor's degree in addition to completion of academy training. The BLS expects bilingual candidates with bachelor's degrees and experience to have the strongest opportunities in federal agencies.
Beyond bachelor's degrees in law enforcement
Upper-level jobs in local police and corrections departments, as well as government agencies like the CIA and FBI, often ask candidates to earn master's or even doctoral degrees. These positions tend to come with additional responsibility and opportunities.
Online degrees are becoming increasingly popular for students or working professionals who lack the time or transportation resources necessary to attend a traditional university. Doing coursework for your law enforcement degree online allows you to adjust your pace as you proceed through the program.
Professionals with law enforcement degrees are necessary to keep society running smoothly. Find out more about traditional or online bachelor's degrees in law enforcement and how they can help you make a difference in your community.